Family owned business celebrates 100-year milestone

Local News

MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) — A local business that specializes in making memorials is also making history this weekend as it turns 100 years old.

Shafer Memorials works in celebrating the memories of those who are gone, and they’re taking this weekend to look back on their own legacy, and they want you to be a part of it.

Even in death, Kim Swank and her family has always found a way to keep things feeling lively.

“Monuments should tell your story. By all the artwork we can do now, things have changed so we really can tell your story, so anybody coming past your stone, looking at it, can tell a little bit about you besides just your name and your dates,” Current owner and fifth generation family member Kim Swank said.

Usually, graves are marked to honor those who have come and gone and, this Saturday, they’re marking one to honor a milestone. This century-old local, family-owned business has been a part of the Shafer’s since 1919.

“My great, great grandparents Harry and Kora Shafer started the monument business right here; the same location as we are now. Then my parents had it for the longest amount of time. They had it for 40 years and took care of the business as the fourth generation. Now, my husband and I took over the business in 2011; we purchased it from them,” Swank said.

Swank and her husband, Rick, work with their son Jeremy, whom, one day, plans on being the next one to take on the family business.

“It means a lot, you know… six generations… one hundred years… not very many people can say that,” Son and sixth generation family member Jeremy Swank said.

They’re having an anniversary open house this Saturday to celebrate their success; Keeping the memory of their legacy more alive than ever.

“It’s just great to carry the family traditions forward and be able to move forward with all of the changes… we’re just so excited,” Swank said.

The celebration starts at 11 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m., And anyone is welcome to come and learn about their history.

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