After working for six decades in a business where death prevails, 87-year-old George Boom and his wife 86-year-old Faye are surprisingly happy. That's because in the business where so much is focused on loss they have gained friendships through meeting people in the community.
"Sioux Falls is such a great town and has so many wonderful things, but most of all it has people that really care about each other," George said.
As they sit back and enjoy retirement, the duo says the business of death has taught them a life lesson or two about life and love.
"We served funerals all over Sioux Falls and have many friends all over Sioux Falls. But our church is on the east side. We were married in the church 63 years ago," George said.
They are working as a team for life. George and Faye have not only been happily married for almost 63 years, they've also worked side-by-side and built the George Boom Funeral Home business from the ground up.
"She is very important to this establishment and the maintenance of this funeral home," George said. "I'm fortunate to have found a girl that liked the funeral home as much as I did."
"It was no problem. I think it was kind of enjoyable. It was no problem," Faye said.
Even before opening their self-titled business on the east side of Sioux Falls, the couple lived and worked downtown.
"The funeral home operation was simple, we bought the old Banton Funeral Home in 1954 and we ran that ten years downtown," George said.
George and Faye founded the George Boom Funeral Home in 1964. The business still sits where it first began on east 10th Street.
"Those days we had no pagers or no cell phone, so I would tell her, 'I'm going to go here, but I might stop here.' I would sometimes get a call at those places and she would say 'hurry back!" George said.
The Boom's settled on the east side of Sioux Falls and say the community has been their stronghold all these years.
"Serving families, getting to know the families and understand their problems and just be helpful," George said.
They both agree that they have received much more from the community than they hoped to give. Today, the couple leaves behind a legacy: George and Faye's only son is in the funeral home business and their grandson is currently working his way up.
"My son took his son up to the University of Minnesota and he enrolled. And he's just graduating from State this year and doing his graduate work up at the University of Minnesota. So, he'll be licensed and working for one of the funeral homes in town," George said.
As for their positive outlook on life, even though they've been surrounded by death, both agree the community has gotten them through.
"We've very thankful. Our thanks goes to the people of Sioux Falls who allowed it to happen. We made ourselves available and we were called up enough to become established," George said.
The Boom's officially retired last year after working for 65 years in the community. They say these days they stay at home, George works in his woodshop and Faye spends a lot of time making sure George is well fed.