Clinton C. Baker founded what was to become
the Olson Funeral Home in Truman, Minnesota in 1911. Service
to the people of Southern Minnesota became a family tradition
when Mr. Baker's son-in-law, Edward E. Olson joined the firm
in 1919. Mr. Olson, a pharmacist at Foster Drug, received
a degree in Mortuary Science from the University of Minnesota.
Ed and his wife, Bernice Baker Olson settled in Truman and
dedicated their lives to helping people cope with the loss
of a loved one through death. To serve families better, they
expanded the firm to include a location in Fairmont, when
they purchased the Homer Jones Funeral Home in 1936. In 1940,
they built the funeral home at 5 Downtown Plaza. Since then,
several additions have been made to that location.
They selected associates who shared their sensitivity and
compassion for bereaved families. George C. Hultgren joined
the firm in 1946 and served as a funeral director until his
retirement in 1981. Laurence Olson also served the firm as
a funeral director for over thirty years. Continuing the legacy
of daughters and son-in-laws committed to funeral service,
Neal and Jane (Olson) Huemoeller assumed responsibility of
both funeral homes in 1965. In 1972, a fourth generation daughter
and son-in-law, Greg and Helen (Huemoeller) Hilgendorf joined
the firm. In 1979, the firm expanded again, purchasing the
Goodell Funeral Homes of Fairmont and Ceylon. Greg and Helen
became part owners in 1981 and sole owners in 1986. In April
of 1992, the Olson Funeral Homes were the first firm to join
with Prime Succession, Inc., a funeral home merger and acquisition
company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Like many other funeral
homes that took the corporate funeral service path, Olson
Funeral Homes found out the hard way that this was a bad decision
for both the funeral homes and families they served. After
numerous staff changes, John E. Zaharia was hired in October
of 2000 to manage and operate all three Olson locations.
December 21st, 2001 John, along with his wife Teresa, purchased
the Olson Funeral Homes from Prime Succession, Inc. The funeral
homes took on a new name, Zaharia Family Funeral Homes, to
reflect the local ownership. The focus of the funeral homes
was put back onto service to families and respect to survivors.
A guarantee was put on the funeral homes’ services…if
there’s anything we didn’t handle up to a family’s
satisfaction, they don’t pay for it! We are simply that
detail oriented and are genuinely dedicated to serving our
In November of 2002, Teresa obtained her insurance license.
Teresa and Nan Darnell offer burial insurance services to
our families with the flexibility to meet the scheduling needs
Zaharia Family Funeral Homes looks forward to the future with
this promise to the families we serve: Compassionate Service…from
Our Family to Yours.