Reviews & Testimonials from our Families

We take a lot of pride in serving our families. We feel that every family gets 110% of our attention during their time. If you feel that Gay & Ciha Funeral Home offered exceptional services to your family, would you share your experience with us and our readers?

Review & Suggestions

Compassionate, friendly, professional guidance in a moment of need

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

In loving memory Frank J. Roberts

Of all the professionals I have worked with over my 66 years, Adam Ciha was the absolute best. Hands down, he guided me and my family through the difficult time after my fathers death (Frank Roberts). Considering  all the decisions and arrangements to be done in a short period of time, Adam made everything happen, without feeling rushed. He was considerate, friendly, and  thorough. He was more like a good friend helping us. I really can’t say enough good things about Adam. Every time  I drive by the funeral home, I now smile  and think good thoughts about my dad.

Ron Roberts                                                                                                                                      In loving memory Frank J. Roberts

Into The Light

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

In loving memory of Alda HightshoeAs a child, passing by a funeral home used to give me shivers. Who would work at such a scary place? It seemed so depressing. My first experience with death came recently when my mother passed. I could not avoid the inevitable. Reluctantly, I made the call to Gay&Ciha. That’s when I met Dan and Adam. They could not have been more caring and sincere than if they were our own family. Their attention to every detail, accessibility, and efficiency was sprinkled with a light touch of humor to make us laugh. Now when I pass a funeral home or cemetery, the shivers are gone, and the depression has been replaced by a warm glow within me.

Susan Hightshoe                                                                                                            

 In loving memory of Alda Hightshoe

Grace when you need it most

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

Our family was lost with the death of my father. Dan was there for us with a steady hand and an answer for every question. We were very fortunate to be able to celebrate his passing with dignity and grace.

Greg Shaffer

If You Want the Very Best

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

Our family will be forever grateful to Dan Ciha and the staff at Gay & Ciha Funeral Home. They don’t come any better… professionally or personally. Following the death of my mother, Dan caringly and gently guided us through some difficult days and decisions. Warm, compassionate and knowledgeable throughout. They gave us everything that we asked for and more, taking care of all the little, but important details, that could have been so easily overlooked. They are truly extraordinary in every respect.

With heartfelt appreciation,

Peg Pangborn, Sharon Carter and family of Rose Van Hoven

It means more than I can say. You were awesome!

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

in loving memory of Duane Means

I just returned home from my father’s service and visitation. I felt love and compassion and surprisingly quite content. I believe both George Gay and Dan Ciha treated my family with utmost care and concern and my father was honored at this difficult time. Your staff was also thoughtful and caring. Thank you for the wonderful memories my grandchildren will have of their great grandfather’s funeral because you kind and gracious heart touched them as well. It means more than I can say. You were awesome!

Yes, I would recommend Gay & Ciha… 

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

Tremendous staff and services.

Our family has been truly lucky for your services and your compassion.
Your care is honest and sincere and it so helpful in difficult times.

Sent by email by Tiffany Elgin
Reprinted with permission.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Gay and Ciha for all that you do. A very special thank you to Dan for always showing such compassion when you are with him. He seems to know exactly what to do depending on who you are. My grandfather passed away in December of 2012 and the entire staff treated our family as if we were part of their own. When my great-grandmother passed away recently and we again used Gay and Ciha’s services, I was not surprised at the same way our family was treated. Death is always a challenging time. Gay and Ciha make that time more bearable and easier to cope with. Thank you so much to all of you.

Tiffany Elgin

Yes, I would recommend Gay & Ciha… 

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

Gay and Ciha Funeral home takes you into their home. With passion and patience every aspect of arranging, preparing is all taken care of by them. When you walk in the door you are greeted with a sincere kindness. Life can go by so fast sometimes. It is such a blessing to have them be a part of our family, too.

I particularly appreciated everything being taken care of on the front end. No detail was left uncovered. That allowed me to focus on friends and family…

Sent by email by David Christensen
Reprinted with permission.

In loving memory of Betty ChristensenI wanted to extend my thanks for the services provided by Gay & Ciha for my Mom and my family. Every part of our experience with Gay & Ciha was first rate. That includes our buying experience when we did the pre planning, extends thru the the few conversations we had prior to Mom’s services and certainly the services themselves.

I particularly appreciated everything being taken care of on the front end. No detail was left uncovered. That allowed me to focus on friends and family while Gay & Ciha delivered comfortable, caring services during a very difficult time.

Our sincere thanks for all that you and the Gay & Ciha staff provided.                    

In loving memory of Betty Christensen

David Christensen

Yes, I would recommend Gay & Ciha… 

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

I’m quite impressed with all the staff! By far, best in the area.

You Helped to Make it a Real Celebration of Life, Not a Burden

Posted via website survey.
Reprinted with permission.In loving memory of Frank E. Colony

We cannot speak more highly of Dan and his staff with our experience with dad’s funeral services! We feel like we were treated with the utmost respect and ‘family touch’ that you have worked so hard to build your business upon! All the special touches you provided from the casket upgrade, and final farm drive through, to all the background paperwork really helped to make a difficult time much easier and more memorable. You helped to make it a real celebration of life, not a burden!!!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Katie and Dean Colony, Peg Colony and family

In loving memory of Frank E. Colony

Thank you all for everything you have done for us

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

Posted by the Michael Sass family
Reprinted with permission.In loving memory of Michael A. Sass

Jeannette, Dave, and I would like to take a moment to reflect on the services that Gay & Ciha had for our son Mike. Thank you all for everything you have done for us. Kindness and caring comes to mind.I would recommend Gay Ciha to everyone because of those two things. To Adam, Dan, and the staff at Gay Ciha we just can’t THANK YOU enough.

In loving memory of Michael A. Sass

I would recommend Gay & Ciha to anyone and everyone. They were one of the many blessings that helped us get through the hours, days, weeks, and months that have passed.

Posted by Jamie Bormann
Reprinted with permission.

Posted by Jamie BormannEven a year after Mike’s passing – I still think daily of all that transpired – as I come out of the fog a little more each day and remember different pieces, the one thing that has always remained a constant is the positive feelings I have for Dan and Gay and Ciha. From the first night through the following year, Dan has been there for us whenever needed – from helping us pick out the perfect casket, to the wake, to dealing with me – keeping me going through the worst time in my life, he helped us. He and the staff were a constant steady, quiet supporting rock during the week and Dan continued to follow up / check on us throughout the next few weeks. His knowledge of the many things that needed done, the softness of his words while gently pushing us forward, the comfort of the funeral home, the interactions with our family, friends, and church – they could not have done any better in anything. . .

I would recommend Gay & Ciha to anyone and everyone. They were one of the many blessings that helped us get through the hours, days, weeks, and months that have passed. God not only blessed me with Mike for 20 years, five wonderful children, but also Dan, my wonderful families and friends. . .

I can not put into words how much Gay & Ciha helped us – only thing I can say is – they were as perfect as any person/company can be in a time such as happened.

 “…outstanding to work with”

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

by Ron Wenman
Reprinted with permission.In loving memory of Frances Wenman

In loving memory of Frances Wenman

From the first time we met with Dan to pre-plan my mother’s funeral. He was outstanding to work with. Dan allowed us to make decisions as appropriate, but offered recommendations when asked. Death is never fun to talk about or plan for, but from the pre-planning through the funeral and necessary follow up the Gay & Ciha team was fantastic to work with. I recommend them in the highest possible terms, and there is no one I would rather have caring for my loved ones when a death occurs.

 In loving memory of Frances Wenman

Genuinely Caring

by Christine Land. Reprinted with permission.

Gay & Ciha:

In loving memory of Donald F. Pirkl

In loving memory of Wilma K. Pirkl

I want to thank you on behalf on our family for the care you did for my grandmother (Wilma Pirkl) & dad (Donald Pirkl). As part of the family wasn’t able to make the funeral for my grandmother (due to surgery & dad in the hospital the day of the funeral), you opened your doors to us (after hours), so we could have our own time with her before she was laid to rest & did a video for dad, since he wasn’t able to see his mom.
In loving memory of Wilma K. Pirkl    In loving memory of Donald F. Pirkl

Also, you were so helpful with Dad’s funeral. Letting us bring his car & tractor to the funeral home & guiding us with the arrangements in just 3 days, cause of mom getting ready for chemo again later that week. You took your time & explained everything very well. We were able to leave information with you at late hours and take care of us by phone calls when we had questions. I can’t put it all into words, but can honestly say you treated us as family & did a wonderful job for us in our times of sorrow & loss. And dad looked great.

Thanks for all you did for the family of Donald Pirkl.

Genuinely CaringIn loving memory of Bill Bartlett

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

by Dan and Diana Bartlett

Dan Ciha was loyal, adhered to all our requests and gave us even more than we would ever have expected. Every little detail was taken care of to perfection and we didn’t have to worry about anything. He was caring and compassionate and truly filled with the Holy Spirit to fulfill his vocation.

Thank you so much and God bless you all.
Dan and Diana Bartlett


In loving memory of Bill Bartlett

With great compassion and understanding
He treated my husband like family.

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

by Marilyn Jensen

Funeral Service provided by Gay & Ciha Funeral Home & Cremation ServicesDan had worked with Richard doing military services for years, so he had a first hand experience many times over how a service was held either at the home or the grave site. He always was most considerate of the men who sometimes had to wait for a long period in all kinds of weather.

So when my husband passed away, we called Dan. He met the family and they too were very impressed. We met with Dan around the table and he explained everything to us and took care of many little extra details. He took us to the casket room explained briefly, and we were left to decide entirely on our own.

He answered emails very quickly and was very helpful with all the arrangements and suggestions. We were so pleased he suggested using St. Wenceslaus for viewing as funeral Mass would be there the next day. It is a little more difficult to do a viewing with so many pews, but he even made that work out beautifully and had the people sit down to wait, excusing few at a time, so no one had to stand a long time to wait for viewing and visiting with family.

Veteran's Honors BurialHe also suggested having two sets of pall bearers to include not only the family but military members as well, who all wanted to be a part of my husband’s funeral. The man in charge of the military service said usually one call they just show up and do their thing but my husband had a one and only service that probably will never be duplicated and Dan was very helpful with all the many details that ensued pulling this all off. He was right there many times to help me before and after the funeral.

I cannot express enough what a very super man he is to handle anyone’s service in a very dignified personal manner. He treated my husband like family.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

I would highly recommend Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service
Helpful to have decisions made ahead of time

by Barb Fisher-KruegerIn loving memory of Ronald Dee Krueger

I would highly recommend Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service.

Dan has the perfect personality to make a stressful event easier to deal with. I have dealt with this business on several occasions and was always pleased with their service. I also highly recommend visiting with them before the event – while you are in good health and can think more clearly.

Ron & I did this shortly after we were married, 6 years ago, and it was helpful to have decisions made ahead of time.                                                                                                                                       

                                        In loving memory of Ronald Dee Krueger

the best in a difficult time
5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

by Marilyn Larson

In loving memory of John G. LarsonGay & Ciha’s is the absolute best in a very difficult time. Dan is truly caring, creating an atmosphere of compassion and ease to make the necessary decisions. Because of his professional integrity, we were able to have a most personal and memorable service for our husband, father,and grandfather.

I heartily recommend Gay & Ciha! This is exactly the place to meet the needs of a grieving family, the very best.

                                                                                                                            In loving memory of John G. Larson

A wonderful place

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

by Kelsey Griffin

In loving memory of Rick A. “Griff” GriffinAlthough my dads passing was very unexpected we felt like Dan and the people at Gay & Ciha really made us feel warm and they made the service very special to our family and my dads friends. There was never a moment where we did not feel as if the people at Gay & Ciha truly were there for us and had our best interest at heart.

I would recommend Gay & Ciha to anyone because losing a family member or friend is really hard and having people to support you in that time like Dan helps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In loving memory of Rick A. “Griff” Griffin

Yes, I would recommend Gay & Ciha to a friend or family member

For the warmth of love and compassion… utmost professionalism… You are graciously and humbly outstanding

Makkwop Yamsat

Dan, On behalf of our families here and in Nigeria, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to you and all who serve at Gay and Ciha for the warmth of love and compassion you showed us during the death and funeral arrangements of Makkwop.

God brought you into our lives at that time to comfort us and also teach us to admire and appreciate those who do the work you do. Despite the uncertainties of our situation and last minute decisions, you honored Makkwop in ways we could never imagine. Dan, your words were very comforting, your flexibility was simply amazing, your adjustment to, and 
understanding, of cultural differences were very benevolent, kind and compassionate. We felt that you were a brother grieving with us and taking the steps and decisions we were too weak to take. And yet you did all your work with utmost professionalism.  Our sincere gratitude to Lisa too.

Please keep doing what you are doing because you are doing it very well and many more people NEED YOU. With regards to your performance, please hold your heads high because you are graciously and humbly outstanding!

Sunday Goshit and Rev. Pandang Yamsat for the family of Makkwop Yamsat

Thank you for everything.

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

by Roger & Jacque WaddellIn loving memory of Christina Waddell

Dan Ciha:

We can’t say enough for your compassion and caring, and for the attention to detail in planning for our daughter’s funeral.

Our experience with you was wonderful and we would recommend your services to anyone.

Jacque Waddell

         In loving memory of Christina Waddell

Yes, I would recommend Gay & Ciha
You will not find anyone better than Gay & Ciha’s!

When circumstances necessitate seeking the services of a funeral director, you can be assured Gay & Ciha Funeral Home is undeniably the best to be found! You will not find anyone more trustworthy or compassionate than Dan Ciha and his staff.

When planning my Dad’s funeral, Dan explained the differences in caskets and vaults, but you can be assured that he did not act in the capacity of a “salesman”.

Dan and his staff not only did an excellent job preparing our loved one for funeral services, Dan went to extremes in order to fulfill any request and alleviate unnecessary stress for our family. Dan and his staff ordered the flowers, arranged music, prepared and printed the funeral program, contacted the pastor and ladies church committee and ordered food for the post funeral luncheon, all exactly as requested by the family. He also attended to several details, days and weeks after the funeral, including inscription on the headstone and acquiring death certificates. They also make it very convenient to pay all the expenses with one check, after receiving an itemized bill from Gay & Ciha’s.

All our needs were met and executed by a very loving and empathetic group of people. They offer gentle and respectful guidance, while providing tender comfort for the family. Whether planning a funeral, or attending a visitation, or funeral of a family member, friend or neighbor, you can be assured the staff at Gay & Ciha Funeral Home will always make you feel as if you were part of their family.

You will not find anyone better than Gay & Ciha’s!

I cannot express to you how many family and friends that attended stated that it was unlike anything they’ve ever seen and was just a wonderful ‘Celebration’

5 Star Review to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home

Verona Irma Ruiz

Dan Ciha,

On behalf of our family we want to thank you personally as well as acknowledge all the staff members at Gay & Ciha Funeral Home who helped organize, plan, and arrange the awesome creative lay out and formatting of pictures for our Mom’s program.

Even though I had met you before, it was the first time my siblings met you when you drove in from Iowa City late Thursday March 29th to pick up our Mother.  Your professionalism, tenderness, care and understanding were above and beyond what we could have ever expected.                                                                                                                                                                    

Knowing how out of it we all were that night, without hesitation, you offered to come back the next morning to go over details for the Obituary, program etc. You kept us focused, yet gave us the time we needed to absorb all that was happening, and needed to get done.

You suggested that we take as much time needed for the personal closure.  I think some of us thought we didn’t need it including myself. When we all decided as a family to stand by her side that Saturday morning, one final time, it was such a relief for us all!  We now have with us her memory being that of peacefulness.

Your staff did exceptional! We appreciated you as the Funeral Director as you personally handled everything from start to finish making sure all the details were perfect. Your facilities at 2720 Muscatine Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240  made the perfect setting for our ‘Mother’s Celebration of Life’.  I cannot express to you how many family and friends that attended stated that it was unlike anything they’ve ever seen and was just a wonderful ‘Celebration’.

Great Job and Thanks again,
from the Family of Verona Irma Ruiz

I have to admit that for most of my life I have held a personal bias against folks that work in your profession.

I just wanted to thank you again for all that you did to help arrange my mom’s (Anna Culp) memorial service.  All (family) requests were made possible and were conducted with attention to detail and great warmth and understanding of who mom was and how we felt about her. It was a great relief for all of us to know that you were attending to details behind the scene, allowing us to focus on letting mom go with dignity.

I have to admit that for most of my life I have held a personal bias against folks that work in your profession.  It was largely based my own misconceptions. I know now that, at least in your case, this bias was my own failing.

Matt Culp

How do you tell what the difference is from one funeral home to another?

As told by Julie Dill, daughter of the late Jean Dill

Glen & Jean DillI think it’s all got to be based on personal experience. It’s the relationship with the the people that run (the funeral home). I think that’s what has differentiated Dan for our family. When the time came and we contacted him he could not have been more accommodating and just made it so incredibly easy, he had everything organized.  We didn’t have to think about a thing.  From the moment we contacted him until after the service was over.

And then his accommodation to allow us to keep my mom’s urn here. You know just being so flexible and willing to open up the funeral home at any time, to make it comfortable when my dad wants to be able to come by. I don’t live here, so I come when I come to visit. He’s just an incredibly kind man. He makes my dad feel really good, about keeping my mom here.  And knowing that when it’s his time to go, as well, that he’s going to get that same kind of care as well.

Glen & Jean Dill – In loving memory of Jean B. Dill 

“He makes you feel like you are the most special and
the only family that he has ever, ever had to (care for).
And I’m certain that every family has had
that similar experience.“

And whether it’s a young child or my 85 year old mother and the circumstances around that. You know you are the only thing that matters at that moment. You never feel rushed and you know it’s just whatever time you need. That he will take care of you and make sure that your family is taken care of.

One of the other things he did for us – we picked out an urn for my mom’s service and he said, “You don’t have to make a final decision on what you want to do.  We’ll just find one that’s nice for the service, and then you can come in and pick a different one.”  So we talked about it, just in general.  And when we came back he had actually been listening to us.  He had created a box that has the image of my mom and dad on the top of it.  And he’s got their names engraved in it, because my father would like his ashes to be with my mom’s when it’s time. Dan said, “I don’t know if this is something that you’d like.”

It was ironic because the inlay around this urn, just a simple wooden box, looked like the inlay that we had on our coffee table when we were growing up. And it was perfect.

He said, “Well, you don’t have to take this. I just wanted to give you an example of something we could do.”  But he had taken that extra step, and we all looked at and said, “This is perfect.”  So that was it.  It was two years ago.  But I mean it was just that, proactive. You know, really hearing what we were saying about what we thought we needed.  And he acted on it.  It was great.

It’s that attention to details that he picks up.
Those tiny little details.

We loved the atmosphere… It felt more like someone’s home.
I felt you really cared.

In loving memory of Fritz and Wanda WeberA letter from the family of Fritz and Wanda Weber

Adam and Lisa,

Thank you for everything. You were invaluable in helping my brother and me achieve a beautiful memorial service. You were easy to work with, accommodating and picked up the pieces for us when we didn’t know what to do. You were patient, sincere and went above and beyond in meeting our needs. We loved the atmosphere of your place. It felt more like someone’s home than an impersonal funeral home. I felt you really cared. 

                                                                                                                             In loving memory of Fritz and Wanda Weber            Gay and Ciha Funeral & Cremation Service

Truly Grateful to Have Had Your Service During All This

A letter from the Jayne Rogers Family

Jayne RogersAdam and Dan –

Thank you so much for what you’ve done over the past week. You have allowed for us to put mom to rest and provide the closure needed after such a long struggle.

I am truly grateful to have had your service during all this. You added years to mom and gave us an ever-lasting image of beauty to last the rest of our lives.

Thank you so much for everything and we are very grateful for your friendship.  Adam did a phenomenal job and was always there when I needed him – even on his day off!!

Kevin, Brandon and Colton Rogers                                                                                                                        
(and Marge… too!)

The Little Gold Heart

Our funeral home has always believed that everyone deserves to be cared for in a respectful and loving manner, whether the death is of an elderly person who has enjoyed many years of life or it’s that infant child that never took a breath in this world. We have for many years provided services to parents of babies who have died during birth or following at no cost, but with much compassion and care.

One such family shares their story with us following the death of their baby here in Iowa City. Cara and Garren Zanker’s little boy, Connor died before his birth, they asked us to help care for their little one. They wanted to have cremation take place so they could take Connor back home with them to cherish his memory forever. A couple days after Connor’s death, Garren and their daughter, Kayley made a trip back to Iowa City from Dyersville to bring home Kayley’s little brother, Connor, in the little gold heart that contained him.

Here is their amazing story….

Taking Connor Home

By Garren ZankerTaking Care of Connor

I don’t know if it matters or not, but I’d like to share what happened after Kayley and I picked up Connor.

I thought I would share a story about the next day when I went back to Iowa City. Just Kayley and I went in the morning, we got to the funeral home and waited in the lobby. While we were sitting there, I showed Kayley some pictures of Connor on my phone and explained to her what happened to him. I told her that he wasn’t in mommy’s tummy anymore and that he was born the day before and was very sick and that he died.

She got a little sad and looked at me. “Connor died? Is Mommy sad?”

I said yes but we were at the funeral home to pick him up in his special golden heart, so that we could still take him home. That was when the funeral director brought out the urn. I took it out of the little black velvet pouch and showed the gold heart to Kayley. She wanted to hold it, so I gave it to her, but told her to be careful like it was a little baby. So she took it and gave it a little hug and rocked him in her arms.
American EagleWhen we got in the car, Kayley was still holding him, (she held him the whole way back) as we were driving, she was talking to the heart, so that Connor could know what was out the window. She told him all the stuff she was seeing, all the buildings, the trees, the birds, everything!About half way back, I saw three bald eagles out in a field and I pulled over so we could look at them. While we were sitting there, Kayley looked at me and said, “Daddy, Connor turned into an Eagle, he’s a bird now and can fly!”

I didn’t know what to say, I could only agree with her. I don’t know how she came up with that alConnor turned into a bird, and can flyl by herself.

As we got back on the road, and about five miles up the road, I saw another eagle flying, as it went to land in the field though I was amazed, (and I wished that I had a camera) because there were at least 30-40 eagles on the ground. It was a once in a lifetime moment.

As we continued home, I saw eight more eagles flying around or in the trees, including one right outside our house when we got home.

thanks again,

Garren and Cara Zanker