STURGIS — Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis is under new ownership.
The Kinkade family had operated the business for more than 55 years, but in December, Kinkades became employee-owned as a member of Pioneer Enterprises, Inc., a group of regional employee-owned funeral service businesses headquartered in Sioux Falls.
Jim Taylor will serve as the owner-manager of funeral chapel. Randy Brennick is stepping back from the day-to-day operations and will be semi-retired, Pioneer officials said.
Calls to Brennick and Taylor were not returned by news deadline.
Black Hills Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sturgis and Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City are also area members of Pioneer Funeral Homes.
Marlowe and Helen Kinkade purchased the Kinkade Funeral Chapel from Harold Anderson and John Stingley in 1967. Before that time, the chapel was operated as the Anderson-Stingley Funeral Home since the early 1900s.
After nearly 50 years in business, Marlowe and Helen Kinkade reluctantly stepped away from the business in 2015. Brennick, the Kinkades’ son-in-law, took over the operation of the funeral home before transitioning to the employee-owned status in December.
The business will retain the Kinkade Funeral Chapel name.
Gary Maassen, who has been with Pioneer since 1983 and currently serves as CEO, said he has known the Kinkades, including their daughter Kamala and her husband Randy for years. The decision to move to an employee-owned business under Pioneer was a way to pass the torch, he said.
“Many family firms no longer had succession within a family. We have become an alternative for those families to feel comfortable in allowing their employees to go forward in an ownership role and a management role,” Maassen said.
The company is an employee-owned affiliation of funeral directors in South Dakota and Wyoming.
“I’m kind of like the administrator - like a hospital administrator,” Maassen said. “We believe in local ownership and management.”
Pioneer provides support not only to the new management, but also by offering group health insurance and other services in the ever-changing funeral home business, Maassen said.
“The whole objective of the group is to try to stay abreast of what families want, what is important to them, how their needs are changing, and how culture is driving some of those needs,” he said. “Within the group, there is an exchange of ideas that prove effective for everyone.”
Those choosing Kinkade Funeral Chapel should know that many of the same individuals who have been there for years will still be providing quality service to clients, Maassen said.
It’s more critical now than ever during the pandemic to offer support to families, he said.
“Because of the pandemic, we haven’t been able to support our family and friends in a loss as much as we have in the past. I would definitely recommend to people that they write a note or call. Just reach out to those who are suffering. It’s a very lonely time for people. Let them know you are there for them. That is so important,” Maassen said.
Other funeral homes operated under the umbrella of Pioneer Funeral Homes include Clausen Funeral Home, Burke; Eidsness Funeral and Cremation Services, Brookings; Furness Funeral Home, Clark; Geise Funeral Chapel, Estelline; George Boom Funeral Home, Sioux Falls and Brandon; Kuhler Funeral Home, Huron; Mason Funeral Home, Winner; Miller Funeral Home, Sioux Falls and Hartford; Wass Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Beresford; Rude’s Funeral Home, Brookings; Welter Funeral Home, Huron; Will Funeral Chapel, Mitchell; Ballard Funeral Home, Cody, Wyo.; and Hudson’s Funeral Home, Lander, Wyo.
“Our business is about providing what people need. And people need to know that this affiliated group is going to take care of the people in their community,” he said.
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