Brendes become partners in funeral business
April 24. 2013 12:59PM
Ross Brende and his wife have begun the process of purchasing Kahler Funeral Home from third-generation funeral director Mark Kahler.
Brende, 33, has worked in the funeral service industry for about 15 years and became a licensed funeral director at Kahler Funeral Home in 2004.
When Kahler brought the Dell Rapids-native on, the long-term plan was to eventually transition the business into Brende’s hands.
On Jan. 1, Ross and Tiffany Brende became Kahler Funeral Home partners.
“I’m very fortunate that Ross came along in a very timely part of my life,” he said. “I was able to train him and have him be capable of doing everything that needs to be done here … so I can start slowing down a bit more.”
But for Kahler, the start of the partnership doesn’t mean he’ll be retiring anytime soon. Kahler, 52, said he‘ll continue to be active in the business, whether it be directing funerals or just washing cars, for at least another 12 years.
“I don’t want people to think I’m retiring and I won’t be here, because that’s not true,” Kahler said.
In the funeral business, people look for familiarity, so having a long-term transition plan allows the community time to get comfortable with new people and faces, he said.
“This is just a way to make sure everybody’s taken care of,” Kahler said.
Brende said he’s thrilled to be a partner at Kahler Funeral Home, and he takes pride in serving his hometown.
“It’s an honor to take care of former teachers and friends and neighbors that trust you with their loved ones,” Brende said. “It’s the ultimate honor.”