History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our Story

The Cantlon Otterness Funeral Home, L.C. traces it's beginnings to the late 1920's when L.B. Jones operated the first funeral home in Buffalo, Missouri, the Jones Funeral Home at the corner of Missouri and Pine. In 1962, Jerry and Marlene Cantlon came to the Buffalo community where they owned the Jones-Cantlon Funeral Home, later dropping the Jones name.  In 1978 they purchased the Parrish-Beckner Funeral Home and moved the business to the current location on Main St.  In 1982 they purchased the Vaughan Funeral Home in Urbana and in 1988 they built a new facility on Broadway St. in Urbana.

Eric and Kay (Cantlon) Otterness returned to Buffalo in 1986 following Eric's graduation from mortuary school.  When the Cantlon's retired in 1998, Eric and Kay purchased the funeral homes, adding the Otterness name in 2000.

Neal Oglesbee joined the business in 1987 and retired in 2013, followed by Milan VanHoutan in 2016. Currently the staff is composed of Jarod Campbell (2009), Brad Lewis (2013), Mike Lewis (2016) and Gladys Reser, who was an important part of the Vaughan Funeral Home before the Cantlons purchased it.

Montgomery Funeral Home was founded in 1946 by Clyde Montgomery, upon his return to Buffalo after serving in the second world war.Clyde and his wife Thelma bought the two story brick Victorian home on the corner of Maple and Benton Streets. That home, which still serves as the heart of the Montgomery-Viets Funeral Home, Is one of the oldest in Buffalo, dating to the late 1800s.In that stately old brick home, Clyde Montgomery and Pete Vaughan opened Montgomery-Vaughan Funeral Home, which they operated jointly until 1953, when Clyde and Thelma bought the Vaughan's interest.In 1958 the business grew more as their son-in-law Vernon Viets, joined them. Ten years later, Vernon and his wife Jo Ann, bought an interest in the business. They became full owners in 1971, though Clyde continued to work in the funeral home until his death in 1983.Other family members have also become part of the business, Vernon and Jo Ann's sons Monty and Bret joined the family business in 1978 and 1979, and Marlin followed in 1993.The old Victorian home which the business started in has seen two major additions and several renovations. In 1965 a chapel was built on the north side of the house. In 1981 an even larger chapel was built on the south.

Along with the Funeral Home they also own and operate Maple Lawn Cemetery on Highway 65 North of Buffalo. 

Our Valued Staff

  • Jerry & Marlene Cantlon

    Jerry & Marlene Cantlon Former Owner/Ambassador

    Jerry and Marlene Cantlon owned the business for many years and purchased Vaughan Funeral Home in Urbana during their tenure.

  • Eric and Kay Otterness

    Eric and Kay Otterness Former Owner/Ambassador

    Eric Otterness joined his father- in- law in the business in 1985 and continued the tradition with his wife Kay for another 19 plus years after purchasing the business in 1998.

  • Marlin Viets

    Marlin Viets Former Owner/Ambassador

    Marlin is a life long resident of Buffalo, and grew up in the funeral home. He graduated from Buffalo High School and is a graduate of Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He is a member of The Buffalo First Christian Church.

  • Jarod  Campbell

    Jarod Campbell Manager/Funeral Director

    Jarod grew up in Dallas County, Missouri and graduated from Buffalo High School. He married his high school sweetheart Brooke, and they have three amazing boys, Peyton, Braden, and Gavin. Jarod graduated from Southwest Missouri State University with a degree in Wildlife Management. He and his family are members of Calvary Chapel Freewill Baptist Church in Buffalo. He has been with Cantlon Otterness Funeral Home since April of 2009 and is a licensed Funeral Director.

  • Taylor D. Howe

    Taylor D. Howe Funeral Director

    Taylor Howe was born and raised in Lebanon, Missouri. He graduated from Lebanon High School and continued his education, graduating from Southwest Baptist University. Taylor then attended Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where he graduated in the Spring of 2016. Taylor met the love of his life at Southwest Baptist, and they were married in June of 2016. Together they share two children, Ainsley and Duke.