I would be remiss if you left our website and didn’t have a peek behind the scenes to understand how Kellogg Memorials originated. The business itself began in 1899 in Mexico, NY under Frederick L. Kellogg Sr., who operated it with his sons George and Fred Jr. until he passed in 1946. His sons continued to run the business for several more years, eventually turning it over to Phyllis Tyler in 1969. Kellogg Memorials became a Rock of Ages independent dealership in the 1970s, and present ownership took the reins in 2004. And though we are often asked, no, we are not Kelloggs or even related to the family. But we do know them, and are thankful for the opportunity they gave us to continue their wonderful legacy.
My husband Ron and I jokingly tease each other that while I am the brains of the business, he is the brawn and we can’t “git ‘er dun” without him. But it’s true. He painstakingly pours so much of himself into what he does. From sandblasting memorials in the shop to setting them in the cemeteries to adding final dates, he does it all. Well, except for dealing with customers and handling paperwork. He leaves those nuances to the ladies and me. The ladies are Aimee Mohr and Yolanda Metott, both of whom we are so fortunate to have on our team. Their love and devotion to what they do, and to our family, are unparalleled. They make Kellogg Memorials a fun place to work and a safe, warm place for our customers. Aimee is our office manager in Mexico; Yolanda takes care of things in Rome. Without them, I would be lost.
Ron and I have over 25 years of combined experience in death care, both arriving at Kellogg Memorials in different fashion. When people ask me how I got into this business, I generally tell them it was fate. After the death of my mom in 1999, a door was opened and my career path took a turn into the realm of memorialization. Within three months of working for a monument company in the area, I knew that I had found my niche. I loved the rewards of helping people through difficult times and being able to combine that with my college background in design was a wonderful partnership. I pressed to learn every aspect of the stone industry, gaining the confidence and experience I needed to strike out on my own. With the help of my dad, I purchased Kellogg Memorials’ Mexico location in 2004 as a single mom who needed a new beginning. Those first few years were tough, especially since I was doing all of my own sandblast and setting work, but I learned a lot.
Enter Ron into the picture. We had been good friends for years, having met while he was superintendent at Evergreen Cemetery in Stokes. I’ll never forget the first time he accompanied me to set this enormous monument at a cemetery over in Oswego. It was early spring and we buried the truck trying to get in to the gravesite. Being the ingenious “McGuyver” type, Ron extended the boom on the crane to try to push the truck out. It was working until a hydraulic line blew on the crane and there we sat. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, but he found a way to get us out of a bad situation. I never thought he’d want to help again! But, fortunately for me, he did. He enjoyed the variety and the physical labor and the adventure of it all. We began dating in 2007, not long after he had taken over the superintendent position at St. John’s Cemetery in Rome. It was actually his idea to open a monument business in Rome because there wasn’t a local dealer. He deserves all the credit for having found the ideal location and renovating the existing building. With a little luck and a lot of hard work and determination, we opened Kellogg Memorials II in June 2008.
We aren’t in business to make a million, and we absolutely love what we do! We live comfortably at our home in Camden, which coincidentally, is halfway between our two monument businesses. We were married in 2010, on our front porch, with our children Derek and Katelynn and lots of friends and family joining us.