NYM-based Karvonen buys Belmont Funeral Home in Henning [UPDATED]Published 10:47am Wednesday, January 9, 2013 Updated 10:50am Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Two funeral homes that have long-standing ties in Henning and New York Mills became one family when Greg and Suzi Karvonen of New York Mills purchased Belmont Funeral Home in Henning Jan. 1.
Both businesses were started in the early 1900s, both operated funeral homes and furniture stores, and both have a proud history of taking care of families.
“We are proud to continue the Belmont family tradition,” said Greg, owner of Karvonen and Son Funeral Home in Mills.
Karvonen and Son Funeral Home was established in 1926 by Yalmer and Ina Karvonen. Harold and Nancy became the second generation of Karvonens to run the funeral home when they purchased the business in 1954.
Greg and Suzi joined his father in the business in 1993, and purchased it in 1998, becoming the third generation of Karvonens to operate the business.
Larry purchased Belmont Funeral Home from his father in 1986. His family name is one of the oldest in Henning — the family arrived in Henning in 1898, when Andrew Belmont moved his wife and six children to the community. He was active in the business community, first operating a lumber store, then a general store in Henning. The funeral home was started in the early 1900s. In 1943, they moved the funeral home to its present location in Henning.
The purchase made sense to Greg, who said he and Larry have stepped in to help each other for the past eight years.
“We’ve really gotten to know the town and its families,” said Greg. “It’s a great hometown.”
The Belmonts also helped the Karvonens when Greg was in a serious motorcycle accident in 2006.
“Larry and Gayle ran our funeral home, no questions asked,” said Greg. “They took care of it like it was their own. We’ve gotten close over the years.”
The Belmont Funeral Home name will stay in Henning, Greg said as it has a 107-year history of helping families there.
“There will be a seamless transition,” he said. “We are keeping the same staff; They’ve become friends over the years.”
Larry will continue to work part-time for the Karvonens.
“I’m still going to be around, but in a lesser capacity,” Larry said.
“I’m doing something I’ve seen other people wait too long to do.”
He’s looking forward to being free to travel more to Mexico and would like to go there more. And of course, the hours will be better.
“I’ll be free to not get up in the middle of the night,” he said.