Our business began in 1898, being founded by George N. Ewell and was known as George N. Ewell Furniture and Undertaking. In the early years, it was located on the corner of Fifth and Madison Avenues and also had a location on Walnut Street. it later moved to 410 Center Avenue.
In 1903, it became known as Ewell & Partenfelder when Walter Partenfelder became a partner of Mr. Ewell; however, Mr. Partenfelder died just four years later in 1907.
In 1911, Arthur E. Vallender joined the company and it became known as Ewell & Vallender. Mr. Ewell retired in 1920, at which time Mr. Vallender moved the business to its current location at 608 N. Madison Avenue. The original home, which has had additions to all sides, was the Meisel family home.
In 1943, Karl E. Penzien joined Mr. Vallender and the company name was changed to Vallender & Penzien Funeral Home and later to Penzien & Vallender Funeral Home. Following the death of Mr. Vallender, his name was removed.
The business was incorporated in 1974 at which time C. Baird Penzien and Richard C. Steele, both long-time employees, became partners of the senior Mr. Penzien. The company name was later changed to Penzien & Steele Funeral Home. Following the death of Karl Penzien in 1986 and C. Baird Penzien in 1992, Mr. Steele became the sole owner. In 1993, Richard C. Steele II joined his father in the business.
In 2003, the former Hanlin Chapel for Funerals in Vassar, Michigan was purchased by the Steele family. The same level of professional, dignified care that has been a main-stay of Penzien-Steele Funeral Home since 1898 is now available to families in need in the Vassar area.
The Steele family continues to operate the business with both father and son active in the operations. They have a strong commitment to serving families, and are proud to be a privately owned, family operated business.