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Hanover Funeral History

I n the 1920’s, a funeral director by the name of Mike Paepke, owned a building just west of where the Vlach Meat Market was located. He used the building for making furniture and caskets.

In 1937, W.E.A. Meeks purchased Paepke’s funeral business. Meeks had already owned a funeral parlor in the west half of Sedlacek’s furniture store and later moved it to a house east of Willard’s Garage. Not long after this purchase, Buddy Champain, an employee of Kinsley Mortuary in Marysville, moved to Hanover and offered to buy Meeks out. Buddy did not own a hearse at that time and rented one when needed from Kinsley Mortuary. Shortly after the end of World War II Buddy closed his business.

During the same period of time that Meeks and Champain ran funeral homes in Hanover, John J. Sedlacek also had a funeral business. Before the war John had hired Harry George and Sheldon Farrell to do his embalming work. Harry George later moved to Washington, Kansas and opened the Harry George Funeral Home. Sheldon Farrell headed west to California. Art George, who worked for Perry Meat Packing, would occasionally help embalm for Mr. Sedlacek. He did this until he moved to Washington to work for Ward Funeral Home. During World War II, Mr. Sedlacek used Ben Grophus and Frank Tauber of Greenleaf to do his embalming. Mr. Sedlacek’s son, Francis Sedlacek, attended the William Institute in Kansas City for embalming. Mr. Sedlacek’s other son, Joe, became a funeral director in 1942.

In 1972, the Sedlacek’s sold the family funeral business to Guy Locke, an employee of Ward Funeral Home in Washington. He moved the funeral parlor from the west side of Sedlacek’s furniture store to the Jaedicke house.

In 1983, Jon Padden and Cleve Walstrom purchased the funeral home from Guy Locke. They then built the current funeral home just south of the Jaedicke house.

In 2007, Jon retired and sold his shares to Dustin Zutterman, a long time employee.

Cleve Walstrom and Dustin Zutterman are the current owners of the Hanover Mortuary.

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