T he institution known now as the Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home of Van Wert started in business over 110 years ago in Middle Point. It was organized by Rev. E.F. Gamble in 1903. After only two years, it became necessary to move the business to larger quarters and Rev. Gamble selected Van Wert as the location of the young and flourishing institution.
In 1926, Rev. Gamble was joined in his business by Gordon H. Alspach, who had married Rev. Gamble’s daughter, Grace. Shortly thereafter, the name of the company was changed to Gamble & Alspach. Rev. Gamble remained active in the business until his death in 1934, but the funeral home continued operating under the Gamble & Alspach name until 1955 when it changed to Alspach Funeral Home.
In 1957, Gordon and Grace Alspach’s youngest son, John, started his career at the funeral home. John worked with his father until Gordon’s death in 1975. Shortly after Gordon’s death, Michael Gearhart was hired in 1975. Tim Jurczyk joined the funeral home in 1988.
In 1989, Alspach Funeral Home became Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home, the name it still bears today. John ran the business until his retirement in 1993, at which point Gearhart and Jurczyk bought the funeral home from John who later passed away in 2009. Rodney Bevington was hired in 1994 as a funeral director’s assistant and stepped aside in November 2011.
1996 saw the addition of the Van Wert Crematory. Investing in a brand new state-of-the-art crematory, Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home became the only full service on-site crematory in Van Wert County- which still holds true today.
In 1998 the Van Wert business opened its doors in the neighboring community of Convoy, Ohio with the construction of a brand new facility, Gearhart & Jurczyk Funeral Home, to better serve the clientele of western Van Wert County.
Andrew Gearhart joined the staff of Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home and Gearhart & Jurczyk Funeral Home in 2001. In 2003, Michael Gearhart sold his ownership shares to the current ownership group of T. Jurczyk and A. Gearhart, but he continues to remain active in the business to date. In early 2012, Steve Alspaugh & Craig Staley were hired as a Funeral Director Assistants, and in 2015, Sean Sauer joined the firm as a funeral director and embalmer.
Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory and Gearhart & Jurczyk Funeral Home are honored to serve the families in our area and proud to be in our 5th generation of local ownership.