The family-owned Twigg Funeral Home has been in business since August 2000. This is the Panora location; there also is a funeral home in Guthrie Center. Curtis Twigg oversees the Panora location, and his brother, Craig, manages the Guthrie Center location.

Twiggs seek to lighten the burdens of people when they are at their weakest and provide the support they need.

By Susan Thompson | Panora Times

The family-owned Twigg Funeral Home, with locations in Guthrie Center and Panora, began in August 2000. That’s when Doug and Kathy Twigg purchased the Beidelman Funeral Home. 

Doug Twigg graduated from the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science in 1969 and received his funeral director license in October 1970. He worked for funeral homes in Estherville, Clarksville, Keokuk and Waterloo, then spent 16 years managing Bruce’s Funeral Home in Fort Dodge before purchasing the Beidelman Funeral Home.

Soon, their oldest son, Curtis, joined the business. Doug and Kathy lived at the Guthrie Center funeral home, while Curtis, his wife, Becky, and their two daughters moved into the funeral home in Panora.

“During high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do,” Curtis says. “But during my senior year, I started thinking the funeral business might be something I would be interested in. I started washing cars, vacuuming and cleaning at the funeral home Dad managed in Fort Dodge. Eventually, Dad bought me a suit, and I started helping with funerals.”  

After high school, Twigg started taking courses in a pre-mortuary science program at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge. He and Becky married in August of 1991. In 1992, they moved to Houston, where he enrolled in the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service for a year-long program.  

The couple returned to Iowa in 1993, and Twigg served an internship at McLaren’s Funeral Home in West Des Moines. 

“After a year, I received my funeral director’s license and stayed at McLaren’s for another year before we returned to Fort Dodge, and I started working for my dad in September of 1995,” he says. 

The formation of the Twigg Funeral Home was something both Curtis and his father wanted. 

“We were tired of working for a corporation and wanted to run our own funeral homes the way we thought they should be run,” Curtis says. “Our goal has always been to lighten the burdens of people when they are at their weakest and give them the support they need.”

“I chose this business because I wanted to help people during the worst time of their lives with a death of a loved one,” Curtis says. “I enjoy helping people in general. Now being in small communities in and around Panora and Guthrie Center, we know the people we are serving and appreciate the opportunity to help them.”

In October 2010, Doug and Kathy’s other son, Craig, joined the family business and made his home at the Guthrie Center funeral home. He graduated from the mortuary science program at San Antonio College in 2005 and worked in funeral homes in Waterloo, Dallas, Texas, and San Diego, California, before moving to Guthrie Center. Doug retired two years later and passed away in June 2019.

Curtis Twigg is president of the business with Craig as vice president. Their mother, Kathy, helps with visitations, funerals, answering phones and delivering death notices to area stores. Becky has been involved since the business began, but Curtis says, in the early years, her main job was raising the couple’s two daughters. 

“Now that they are grown, she decided she wanted to help us out more with visitations, services and wherever needed,” he says.

The Twigg Funeral Home website ( includes recent obituaries plus a wealth of information on funeral service options and advance planning. 

“People sometimes don’t think about how pre-planning one’s own services will help their children or other survivors make arrangements after they pass away,” Twigg says. “The best thing to do is tell someone what type of services you would want. Any information will help the survivors.

“Whether it be a burial, cremation, memorial, celebration of life, visitation, graveside service and more, that’s what we are here for, to help with guidance into whatever services the family wants,” he says. 

Twigg says the number of people who choose cremation is growing. 

“I’ve been licensed for 30 years, and cremation has gained in popularity, perhaps for financial reasons or the person just wanted something simple,” he says. “Most families still choose to have some sort of service, either a visitation, memorial service or celebration of life. We can either arrange to bury the cremains in the cemetery, or families can take the cremains home.”

Twigg recommends people write down vital statistical information for themselves or for loved ones who may not have done any preplanning. 

“We use that information for the death certificate and also for the obituary,” he says. “I’ve had some people write their own obituary before they die. People who want to pre-plan also can call us and we can help them go through everything.”  

Services can be paid for in advance, as part of the pre-planning process. 

“We place the money in an irrevocable burial trust at the local bank, and it stays in that account until that person passes away,” Twigg says. “Another option is if the person has life insurance, they can make the funeral home the beneficiary, or we can assign a portion of that policy to pay for their services.”

Being involved in their communities is important to the Twigg family members. Curtis is a volunteer firefighter with the Panora Fire Department. 

“I joined in 2005, and I’m currently the president and one of the assistant fire chiefs,” he says. “If I hadn’t chosen to be a funeral director, I would be a paid firefighter somewhere. It’s another way I’m helping people, and that’s what I enjoy doing.”

Curtis also is a member of the Panora Lions Club and the Panora Masonic Lodge. Craig is a member of the Guthrie Center Lions Club and the Guthrie Center Fire Department. 

Does Twigg think preplanning might make a good 2024 New Year’s resolution?  

“I feel the most important thing is to tell your family what you want if something happens to you,” he says. “I’ve had many families tell me they have no clue what type of services their loved one wanted. People don’t like to talk about death, but, unfortunately, it’s something that’s going to happen to all of us.”

Shown left to right are members of the Twigg family, including Curtis and Becky Twigg; their daughters, Mathison and Morgan; Kathy Twigg and Craig Twigg.