Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service History
In 1987, Benjamin R. Needham and John M. Storey merged their respective funeral homes in Marion (Needham & Son Funeral Home)and Gas City (Jay-Swift & Storey Funeral Home), to form Needham-Storey Funeral Service operating funeral homes in both Marion and Gas City. At the time of the merger, Paul A. Shane, J. Mark Storey and Steven A. Wampner joined John and Ben as shareholders in Needham-Storey Funeral Service, Inc.
Benjamin R. Needham retired from the firm in 1997 and his interest was purchased by the firm through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The firm's name was changed to Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service in 2000.
In 1912 Benjamin Franklin Needham opened B.F. Needham Funeral Home in the 300 block of South Branson Street. Fifteen years later in 1927, the funeral home was moved to the corner of 6th and Washington Streets. While at this location, Mrs. Ben (Lola) Needham became the first licensed female embalmer in the state of Indiana. In 1930, Raymond E. Needham joined the funeral home and it was moved to 805 South Adams Street. The funeral home's name was changed to Needham & Son Funeral Home in 1935. In 1936, Raymond served as the President of the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors when the main body of current state law pertaining to funeral practice was adopted. The funeral home was moved to 814 South Adams in 1946 and continued in operation until the building's sale in 1996. In 1969, Benjamin R. Needham joined the firm.
In 1989, a new 13,000 square foot funeral home, North Chapel, was opened at 1341 North Baldwin Avenue and featured 4 chapels. The Funeral Planning Center at 1337 North Baldwin Avenue was opened in 1996. This building was designed to provide an intimate, private setting where families can make funeral arrangements.
Gas City History
L.C. Frank established the L.C. Frank Funeral Home in the east portion of the Avalon Hotel at 310 East Main Street in Gas City in 1892. Mr. O.H. Jay joined Mr. Frank as a partner in 1933 and the firm became known as the Frank, Jay Funeral Home. In 1936, they purchase the property at 400 East Main Street, which was the original Gas City Land Company office. Mr. R.N. Swift purchased Mr. L.C. Frank's interest and the firm became known as Jay and Swift Funeral Home in 1946. Mr. John M. Storey joined the firm in 1960 and purchased an interest in the firm in 1963. The name was then changed to Jay-Swift & Storey Funeral Home which it remained until the merger with Needham & Son Funeral Home in 1987 and it's name was changed to Storey Chapel. The business was moved from an adjourning lot to it's current facility when a funeral home was constructed in 1981.
Mr. Perry Wyckoff opened a funeral home in Swayzee in 1918 on Washington Street next door to the current post office and later in the same location as the post office. Mr. Morris Rybolt purchased the business in 1945 and changed the name to Rybolt Funeral Home. In 1953, the business moved to it's current address, 400 North Washington Street in a building designed specifically for funeral service. Mr. Philip Rybolt owned the business from 1979 until his retirement in 2000, whereupon he sold the funeral home to Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service. The funeral home is now known as Rybolt Chapel in honor of the Rybolt family's dedication to the Oak Hill Community.