Longtime Jasper funeral director David Shultz has ventured out on his own, and he has opened the fifth funeral home in Jasper. In addition to Coleman’s Mortuary, Forest Oaks Funeral Home, Robinson Community Funeral Home, and Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home, Jasper is now home to Shultz Funeral Home, located in the old Tonahill Mansion on South Wheeler Street.
Shultz, who will enter his 30th year in the business in March 2014, says that he has taken what he has learned working for other funeral home owners, and applied it to his funeral home.
Shultz stressed “We deal with people who have a broken heart, and part of our service to them is trying to make them feel as comfortable as possible, considering what they are going through”. With that in mind, Shultz said the funeral home will feature all of the comforts of home, combined with a very professional atmosphere. “This won’t be a cold place, like a typical funeral home”, Shultz said.
In the transformation of turning a mansion into a business, Shultz has been very careful to keep certain areas of the building just like it was when the home was built in 1941. The kitchen, for example, will remain a kitchen and open for families just like the kitchen in their home. However, Shultz said the current appliances are being replaced with commercial grade appliances, and he is also adding commercial grade coffee and cappuccino machines. For example, Shultz said families are welcome to use the kitchen to heat up food during their visitation.
Shultz is also keeping the large den on the south side of the first floor as an area for visitation. With its fireplace and large windows, Shultz said the room is very inviting, and comfortable. Outside, Shultz is making a sun room and adjoining patio available during visitation for those who want to enjoy the weather. All of the visitation areas are connected to the kitchen.
On the north side of the first floor is the large formal living room, which Shultz is converting into the chapel for funeral services.
Upstairs will be the business offices of the funeral home, including one room which is being set up as a children’s play area, and another room which is the showroom for caskets and urns.
Behind the mansion is a smaller building, which houses the preparation area and a crematory.
Although the mansion is still being transformed into a functioning funeral home, Shultz says that he has already conducted over a dozen funerals at local churches, as well as cremation services. Meanwhile, Shultz said the building should be able to host its first funeral service in early November, and an official grand opening is planned soon afterward.
Shultz said “We’ll offer every service and amenity expected of a professional funeral home and crematory, but we’ll also provide a warm and inviting atmosphere, just like you were in your own home”.