The funeral home was founded in 1881 — the same year President Garfield was assassinated and a gunfight took place at the O.K Corral. From then until earlier this year, the business was family owned. But when the last of that family line turned 80 this spring, the business was passed on to others who had worked closely with the family over years.
But President and General Manager Robert Carmical, who has worked at the funeral home since 1994, says that while some things have evolved over time, the service hasn’t changed.
“We’re here to help,” said Carmical. “The [work we do] is in the little things, like printing booklets and arranging the music. It’s a celebration of this person’s life.”
Over time, Carmical said there’s been some evolutions in the funeral industry. Most funerals were traditionally held in homes or in churches, but with the slow erosion of church connections, Carmical said businesses like his are seeing more people asking to hold the services at the funeral home. Accordingly, the old church-style pews have been replaced by chairs.
He also said cremation has become more popular as an alternative to burial.
Carmical’s favorite thing about funerals is learning about people.
“You learn things about people, like their hobbies,” said Carmical. “These are things some people don’t know about [their friends], like they collected stamps or toys, or how everyone has a sweet tooth.”
Ashley Hopko contributed to this story