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

Our History

Jared Fairbanks, the founder of Premier Funeral Services, knew at a young age that a profession in the service of others would be a rewarding and meaningful life dedication. In 2009, Jared started Premier Funeral Services in Utah. He saw the need to serve families in a way that most funeral homes were unable to. He wanted to help individuals and families care for their love ones in the most comforting way possible. 

Jared structured Premier Funeral Services in such a way that would provide families access to affordable funeral services. Due to low overhead and high operational efficiency, families are offered services at a lower cost with no sacrifice in service and quality. 

Our Valued Staff

  • Jared O.M.  Fairbanks

    Jared O.M. Fairbanks, Owner/Funeral Director

    Jared was born and lived his early years in Hawaii, his elementary school years in Salt Lake City, UT later moving to Holbrook, Arizona for junior high and high school. While in his senior year of high school Jared worked for a funeral home, where he performed service support and learned what was needed to serve each family with dignity and professionalism. He knew that a profession in service to others would be a rewarding and meaningful life’s dedication.

    Jared earned a degree in business administration and graduated from Cypress College of Mortuary Science in 1986. He has managed mortuaries, cemeteries, and crematories along with supervising pre-need sales and spending some time as a casket sales representative in Arizona and Utah. Each of these steps has taught Jared what it takes to be successful in the funeral profession.

    Aside from being a funeral director, Jared is an artist with sculptures around the world. One notable sculpture he did with his father, Ortho R. Fairbanks, is the Christmas Box Angel. The angel statue was commissioned by Richard Paul Evans, the author of The Christmas Box, in response to reports that parents were seeking out the angel as a place to grieve and heal from the loss of their children. When Jared is not sculpting, he enjoys running, hiking, traveling and playing bass drum in the Thomas Cordner Memorial Pipe Band.

    Jared also, more than anything else loves to spend time with his four beautiful daughters and five adorable grandchildren whom he adores.

  • J. Heath  Holverson

    J. Heath Holverson, Funeral Director

    Heath was born and raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho and graduated from Skyline High School. Heath served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints in the New Zealand Wellington. Heath married his high school sweet heart Emily, and together they have 4 beautiful children.

    Heath has been in the funeral business since January of 1999 starting at a funeral home in Idaho Falls, where he apprenticed, then working for a funeral home in Oregon while going to Mortuary School where he graduated. After Heath graduated from Mt. Hood Community College he worked for five years in the Boise area, before moving his family to Utah in 2007.

    Heath loves working with families and looks forward to helping others in the future

  • Libni  Balderas

    Libni Balderas, Funeral Director

    Libni was born and raised in Mexico City. He graduated with honors from Colegio de Bachilleres in 1997.

    While spending time as a hospice caregiver Libni found purpose in helping families through what he believes is often one of many emotional events that occur near the end of one’s life. During those 11 years as a caregiver he discovered a genuine passion for the funeral profession. In 2010, Libni joined Premier Funeral Services as an apprentice and began Mortuary School. He attended Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services. He became a licensed funeral director in 2013.

    Libni lives in Pleasant Grove with his wife, Julietta and their two children. He enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, and participating in martial arts with his kids.

  • Blake Yates

    Blake Yates, Funeral Director

    Blake was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. When he was four years old his family moved to a dead-end street in Sandy. He graduated from Jordan High School in 1981, served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Virginia, married his amazing wife Carolee in 1986, and graduated from the University of Utah with a BS Degree in Elementary Education. He still lives in the same neighborhood in Sandy that he grew up in and that is where he and Carolee raised their two children. His family has grown to include his two “in-law” children and three adorable grandsons.

    Blake started with Premier Funeral Services in October 2016 and is excited to work once again with Jared Fairbanks, who had hired him 15 years earlier as an apprentice funeral director at another firm. However, Blake’s introduction to the funeral industry began much earlier when he worked as a grounds-keeper at a cemetery and mortuary in Sandy during his high school years. Ever since then he knew the funeral business was where he wanted to be. Blake returned to the classroom mid-life and graduated in Mortuary Science from Arapahoe Community College. Although being a funeral director is his second career, it is a truly where he belongs. He loves serving families and helping them take care of the people they love.

    In his off-work time, Blake enjoys spending time with his family four-wheeling and snowmobiling at the family cabin, being involved in church, and traveling about the country seeing church history and American history sites.

  • Marjorie Smith

    Marjorie Smith, Funeral Director

  • Janna Markland

    Janna Markland, Funeral Director

  • Shari  Lindahl

    Shari Lindahl, Community Services Director

    Shari Lindahl Gillen was born in Anaheim, California. She was raised in Kaysville, Utah and graduated from Davis High School in 1989.

    Shari’s father instilled in her strong work ethics, which was apparent in the series of jobs she took on starting in 1999. She worked for hospice, physical therapy/rehabilitation and senior living. Her work also carried over into education at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities as well as caring for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Her hard work earned her multiple promotions, from caregiver to management, and eventually on to be an Executive Director for Emeritus Senior Living. She serves in many community service organizations. Shari is certified as a Grief Support Specialist from the World Spiritual Health Organization.

    Shari lives in Kaysville and has 3 children and 1 grandson. She enjoys traveling, paddle boarding, Cycling, pickleball and golf.

  • Margene  Luke

    Margene Luke, Community Services Director

    Margene is certified as a Grief Support Specialist from the World Spiritual Health Organization. She is the past owner and administrator of Hospice of Hope and owner and manager of Personal Care Services, giving her a unique perspective in end-of-life care and in the funeral industry. She retired as a nurse after serving in various nursing and hospital positions for 43 years.

    Currently, she serves in the Family Caregiver Division of HHAU (Homecare and Hospice Association of Utah). She is an original founding member and past board President of the Utah Coalition for Caregiver Support. Previously, she served as Secretary and Membership Co-Chair of The Utah Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. She serves on the Community Advisory Board at the University of Utah, College of Social Work.

    Outside of the healthcare and funeral industries, she is president of Equity Income Incorporated and Plaza 1100. She worked with the Miss Utah Scholarship Pageant system as Co-Director and Judges Chairperson. Margene served on the Governor’s Initiative for Families, Senator Hatch’s Senior Conference Committee, St. Marks Integrative Care Committee, Spirituality and Healing in Medicine Institute member and as a volunteer Chaplain at Primary Children’s Medical Center.

    Personally, she finds joy in her family, in her friends, in the mountains, in a garden, and in a puppy named Sadie.

  • Denell Bredsgaurd

    Denell Bredsgaurd, Community Services Director

  • Gwen Burnham

    Gwen Burnham, Apprentice

  • Charles Valverde

    Charles Valverde, Apprentice

  • Chandler Wahlstrom

    Chandler Wahlstrom, Associate

  • Steven Montgomery

    Steven Montgomery, Family Service Counselor

    Steven was born in Ogden, Utah. At 6 months of age his family moved to Adrian, Oregon where he enjoyed the next 18 years of rural farm life. He attended school at Adrian, graduating from Adrian High in 1970. After graduation, his family moved back to Utah settling in Hooper, Utah. Steven served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Denmark.

    In 1975 he married Deborah Bingham and they are the parents of 4 daughters and 1 son. They have 19 grandchildren.

    Steven has worked in the pre-need funeral business for 25 years. He started working with Premier Funeral Services in 2015. He loves his work and enjoys working with and helping families before, during, and after a funeral.

    Stevens’s hobbies include serving in the church, racquetball, hiking, and working around the yard.

  • Stephen  Rasmussen

    Stephen Rasmussen, Funeral Associate

  • Richard  Baxter

    Richard Baxter, Funeral Associate

  • Aimee Wahlstrom

    Aimee Wahlstrom, Funeral Associate

  • Don  Wardle

    Don Wardle, Funeral Associate

    Don began working for Premier Funeral Services in December 2014. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University. Don is a retired Air Force officer and also worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Salt Lake City, Utah. In total, he has over 30 years of federal service. In between federal jobs, he worked in the coaching division at the headquarters of FranklinCovey in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Don is married with four children, three stepchildren, 12 grandchildren, and four step grandchildren.

  • Roger Wood

    Roger Wood, Funeral Associate

  • Martin  Fairbanks

    Martin Fairbanks, Funeral Associate

  • Pleshette Goniotakis

    Pleshette Goniotakis, Funeral Director

  • Lori  Nance

    Lori Nance, Funeral Associate

  • Haylee Butler

    Haylee Butler, Funeral Associate

  • Sarah  Baxter

    Sarah Baxter, Funeral Associate

  • Cornel Thomas

    Cornel Thomas, Funeral Associate

    Cornel was born in Texas and was adopted at one week old to a couple in Arkansas. From there he has lived in Colorado, Nevada, Alaska, California, New York but has lived the majority of his life in Utah.

    Cornel truly enjoys customer service and finds it rewarding to help people during their biggest days in life. He got his start in the funeral industry in 2013 after his mother passed away. He wanted to help others who would have to go through that same journey. Working for several great funeral home's, Cornel is now proud to work for Premier Funeral Services and help serve you in your time of need.

    Above all, Cornel enjoys spending time with his wife and 5 kids in Sunset, UT.

  • Paizleigh Brown

    Paizleigh Brown, Funeral Associate