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ST. MARYS, KS — “Such a great improvement. It was a huge deal.” Mike Piper says of the new preparation room and remodel of Piper Funeral Home in St. Marys, Kansas. “It’s no longer an uphill climb.”


Established in 1894, the family owned and operated funeral home quite naturally had some physical drawbacks. One logistical obstacle was that the preparation room was located in the basement, and to bring a casket into the chapel meant going out, up and around the building no easy task on a snowy slope.

So it was that Mr. Piper called on Duncan Stuart Todd, Ltd., the Preparation Room Specialists, to guide him through the intricacies of building a twenty-first century embalming room that would meet OSHA regulations and provide a pleasant working environment.

DST sited the completely new preparation room with adjoining dressing room at the back of the chapel which immediately made Mr. Piper’s life easier. In addition to relocating the prep room, Funeral Director Piper was most concerned with air quality. He chose the PrepAir ventilating system, exclusive with DST. Speaking of the system, Mr. Piper says, “The air is wonderful from an old exhaust fan to now. There is fresh air, no odors, and the temperature is always good.”

Another major improvement was custom cabinetry designed by DST. The new cabinetry features moisture and stain resistant countertops, extra deep wall cabinets, adjustable shelves for flexible storage and convenient instrument drawers. In addition, an area of full height cabinets was designed with rolling biohazard containers and soiled linen compartments. The spacious dressing room, also complete with cabinetry, is outfitted with a hair wash sink and body lift.

The smooth work flow in the single station room is enhanced by innovative foot- end equipment with Mr. Piper particularly commenting favorably on the Todd trocar well and Todd morgue table receptor.

The construction process went well with a complete set of AutoCad drawings provided by DST as a part of the Premier Design service. “There were no problems with installing,” said the pleased funeral director.

Mike Piper is one of those rare individuals who knew from early childhood that he wanted to be a funeral director. He has been working full time for the past 24 years and is experiencing his 14th year at his long established location. In this historic Kansas community of 3,000, he is a Past Grand Knight and currently treasurer of the Knights of Columbus council as well as a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

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