After starting in the funeral business in 1955, working with two of Anderson's well respected funeral establishments, and with many prayers and sleepless nights, my family and I decided to put out our own little shingle, take what we had learned and put it to good use.
It seems like yesterday when we first opened our doors, way out on 53rd Street. We suppose it was a little daring because at that time, all the funeral establishments were centrally located in the downtown area. We felt and hoped the south side of town would soon be growing and if we were going to do things right, we would need a little room to accomplish our goals.
We wanted to offer a funeral home that was conducive to the whole community. A funeral home all on one level with no steps, with spaciousness and a homey-like atmosphere. A place where one could just let us tend to their needs so they could visit with their consoling family and friends.
It wasn't long before we needed to expand. At this time, not only did we add on to our existing building, but we also decided that we would give the families a place to make their arrangements away from the hustle and bustle of the main funeral home. We utilized the old buffalo barn on the northeast corner of the property and converted it into what we now refer to as , "The Carriage House".
The Carriage House was well received. It incorporated our arrangement room, the casket and vault selection room and much needed storage. We designed it to look like one's family room or den at their home, with a fireplace and a game table for us to sit around while making arrangements rather than a desk in an office setting. At this point, we were also able to add some needed personnel, additional funeral directors and secretarial assistance. Prearranging funerals was becoming more and more accepted so we needed to have the staff to not only tend to the current funeral business but also to the future business.
In 1986, we expanded both the main building and the Carriage House and we also implemented a chaplaincy or aftercare program to help the families with their grief process and adapting to their losses. This program was the first of its kind in the area and has strived to help not only each family we serve but also several school classrooms, church groups, senior citizen groups, other grief support groups through seminars, tours, and a very extensive grief support library.
In 1991, we built the first and what remains the only crematory in the area. We wanted to be able to handle all aspects of the cremation process "in house" so we would not have to rely on an outside source and also to alleviate any additional transportation costs to the families desiring that type of service. Each year, the cremation rate increases throughout the United States. We offer a variety of cremation services, caskets specifically made for the cremation process, urns, cremation vaults, keepsakes and even cremation jewelry.
We also implemented another program which means a lot to me and my family. Since there are so many women and men who put their lives on the line for my family and this community each and every day, we wanted to give back. In 1996, we offered to each Fire Department, Police Department, Emergency Management Team, and State Police Department, paid or voluntary, which serve Madison County, that if any of those would die in the line of duty, we would provide a service with full honors including a Stainless Steel or Cherry Hardwood casket, and a 12 gauge Galvanized Steel Vault at no charge to the family. This would allow any benefits or pensions to be used for the surviving family rather than the funeral services of those who devoted themselves to the community's well being.
In November of 2000, we began to utilize the beautiful Paramount Theatre in downtown Anderson as the backdrop of our first annual Remembrance Service. Our goal for this service is to bring family and friends together to remember their loved ones and to celebrate a life through special music and encouraging words. We know that grief has its own set of seasons and its own timing. For many people, memories comfort, empower, enrich, and honor those we love so dearly. Our hope was that the service was a source of strength and comfort throughout holidays.
It was 2001 when we had a fire that completely destroyed our Carriage House. After two years of building, in 2003 we completed our current Carriage House. The new Carriage House includes the Arrangement Offices, a selection area for all types of funeral and cremation merchandise, our Community Room where events can be held by the families we serve and also rented by general public for any type of event, and our Cremation Center with public viewing room.
Our pet cremation division began in 2007 and has evolved into Loyal and True Pet Cremation Services which is also housed in the Carriage House. We have a large selection of pet related items in our pet arrangement office which is dedicated to the pet families of our community.
In June 2010, the Robert Loose Family donated our North Chapel facility to the growing Ivy Tech Community College. The former North Chapel will now house new classrooms, an educational laboratory, a conference center and offices.
This donation allowed Ivy Tech the ability to transfer approximately eight acres of ground which is attached to our South Chapel property on 53rd Street. The additional acreage will allow us to opportunity to add many services and to increase the Memorial Gardens at our South Chapel. We are currently working on the development of this beautiful area behind our South Chapel.
We are continually striving to expand and improve upon the services we offer to this community. We hope that you would let us know if there is anything that we could implement to better serve.
Robert D Loose