Staff

Our dedicated staff members are here to provide support, compassion, and information to help you through your journey of grief and the celebration of your loved one’s life.

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Chris Highsmith Owner

Chris Highsmith has been in the funeral busines for over 36 years. A 1979 graduate of Welch High School, attended NEO A & M college and the Dallas institute of Funeral Service. Rick Stephens and he were classmates in the 1986-87 Dallas Institute Class. Raised on a farm, he enjoyed playing sports, rodeoing and hunting. Chris began working in the funeral industry as a maintenance man, and quickly realized he wanted to pursue a career in the profession. He has a genuine love of serving families in need and the passion grows stronger to serve with each day. Chris is excited to be of service to the Pryor Community and will bring the highest level of service and professionalism. His wife Vicki works at KAMO POWER in Vinita as a payroll accountant and also keeps up with the business accounting.

His children are Cameron Dennis in Ohio, along with a granddaughter Walela; Haley Chenoweth and husband Casey in Miami, and a son Hunter Highsmith of Broken Arrow; and favorite pet "Zoey" a yellow lab. Anxious to meet the people of Pryor, we invite all to come by and visit any time.

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Rick and Gloria Stephens Founders

Rick and Gloria Stephens opened Stephens Memorial Chapel in November of 1996. Over the years they served many of the families in our community with love, care and compassion. In November of 2014, they acquired Key Funeral Home in Pryor and renamed the business Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care . They continue to live and be involved in the local community as well as enjoying retirement on the lake and spending time with friends and family. We are proud to continue their business with the care and compassion they showed the families they served over the years. 

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TJ Holt Manager/Funeral Director/Embalmer tjholt@stephens-key.com

TJ grew up in Poteau, Oklahoma where he played football and was a graduate of Poteau High School. He starting working for Evans-Miller Funeral Home in Poteau at the age of 15, washing cars, cleaning, doing the lawn and running errands; it was during that time in his life when he fell in love with service to others and decided he wanted to become a funeral director. He attended Carl Albert State College then Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. He worked for Evans-Miller for over 20 years, in September 2018, TJ went to work for Chris and Vicki Highsmith at Burkhalter-Highsmith Funeral Home in Vinita. Chris took over operations of Stephens-Key in June of 2019, and TJ became the manager.

TJ is a dad to his young daughter Jaelan, who he loves dearly; when he isn't working, he is spending time with her. He also loves motorcycles, antique cars and trucks, antiques, hunting, fishing and anything the rural life has to offer. He has become involved in civic organizations in Pryor since coming here; he is a current member of the Sertoma Club, Rotary Club and National Wild Turkey Federation.

He has gotten to know many families since coming to Pryor and has fell in love with our community; his love for service is evident in everything he does and we are blessed to have him leading our team.

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Clarissa Yates Funeral Director/Office Manager//PreNeed Adviser clarissa@stephens-key.com

Clarissa has been around the funeral service industry her entire life. Her grandfather, the late Gene Jones, owned Jones Funeral Home in Locust Grove where her parents, Clara Key and the late Tim Key, grew up and graduated from high school. When she was 4, her father attended mortuary school and became a licensed funeral director/embalmer and when she was 10, her parents opened Key Funeral Home in Pryor. She knew from a very young age that she would like to follow in her parents footsteps, so at the age of 16, while still attending Pryor High School, she began her funeral director/embalmer apprenticeship under her father.

 

After graduating from Pryor High School in May of 1991, she left Pryor for Dallas, Texas where she attended the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. After graduating in 1992,  at age 18, she passed her state and national board exams and at that time, she was the youngest licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Oklahoma. Clarissa moved back to Pryor where she began working full time alongside her parents at Key Funeral Home. 

 

In 1998, she married  Jeff Yates and moved to Shereveport, Louisiana where they lived for two years. Jeff and Clarissa moved back to Pryor in 2001 and this has been their home since. They have one son, Zak, who is now a young adult who lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

 

Clarissa's father died in 2005 after a long battle with type 1 diabetes, but she, Jeff and her mom continued owning and operating Key Funeral Home. In 2014, her mom retired and sold the business to Rick and Gloria Stephens at Stephens Memorial Chapel in Pryor, which then became Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care. Clarissa worked for Rick and Gloria for two years then left to pursue other interests.

 

In January 2020, Clarissa began working at Stephens-Key again, as a funeral director, office manager and preneed sales person. 

 

Funeral service has and will always be a part of her life; she is grateful for the daily chance she has to make a difference in someone's life as they navigate through caring for ailing loved ones, preparing for their transition and then helping them plan a fitting tribute to celebrate their life. In a time where lives are often too busy she still believes encouraging people to celebrate a life lived. 

Chris Highsmith

Owner
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Chris Highsmith has been in the funeral busines for over 36 years. A 1979 graduate of Welch High School, attended NEO A & M college and the Dallas institute of Funeral Service. Rick Stephens and he were classmates in the 1986-87 Dallas Institute Class. Raised on a farm, he enjoyed playing sports, rodeoing and hunting. Chris began working in the funeral industry as a maintenance man, and quickly realized he wanted to pursue a career in the profession. He has a genuine love of serving families in need and the passion grows stronger to serve with each day. Chris is excited to be of service to the Pryor Community and will bring the highest level of service and professionalism. His wife Vicki works at KAMO POWER in Vinita as a payroll accountant and also keeps up with the business accounting.

His children are Cameron Dennis in Ohio, along with a granddaughter Walela; Haley Chenoweth and husband Casey in Miami, and a son Hunter Highsmith of Broken Arrow; and favorite pet "Zoey" a yellow lab. Anxious to meet the people of Pryor, we invite all to come by and visit any time.

Rick and Gloria Stephens

Founders
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Rick and Gloria Stephens opened Stephens Memorial Chapel in November of 1996. Over the years they served many of the families in our community with love, care and compassion. In November of 2014, they acquired Key Funeral Home in Pryor and renamed the business Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care . They continue to live and be involved in the local community as well as enjoying retirement on the lake and spending time with friends and family. We are proud to continue their business with the care and compassion they showed the families they served over the years. 

TJ Holt

Manager/Funeral Director/Embalmer
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TJ grew up in Poteau, Oklahoma where he played football and was a graduate of Poteau High School. He starting working for Evans-Miller Funeral Home in Poteau at the age of 15, washing cars, cleaning, doing the lawn and running errands; it was during that time in his life when he fell in love with service to others and decided he wanted to become a funeral director. He attended Carl Albert State College then Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. He worked for Evans-Miller for over 20 years, in September 2018, TJ went to work for Chris and Vicki Highsmith at Burkhalter-Highsmith Funeral Home in Vinita. Chris took over operations of Stephens-Key in June of 2019, and TJ became the manager.

TJ is a dad to his young daughter Jaelan, who he loves dearly; when he isn't working, he is spending time with her. He also loves motorcycles, antique cars and trucks, antiques, hunting, fishing and anything the rural life has to offer. He has become involved in civic organizations in Pryor since coming here; he is a current member of the Sertoma Club, Rotary Club and National Wild Turkey Federation.

He has gotten to know many families since coming to Pryor and has fell in love with our community; his love for service is evident in everything he does and we are blessed to have him leading our team.

Clarissa Yates

Funeral Director/Office Manager//PreNeed Adviser
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Clarissa has been around the funeral service industry her entire life. Her grandfather, the late Gene Jones, owned Jones Funeral Home in Locust Grove where her parents, Clara Key and the late Tim Key, grew up and graduated from high school. When she was 4, her father attended mortuary school and became a licensed funeral director/embalmer and when she was 10, her parents opened Key Funeral Home in Pryor. She knew from a very young age that she would like to follow in her parents footsteps, so at the age of 16, while still attending Pryor High School, she began her funeral director/embalmer apprenticeship under her father.

 

After graduating from Pryor High School in May of 1991, she left Pryor for Dallas, Texas where she attended the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. After graduating in 1992,  at age 18, she passed her state and national board exams and at that time, she was the youngest licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Oklahoma. Clarissa moved back to Pryor where she began working full time alongside her parents at Key Funeral Home. 

 

In 1998, she married  Jeff Yates and moved to Shereveport, Louisiana where they lived for two years. Jeff and Clarissa moved back to Pryor in 2001 and this has been their home since. They have one son, Zak, who is now a young adult who lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

 

Clarissa's father died in 2005 after a long battle with type 1 diabetes, but she, Jeff and her mom continued owning and operating Key Funeral Home. In 2014, her mom retired and sold the business to Rick and Gloria Stephens at Stephens Memorial Chapel in Pryor, which then became Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care. Clarissa worked for Rick and Gloria for two years then left to pursue other interests.

 

In January 2020, Clarissa began working at Stephens-Key again, as a funeral director, office manager and preneed sales person. 

 

Funeral service has and will always be a part of her life; she is grateful for the daily chance she has to make a difference in someone's life as they navigate through caring for ailing loved ones, preparing for their transition and then helping them plan a fitting tribute to celebrate their life. In a time where lives are often too busy she still believes encouraging people to celebrate a life lived. 

Todd Rice

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