T he Hofmeister Funeral Home was founded in 1906 by Albert Hofmeister, having received his funeral license, #206, after attending a two week undertaker course at Deadwood, SD. After settling in Chancellor, SD in 1897 he was united in marriage to Ida Mundhenke and together they operated a furniture store and funeral parlor. Albert would build the wooden caskets and Ida would line them.
Of their six children, Harold and Lauren followed Albert in the funeral profession. Harold attended mortuary school in Des Moines, Iowa and became licensed in 1929. He served his apprentiship in Irene, SD where he met and married Florence Hansen. In 1931 they moved to Parker, SD and established his own funeral home. They also operated the ambulance service until 1974 when it was taken over by the city. Harold, when not busy with funerals, also was in the home construction business.
Lauren attended mortuary school in St. Louis, MO and received his license in 1950. He married Maxine Purcell of Parker and they established a funeral home in Hurley, SD in conjunction with the one in Parker. In 1964 they purchased the funeral home in Presho and Murdo, later on the funeral home in Pierre. Their son, Larry, received his education at Kansas City and became licensed in 1985. He operated the funeral home for a time before moving on to other interest in the health profession.
Kenneth Hofmeister, son of Harold and Florence, attended mortuary school in Chicago, Illinois and received his license in 1960. He married Mary Lou Petrik of Lake Andes, SD and they operated the funeral home from 1973-1998. Also in conjunction with the funeral home Kenneth was the publisher of the Hurley Leader for a number of years. Kenneth was one of the founders of Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls in 1987.
James and Lori Jones purchased the funeral home in 1998 and opened the funeral chapel in Marion in 2001. Jim, a native of Parker, received his education from the University of Minnesota and Lori is a registered nurse. He also works at the Heritage Funeral Home in Sioux Falls when needed.
The Hofmeister women have also been involved in the funeral home. Florence and Mary Lou received their funeral directors license in 1962 and Maxine became licensed in 1967. Also, Florence’s brother Clyde Hansen and son Peter operated the Hansen Funeral Home in Irene. Today, Bill and Bob Hansen operate the funeral homes in Irene and Vermillion.
A celebration of 100 years of service by the Hofmeister Funeral Home kicked of the Turner County Fair on Sunday, August 13, 2006 in Heritage Park of the Turner County Fairgrounds at Parker, SD. After rain earlier in the day the sun came out with pleasant temperatures to greet the 1,700 people for food which included beef and homemade ice cream, and musical entertainment.
Although presently the Hofmeister family is not directly involved with the funeral profession in the state of South Dakota, their legacy of caring will always be remembered by the families they have served. It has been an honor and a privilege to have your trust and confidence and we plan to serve you to the best of our ability as long as Hofmeister is our heritage.