HANCOCK COUNTY — A longstanding mortuary business with a presence in the county is still a family business; it’s just now with a different family.
Stillinger Family Funeral Home has acquired Hendryx Mortuaries, with locations in New Palestine and Cumberland. The new owner looks forward to carrying on his latest assets’ family-oriented tradition, which dates back more than 130 years.
“I’ve been always kind of keeping my options open to expand the business,” said David Stillinger, owner of Stillinger Family Funeral Home.
He always knew Tom Hendryx, former fourth-generation owner of Hendryx Mortuaries, but not closely. When Stillinger heard from a friend that Hendryx was looking for someone else to take on his business, it sparked the talks that resulted in the recent acquisition.
Stillinger admires how long the business lasted in the area under the same family. It aligns with his desire to keep his business in his family as he works with his son, Jordan, whom he hopes to see take over one day.
He’s paying homage to that longevity by naming the new locations Stillinger Family Funeral Home Hendryx Chapel New Palestine and Stillinger Family Funeral Home Hendryx Chapel Cumberland. It follows the tradition set by naming the Greenfield location the Pasco Chapel after the family from whom he initially bought his business just over 20 years ago.
Stillinger said he’s excited to use the opportunity to serve more people in Hancock County and also Marion County, with the former Hendryx location in Cumberland.
He and his team will provide their existing services at both the New Palestine and Cumberland chapel locations, including full cremation and funeral options, pre-planning, pet services, grief therapy dogs, monument sales and other services.
The New Palestine facility, where Hendryx Mortuaries got its start in 1888, is located at 19 E. Main St. The Cumberland facility is located at 11636 E. Washington St. Stillinger said both are slated to receive electronic upgrades to sound systems and video capabilities.
He said he expects the expansion to grow his staff, adding he’s already bringing in another funeral director.
Hendryx said he’s excited for the next chapter of his family’s business and believes Stillinger is the perfect fit.
“I had heard great things about David and have seen what he has done since taking over the Pasco Chapel,” Hendryx said in a news release. “Seeing the success he has had, the fact that he is a local, small-business owner that holds similar values and loves our community made him easily the best fit for taking over my family’s business.”
For Hendryx, Hendryx Mortuaries has been his whole life. He grew up in the business and joined the family to work in 1978 right after his college graduation. He said he’s ready to back away from working and enjoy the next chapter in his life.
“Working with David has given me peace of mind that the business is being placed into good hands,” Hendryx said. “I am excited for him to implement new technology and a fresh perspective while serving the families of this community.”
The acquisition is Stillinger’s second major move of late, following the acquisition of Penny’s Florist, which he’s moving into the former Jim Dandy Family Restaurant location.