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New funeral directors have Mennonite roots

Staff writer

New funeral directors at the newly renamed Yazel-Megli-Zeiner Funeral Home in Hillsboro have ties to the area. Their forebears were Holdeman Mennonites.

Roger Megli’s grandparents were Swiss Mennonites and moved to Kansas from Canada. Family history records his grandfather, Simon Megli, as living in Kansas in 1910. He borrowed $1,000 from a Hillsboro bank in 1924 or 1925 and bought a car in Hillsboro. Roger has a brother who later had medical work done in Hillsboro.

Megli said the family is comprised of half Mennonite and half non-Mennonite, making for interesting family reunions. The couple has relatives in the central Kansas area.

The Meglis own a home in Wichita but are establishing living quarters at the funeral home. Roger said he would be there every day. His wife, Sandi, will be at the funeral home in Whitewater two days a week and will spend the rest of the week in Hillsboro.

The couple has devoted their lives to serving people.

Their pastoral work, followed by a ministry as hospice chaplain, plus experience in funeral services has prepared them for their work as independent funeral directors.

“It’s interesting how God has brought us to this point,” Sandi said.

Roger was a full-time pastor for 23 years. He was hospice chaplain in the central Kansas area, including Hillsboro, for 17 years before joining Brad Yazel June 1 in operating funeral homes formerly owned by Ty Zeiner of Marion. Roger is a licensed funeral director, and Sandi is a licensed assistant.

Sandi has experience in the floral industry, which comes in handy when a floral bouquet needs repair, she said.

“We work well together,” Roger said. “It’s our goal to provide grief support for bereaved families and to provide them with the materials they need to go through the process.”

The Meglis have been involved in the funeral industry since 1997. Sandi managed a funeral home in Valley Center for six years. She was working with Yazel at two El Dorado funeral homes when Yazel purchased Zeiner’s five funeral homes in Hillsboro, Marion, Herington, Council Grove, and Whitewater and asked the Meglis to join him.

“We knew Brad and appreciated his care and concern for people,” Roger said. “To us, people are not just a number, they’re a family.”

He said his experience as a hospice chaplain has given him a different perspective.

“Small things don’t matter compared to other things people go through,” he said. “We will go the extra mile to meet the needs of people.”

They have three grown children, two of whom live in Georgia, and one in Ohio. They also have two grandchildren.

The Meglis are planning an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. July 13 and 14. An official chamber of commerce ribbon cutting will be 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. July 12.

The funeral home can be reached at (620) 947-2112.

Last modified June 27, 2019

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