NEW ULM - It is official today. Minnesota Valley Funeral Home has purchased Schmucker Funeral Service from Jeff Schmucker, and it will be operating both funeral chapels as Minnesota Valley North, at Third North and Broadway, and Minnesota Valley South, at Sixth South and Broadway.
Schmucker said he and his wife, Sue, had been thinking about selling the business for the past couple of years. It has been on the market, but Schmucker hadn't contacted Minnesota Valley about the idea of purchasing it.
Bruce Savoy, general manager of Minnesota Valley, said he heard about Schmucker's being for sale earlier this year from other funeral directors. He brought the idea of making a bid to his board of directors.
Staff photo by Kevin Sweeney
Jeff Schmucker, owner of Schmucker Funeral Service, and Bruce Savoy, general manager of Minnesota Valley Funeral Home, stand outside the Schmucker Funeral Service chapel on South Broadway in New Ulm. Minnesota Valley has purchased the funeral service from Schmucker.
With the board's approval, Savoy sent a letter to Schmucker indicating their interest, and the deal was made.
Savoy said Minnesota Valley takes ownership of the funeral home in New Ulm, and the Schmucker chapel in Hanska. Minnesota Valley already has chapels in Nicollet and Gibbon.
Schmucker, who has been in the funeral profession for 36 years, will stay on with Minnesota Valley during the transition period, but will be moving to the Twin Cities. Sue Schmucker, who works for the Minnesota Department of Revenue, has accepted a transfer to the Edina Sales Tax Unit of the department and has already begun work there. The Schmuckers are in the process of selling their home in New Ulm, and are looking for a house in the west Metro area.
Savoy said he would be keeping on all the Schmucker part-time employees. Schmucker's assistant, Linda Leger, has decided to retire.
Savoy said the Schmucker facility will be staffed certain hours during the week. The Schmucker facility will give families another option for visitations and services, especially at times when large crowds are expected for another visitation at the same time.
Savoy said the purchase of a competing funeral home in New Ulm will not result in higher prices for funeral services.
"We operate as a cooperative, and our prices are set to cover our operations, and surplus funds are paid back in dividends to our members," he said. "Our rates may go up in the future, as costs go up, but it won't be as a result of this sale."