About Us | Carlson-Geisendorf Funeral Home & Crematory


About Us

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 History

In May of 1906, Lon Smith and his son, Rush, came to Salina after purchasing the Phillip Young Undertaking establishment which was located at 131 N. Santa Fe. In 1909 they purchased and moved to the Roach Building at 141-143 South Santa Fe where they combined the furniture (formerly the Ganett Furniture Store) and undertaking business.

In 1916 Rush Smith and his father Lon purchased the ground at the corner of Ninth and Iron and started building the Lon Smith and Son Funeral Directors. Eighteen months later the business was moved to the location, which was one of the first funeral homes to be built exclusively as a funeral home. For many years hearses were driven by horse, but when the automotive hearses began to appear, Rush Smith was one of the first to make these available for families.

In 1918, Rush Smith purchased the funeral business from his father, Lon who continued to operate the furniture business downtown and helping to assist in funeral services until his retirement, when he sold the furniture business to the Gebhardt and Jilka Furniture Company.

On July 1, 1959 the funeral home and business was sold to James L. Geisendorf and his wife Marjorie.
On January 1, 1986, the Geisendorf's sold the funeral home and business to Roger and Tedi Brent, who had been long time employees of the Geisendorf's.

In 1997, the Brent's sold the funeral home and business to Carriage Services in Houston, TX. who continued ownership until November 2002 when the funeral home and business was sold to Mike and Helen Carlson.

Since 1916, the funeral home had been located at 401 W. Iron but now is located at the state-of-the-art location of 500 S. Ohio. Complete with it's own crematory.

Our Valued Staff

Mike &  Helen Carlson

Mike & Helen Carlson, Funeral Director/Embalmer

Mike has over 30 years of experience in the funeral industry. He was raised in the Solomon, Kansas area where he graduated from Solomon High School, he then attended Kansas Wesleyan University and recieved his BS degree from University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. Mike is also a past Master of the Emporia Masonic Lodge, a member of Miriam Chapter OES, and is a member of the Downtown Lions in Salina, Kansas. He is a licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer and a licensed insurance pre-need counselor. He is married to Helen who is a licensed RN with the Salina Regional Health Center as a CVOR nurse assisting in the open heart department. She is a graduate of North High School in Wichita, KS, she also attended Wichita State University and is a graduate of the nursing program at Kansas Wesleyan University. They have 6 children together, Kelli, Amanda, Thomas, Adam, Shannon and Shauna.

Amanda  Groh

Amanda Groh, Assisant Funeral Director/ Office Manager

Amanda Groh, the daughter of Mike and Helen Carlson and the wife of Ed Groh, joined the staff on September 1, 2006. She was raised in Emporia, and graduated from the Emporia High School in 2000, and attended Emporia State University. Amanda and Ed have a son, Adam. She is an assistant funeral director, has her Preneed Insurance License, and is the office manager. Amanda is Past President of the Noon Network of Ambucs in Salina.

Donna  Frederick

Donna Frederick, Office Manager

Donna Frederick is the Office Manager. She has been with the firm since 2002. She assists with funerals, organizes the aftercare, and performs the duties that keep an office running smooth and efficient. She retired from banking and her wonderful and kind personality, shows through everytime one of her past bank clients comes to the funeral home. She is married to Ray Frederick and they reside in Salina.