Gifford Monument Works was established in 1934 by the Gifford family who operated the business until 2004. In 2011, the Kurz family acquired GMW and has been assisting families in southern central Oklahoma and north Texas memorialize their loved ones since.
Cleve & Judy Kurz – Owners
Cleve and Judy oversee business operations from their retirement home in Alamogordo, NM. They handle the purchase of granite and ceramic photo production. Cleve and Judy have been married for over 50 years and they enjoy spending their days golfing and hiking in the mountains of New Mexico. They understand that they have been blessed greatly by God throughout their marriage and will endeavor to honor Him in this venture during their later years and to be a help to those in need of memorials for their loved ones. This business has indeed helped them to better understand the scripture in Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
Nick Kurz – Vice President of Operations
The son of Cleve and Judy, Nick, was instrumental in getting the Kurz family into the memorial business with the purchase of Webb Monument located in Fitzhugh, OK in 2010, Gifford Monument Works located in Ada, OK in 2011 and his recent start-up The Monument Company located in Wylie, TX in 2017. All three are now managed as one company, Gifford Monument Works. Nick also owns Ada Memorial Gardens Cemetery and is upgrading the cemetery to include an upright monument section along with a 72-niche columbarium for cremation needs.
Jacqueline Rice – Accountant
Cleve and Judy’s daughter, Jackie, manages the books from her home in Austin, Texas. She is the proud mother of two, Jeri and her younger brother, and is happily married. She enjoys social events with the large Deaf community in Austin and surrounding areas.
Pamela Gaines – Office Manager; Sales Associate
Pamela manages the Ardmore office and is available to assist families in conceptual designs for their memorials. She also assists in ceramic photo production. Her and her husband spent a wonderful 25 years of marriage together and were blessed with three sons. The Good Lord called her husband home in 2015. Pamela and her sons share a love for horses and she has been a professional rodeo photographer for six years and running.
Burk Ozbirn – Design Artist
Burk has been with the company since the beginning with Nick. He has been responsible for some of our special projects and larger monument setting. The special projects he has overseen include cleaning, leveling and restoring monuments in an older cemetery, installation of mausoleums and the installation of granite signs for Oklahoma towns. He now focuses his talents on designing the memorials for production. Burk works with the customer on their design until they are completely satisfied to ensure the final product is something they love.
Steven Cooper – Production Manager
Steve has been making memories timeless with GMW for 27 years. He is responsible for the design and production of the memorials. Steve is happily married with six children. He enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing and serving his Lord, Jesus Christ.
James Mays – Production
James works side-by-side with Steve and focuses on sandblasting, painting and cleaning the monuments.
William Scott – Production/Installation
Billy works in the shop alongside James and Steve as well as going out in the field when needed.
Jesse Reed – Installation
Jesse installs the memorials in cemeteries all across southern central Oklahoma and north Texas.
Shawn Knickerbocker – “On-Site” Engraver
Shawn travels with a mobile engraving unit and engraves final dates on memorials that were previously installed.