Our Beginning

In 1978, Bill and Jeanie Cooper began a 35-year journey that would forever leave its mark on the legacy of St. Joe Monument Works. Bill was a talented artist who brought his unparalleled gifts to the monument business. With Jeanie managing the office and helping with sales, they proved to be quite a dynamic duo. Their children also grew up in the business, often playing in the back while their parents helped customers up front. Bill and Jeanie made Southwest Michigan their home and serving the community their commitment.

Bill and Jeanie’s contributions are nearly impossible to catalog. Their portfolio includes the granite sculptures and war memorials located on the Bluff in St. Joseph, the Korean War Memorial in Niles, and countless monuments erected in cemeteries throughout Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Bill and Jeanie’s talents and service to families will be remembered, literally in stone, for generations to come.

Next Chapter

In 2013, a new chapter began in the St. Joe Monument Works’ story when State Senator Ryan Mishler of Bremen Monument Company partnered with Daniel Blevins of Ligonier Monument Company, to acquire and operate the business. As licensed funeral directors, Ryan and Daniel were not new to serving families or to the granite industry.

Since the transition, Ryan and Daniel have worked carefully with the Coopers and the entire St. Joe Monument Works team to ensure that improvements to the facility and business would not compromise the service to families. Those improvements have included a complete remodeling of the showroom, designed and led by Ryan’s very talented fiancée, Christina Williamson. Additionally, technological improvements now offer families the option of seeing a complete virtual design before the monument is placed into production, as well as having the option to include state-of-the-art laser etchings.

While technology often makes our lives easier, the artistic touch of the human hand can never be replaced. That quality remains a valuable asset in our shop with our resident artist, Antwan Gipson. Training under Bill for nearly twenty years, his skill level is unmatched. Antwan’s talent, paired with the incredible sandblasting abilities of Erin Ziegert, and the design work of Crimson Chainey combine to produce an exceptional finished product.

Our final product continues to be what it always has been, the end result of a great team effort. With our team led by Ryan Mishler, we have worked to deepen our roots locally while extending our reach. Ultimately, we realize that we wouldn’t be here today without those who have been here before us. St. Joe Monument Works has been a family owned business, serving families faithfully since 1913. We are privileged to carry on that tradition and are honored to serve you and your family.