Oliver’s daughter, Joyce Hoplin Shea, and her former husband, Michael E. Shea, joined Oliver in 1984, with Oliver's grandson and wife, Michael J. Shea and Lara, becoming members of the family firm in 1992. Oliver died in 1998, after a long battle with cancer. Ole, Oliver, Michael E., Michael J. and Lara were all graduates of the Mortuary Science Department, University of Minnesota. Joyce also was very active in most all aspects of the business. Her commitment and dedication to the business was evident in her warm smile and genuine, caring spirit. Michael Jr. eventually took over the day-to-day management of both locations and continued in that capacity until the summer of 2006 when God called him into children’s ministry. Michael and Lara’s pending departure prompted the family to seek a buyer for the funeral home and it was through mutual church friends that Paul Hitchcock and his wife, Nancy Melgaard Hitchcock, learned of the opportunity to own their own funeral home in Glenwood.
On July 20, 2006, the torch was passed from the Hoplin and Shea families to the Hitchcock family. Paul is a 1997 graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science. He spent the next 10 years working for various funeral homes in the Cold Spring, St. Cloud and Albany, Minnesota areas. Paul was born and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota and attributes his interest in funeral service to a close family friend who owned the funeral home in Hibbing when he was growing up. Nancy was born and raised in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. She is a licensed attorney, having practiced law in Cold Spring, Minnesota for 14 years before the family’s move to Glenwood. Paul and Nancy have 2 sons.
While much of the funeral home staff has remained unchanged since the sale, in January of 2007 the Hitchcocks welcomed the addition of Dawn (Svec) Jenson, a licensed funeral director, to their staff. Dawn is originally from Lowry and comes to Glenwood from Hutchinson, Minnesota, with 3 years of funeral experience.
Change in life is inevitable and constant. This family-owned firm has witnessed many changes, from beginning operation in Lowry in 1917 out of the family home, to its facility in Glenwood in 1946, the addition of the Glenwood chapel in 1962 and the Brooten chapel in 2002 and, most recently, the sale of the business to the Hitchcock family in July of 2006. Even so, the firm’s vision remains unchanged, as does its commitment to faithfully serve the families who entrust to us the care of their loved ones. After all, the one thing that will never change is our goal of providing excellent service with integrity and compassion, for these values are at the core of who we are.