December 3, 2013
Two local family-owned businesses have joined their staff and resources to ensure a strong future, not just for the new partnered firm but for the benefit of Crawford County area families. Richardson-Davis Funeral Home in Galion and Snyder Funeral Homes of Mansfield have partnered to form North Central Ohio’s premier funeral service company.
Richardson-Davis, owned by Kenneth and Rhonda Davis, has served Crawford County residents for 160 years. Founded in 1853 by Philip Herbold Sr., the business was sold in 1927 to Herman Volk, who in 1948 took on a partner Robert “Bob” Richardson. Bob hired Ken Davis in 1978 and sold the business to him in 1985. Ken’s daughters wish to pursue other interests, and Davis knew that an important community resource like Richardson-Davis needed a quality succession plan that was both thorough and thoughtful.
“Since my girls are not interested in coming into the business with me, I knew that responsible business planning was required. I wanted to partner with a company that would ensure excellence. I looked for a family oriented funeral care firm that would continue serving Galion area families with the Richardson-Davis quality… and even help us improve our level of service,” Davis said.
Years ago he began conversations with his longtime friend and fellow funeral director, Todd Snyder. Snyder and his family operate funeral homes in towns just like Galion in nearby Richland, Morrow, Marion, Knox and Delaware Counties. Numerous Snyder family members are licensed funeral directors. Todd’s wife Linda is a director, his 24-year old daughter Hannah was recently licensed, and his 22-year old son Gideon is finishing his education at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and will return to the family business. Seven members of the Snyder family, third- and fourth-generation funeral professionals, work in the family business.
Ken Davis will continue with the business, assuming a principal position with the Snyder Funeral Homes organization. The combined operation will retain the entire Richardson-Davis staff, headed by Galion native and longtime funeral director and embalmer Charles “Chuck” Jackson. Chuck joined the firm in 1989, and holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. Additional staff affords greater flexibility in scheduling pre-planning consultations, arrangement conferences, funeral services, burials and cremations. A new full-time position will be filled by Bucyrus native Eric Sparks, who will move to Galion from Defiance. A Colonel Crawford High School graduate, Sparks will be a very familiar face to Crawford County families. Employees in the Galion location include Susan Miller, Pat LaForest, Terry Roston, Ken Klingelhafer, Marilyn Stepro and Dick Stowe.
The Galion location will be renamed Snyder Funeral Home Richardson-Davis Chapel. Founded by Todd’s grandfather Ora O. Snyder in 1922 in the small Morrow County village of Johnsville, Snyder Funeral Homes has no affiliation with the former Snyder-Kubach Funeral Home or Mark A. Schneider Funeral Home.
Snyder admits the name change may cause some initial confusion, but Ohio law requires him to add his name to the business.
Combined, the new company offers Crawford County families expanded access to professional vehicles, an in-house media department, and four cremation facilities. No other funeral care firm in Crawford County owns and operates its own cremation facilities. “That’s so important to our families who opt for cremation,” noted Snyder. “Controlling our own crematories assures timely service to our families who choose cremation and provides a continuum of care that ensures peace of mind…their loved ones never leaves our care.” The larger company permits purchasing on a bigger scale, which affords lower end costs to families. Pre-Planned and Pre-Funded funeral accounts remain intact with the Richardson Davis Chapel.
The shared resources and personnel make the new operation more efficient. “My family is always looking to partner with other funeral care firms, but not every firm meets our criteria,” Snyder said. “The importance of excellence in funeral care is clear: some events only happen once. More than a business, we view funerals as a family milestone. There is no option to re-do a poorly handled funeral, so selecting a superior funeral care firm ensures no regrets. The Richardson-Davis and Snyder companies have operated parallel in philosophy and excellence. Effective November 25, 2013, the time was just right to combine the two.”