Robert A. Gordon, Jr.
President & CEO
Bob Gordon, Jr. is a California native and 1988 Business Administration and Marketing graduate from San Diego State University, and has been in the funeral service and cemetery industry since 1980. As a 4th generation funeral industry leader, he was born into a funeral and cemetery family and began his career in funeral service at the age of 15 on the grounds crew of his grandfather’s firm, Oakdale Mortuary & Memorial Park in Glendora, California. He eventually would work in every position at the cemetery and funeral home, rising to the level of Vice President and remaining there until he left the family business after 14 years of service. He became the Director of Sales for the San Diego-based El Camino Group for two large funeral home/cemetery combinations that served a large portion of the local Hispanic and Filipino communities. From there, he moved to Service Corporation International (SCI), where through a series of promotions, he was made the Market Sales Director for Orange and San Diego Counties. His leadership encompassed twelve locations, including six large funeral home/cemetery combinations and six stand-alone locations that together produced $85 million annually in arrangements. For over 18 years, Bob had consistently ranked as one of the top Sales Executives in SCI North America prior to accepting the position of President and CEO for Cypress Lawn Cemetery Association. He is also a licensed funeral director and cemetery broker. Bob is married with 5 children.
Kenneth E. Varner
Ken Varner, retired President and CEO of Cypress Lawn, transitioned to consultant and Chairman of the Board of Cypress Funeral Services, Inc. in June 2017, leaving a 21-year legacy of innovation and continuous growth. During Varner’s tenure, Cypress Lawn built a strong endowment fund to care for the cemetery well into the future, increased its financial strength to better serve the community, and expanded the cemetery to meet the needs of the public. The staff of Cypress Lawn grew from 50 employees to over 200 employees under Varner’s leadership. Some of the most recent innovations at Cypress Lawn include the construction of a new cemetery to benefit the community for the next 125 years, plus a new funeral home, cremation facility, and reception center – the first of its kind serving San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.
Director of the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation
Terry comes to Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation to lead our membership and gifting programs plus provide a unique background to assist the Foundation fully to develop the programming side of our educational mission. Terry has two Master’s degrees in history from the University of Michigan and from King’s College Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. He has over twenty years of experience as a professional antiques dealer and auctioneer. He has led, on a part time basis, many of our tours and lectures over the last twelve years on a variety of subjects here at Cypress Lawn. He has also created Cypress Lawn’s own version of “Antiques Roadshow” which has been very popular with our members and guests.
Planned Giving Specialist
Legacy Society and Foundation members, together with anyone contemplating a membership in Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation, may contact the Foundation’s planned giving specialist Phil Murphy to discuss wills, living trusts and other basic estate-planning and charitable-planning tools, without cost or obligation. Though not a substitute for legal advice, the information Phil provides can prepare you to meet with you attorney to discuss these sensitive and sometimes confusing subjects. Phil will speak to individuals or to groups.