Jewell-Rittman Funeral Home
3855 25th St
Columbus, IN 47203
(812) 372-9923

Vernon Jewell

Vernon is the son of a minister, and after graduating from Indiana College of Mortuary Service, he moved to Columbus in 1960 to work for Wayne Reed at the Reed Funeral Home.  He purchased the funeral home from Wayne in 1968 and it became known at Reed & Jewell Funeral Home Inc.

In the middle of the 1980's, Vernon sold the business to Myers Funeral Service, and in the late 1990's it was then sold to the world's largest funeral chain, Service Corporation International (publicly traded as SCI), also known as Dignity Memorial, headquartered in Houston, Texas.

In the meantime, Vernon's step-son Nick Rittman had graduated from Mid-America College of Funeral Service and was a funeral director in northern Indiana. Also, his son Heeth Jewell graduated from Mid-America, and they saw that Columbus needed to have a local, family owned funeral home, where decisions in the best interest of the community could be made locally, not many miles away. The family decided to open the Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home in 1999.

Vernon and his wife, Phyllis, live on a small farm with a few cattle. He has 3 children, Keith, Diane Smith, and Heeth. Rarely missing an opportunity to go fishing, he enjoys spending his evenings fishing at a local lake. He also enjoys spending time outdoors.  Vernon has served the community of Bartholomew County for over 50 years. Besides being a funeral director, he has held several positions in local government, including: Bartholomew County Commissioner; Bartholomew County Auditor; and Bartholomew County Treasurer.

Heeth Jewell

Hello! My name is Heeth Jewell, and I am here to tell you a bit about myself. I am a 1995 graduate of Columbus East High School, and a 1998 graduate of Mid-America College of Funeral Service. Prior to attending Mid-America, I attended Circleville Bible College in Circleville, Ohio for a year and a half. My wife Nikki and I were married on October 30, 2008. We have three children; Kali (a St. Bernard), Sebastian (a Black Lab), and Oliver (A Pug). My wife and I are self proclaimed "animal lovers", and you often can catch us rescuing any stray dogs we find in our neighborhood.  I label myself a typical "Video Game Nerd", but if you ask my wife, she would say my video game habit is much more serious than that.

I am a member of the Indiana Funeral Director's Association, Camon Masonic Lodge #343, and my wife and I are members of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

I want to say thank you to all the wonderful families I have had the honor of serving over the years. I have met many wonderful people while serving the people of Bartholomew County. Meeting all of you has been the most rewarding part of my job. I greatly appreciate you allowing me to be a part of your lives.

Keith Jewell

Hi, my name is Keith Jewell. I have been part of funeral service for most of my life. While growing up, my father Vernon Jewell, owned the Reed and Jewell Funeral Home. Later I was part owner and manager of the Jewell and Curry Burial Vault Company.   I graduated from Columbus East High School in 1979.  My wife, Donna Jewell, and I have four children: Cortney, Gage, Tyffani, and Wesley Jewell.  We have been blessed with four grandchildren up to this point.  

We are members of the First Church of the Nazarene. When not working, I like to spend time with my family and grandchildren.

Nick Rittman

I'm Nick Rittman and I am a 1989 graduate of Columbus East High School, and 1991 graduate of Mid America College of Mortuary Science. I am married to Jodi and we have two children, Parker and Sloan.

We are members of East Columbus Christian Church. I am a member of the Columbus East Kiwanis Club, Camon Masonic Lodge #343, and the Columbus Area Emmaus Community. When I am not helping families, I love to spend my free time playing sports, fishing and watching a good movie.

L.D. McCoy

Lawrence Dreiman McCoy, known to friends and family as “L. D.” is the newest funeral director at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home.  A lifelong Hoosier, L. D. began his career in funeral service in 1971. He is a graduate of South Knox High School, Vincennes University and Indiana College of Mortuary Science.

L. D. and his wife, Jennie recently moved to Columbus to be near their daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Brent Bodem and granddaughters, Lydia and Eliza. They enjoy the Columbus community and have felt very welcomed here.  The McCoy’s are members of First Christian Church.  They are “parents” to their 2 Boston Terriers, Harley and Dolly.  L. D. is a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and Shrine.  He enjoys spending his free time riding his Victory Vision motorcycle, walking his Boston Terriers and spending time with family. Jennie is a retired school teacher from South Madison School Corporation.

Elaine Bailey

My name is Elaine Bailey. I graduated from Mid America College of Mortuary Science. My husband Paul and I have two children, Mariesa and Austin. We are blessed to have two grandchildren, Noah and Brooklynn. We attend the Edinburgh Apostolic Tabernacle and are residents of Edinburgh. I enjoy going to church and sitting around a nice campfire and riding in my jeep. I love animals, especially my dog, Lady Janie.

Karen Ludeman

Karen is usually the first voice you hear when you call the office and has been a member of our staff since 2009. Originally from the Columbus area, Karen returned in 1981 after graduating from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky with a degree in art education.

Karen and her husband, Jim, are members of the Community Church of Columbus. Karen has two children, Lindsay and Jeremy, who are both married and one grandchild, Oceana. Being an active part of the church, riding bikes and travel keep Karen busy when she is not in the office.

Norman D. Curry

Along with his wife, Norman has been with us since our start in 1999, and also has been a resident of Columbus for over 40 years. He has held several roles in our community. He has been a lawyer, and retired as a Judge of Bartholomew County. He is currently a Senior Judge and mediator. He is a Past President of American Baptist Churches of Indiana & Kentucky.

He has been active with many Not-for-Profit Organizations as well as held many leadership roles at his church, First Baptist Church of Columbus. He has also served in many different roles in the Columbus Area Emmaus Community.

Steve Gossman

Steve has been a member of our staff since 2007. Originally from Columbus, Steve has spent most of his life here. Steve and his wife, Charlotte, have four children and eight grandchildren.

After retiring from Cummins, where Steve worked in manufacturing management, he and Charlotte have traveled the country whenever possible. They enjoy spending time at their home on Nolin Lake in Kentucky. Steve has two hobbies, woodcarving and painting. He also has a 1967 Chevelle that he restored.

Steve is the uncle of Nick Rittman and Heeth Jewell and brother-in-law of Vernon Jewell. He is known around the funeral home as "Uncle Steve". Working part-time, Steve can be found performing various tasks from set up to assisting at graveside services.

Cecil R. Key

Cecil has been a member of our staff since 2007, greeting visitors, parking cars, and assisting at graveside services. Cecil and his wife, Doris, have three daughters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Cecil is a veteran of the Navy and retired from Cummins Engine Company. He is an active member of the Columbus East Kiwanis and a member of the Moose Lodge.

Lenora Parrott

Lenora has been a member of our staff since 2005 greeting families and friends. Lenora was born and raised in Johnson County, Indiana. She moved to Columbus in 1969, and was a graduate of Nineveh High School, as well as earning an Associate degree from I.U.P.U.I. She retired in February 2005 after 29 years in banking as a Human Resources Officer. She has been employed by Salin Bank, Columbus; Citizens Bank, Greenwood; & First Bank, Greenwood. She is a member of the Columbus Popfest Committee, and is serving as a deacon at Fairlawn Presbyterian Church. She has been married to her husband, Clyde, for almost 40 years.

Since 2005, Lenora has enjoyed working at the Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home greeting families and friends.

Jodi Rittman

Jodi grew up in the North Manchester, Indiana, and graduated from Manchester High School. In 1994 she graduated from Manchester College with degrees in Social Work and Criminal Justice. In 1998, she and Nick moved to Columbus to start the funeral home. Jodi is married to Nick Rittman and they have two children, Parker and Sloan. Jodi works part time at the funeral home.

Peggy Wampler

Peggy has been a member of our staff since 2002 greeting family and friends. She and her husband, Don, have been married for almost 50 years, and have two sons, Mark & John Wampler. They have 4 grandchildren. Peggy retired from Ameritech after 27 years of service. Her husband Don taught school for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation for 33 years.

She spends much of her free time volunteering at Columbus Regional Hospital, the Visitor's Center, & the Senior Center. She attends the 1st Assembly Church of God. Peggy spends her spare time volunteering at various locations in Columbus.