New owner, same name

Gunderson takes over Larson-Weishaar Funeral Home in Manson

-Submitted photo
Dean Weishaar, left, and Rob Gunderson meet at Larson-Weishaar Funeral Home in Manson recently. Weishaar retired after 45 years as a funeral director, and Gunderson became the primary funeral director at the Manson funeral home when Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Fort Dodge bought it.

MANSON — The funeral home in Manson has a new owner, but it will still have the same name that area residents have known for some 40 years.

Larson-Weishaar Funeral Home has been acquired by Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services, of Fort Dodge, in a transition triggered by the retirement of Dean Weishaar.

Weishaar bought the Manson funeral home in 1982 and spent most of his 45-year career there.

Weishaar said when he started thinking about retirement, he contacted Phil Gunderson, the owner of the Fort Dodge funeral home. He said he believes the transition will be good for him, good for the Gundersons and good for the Manson community.

“Their family-run business and values perfectly align with ours,” he said.

Gunderson added, “Dean and I have been friends and colleagues for many, many years and have the utmost respect for each other.”

A strong relationship developed between Weishaar and Gunderson after the Manson funeral home was destroyed in a 2002 fire. Weishaar said Gunderson allowed him to use his facilities until a new funeral home was completed in 2003.

Gunderson said taking over the Manson funeral home is “a real good fit for us.”

He said the Manson community will not notice much difference, adding that the name of the funeral home will not be changed.

“We’re going to adapt to their customs,” he said.

Rob Gunderson, the son of Phil Gunderson, will be the primary funeral director at Larson-Weishaar Funeral Home.

“As a younger generation taking on significant responsibilities, we are honored to carry Dean’s exceptional legacy forward,” Rob Gunderson said. “It is our privilege to maintain the tradition that he has established over the years. We extend our warm wishes for him for a fulfilling retirement and a well-deserved rest.”

Other members of the Gunderson Funeral Home staff will help as needed.

“We’ll all help take care of the families in Manson,” Phil Gunderson said.

Weishaar said he will help the Gundersons “as much or as little as they need.” He said he and his wife will continue to live in Manson. He said they plan to spend more time with their families and may do some traveling.

Larson-Weishaar: A Rich History

Today’s Larson-Weishaar Funeral Home has a history that dates back more than 100 years.

The funeral home was established sometime before 1916 in a Main Street building that also housed a furniture store. In 1916, S. R. Williams bought the funeral home from its founder, W.D. Long. He died in 1927, but his widow and son continued to operate it.

In 1936, the funeral home moved into a large old home known to longtime Manson residents as the Kaskey house.

In 1951, Don Larson bought the funeral home, then in 1982 Dean Weishaar purchased it.

The funeral home was destroyed by fire in January 2002. The current funeral home opened on the same site in January 2003.


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