Our facilities were built as single family homes in the mid to late 1800’s. Our chapels, located in Tecumseh and Clinton, have been in business since the 1940’s. The history of our facilities is provided below along with a virtual tour of the current funeral homes.
The original single family home in Tecumseh was constructed in 1865 as an Italianate style home for Dr. Harrison H. and Cordelia A. Peters. Dr. Peters was an ear, nose and throat specialist and kept his office in his residence.
The house was purchased in 1883 by Enoch and Jane Cook. Mr. Cook was a wholesale buyer of wool, grain and livestock and other farm products.
Fred and Edith O’Dell owned the house from the early 1920’s until 1942. Mr. O’Dell was a carpenter by trade.
Ellsworth and Viva (Gretal) Collins became owners of the house in 1942. They lived in the house and operated their funeral home and ambulance service business from the house as well.
By 1962 Thomas and Katherine Corkery joined the funeral home business with the Collins’, giving the new name of Collins-Corkery Funeral Home. The Collins’ were unfortunately killed in a car accident prior to 1962.
On July 28, 1964, Lester and Lucille Proctor bought the funeral home and ambulance business from the Corkery’s. The Proctor’s were residents of Clinton and had owned the funeral home there since 1950. The Proctor’s completely remodeled the building by removing some walls and a corner fireplace from one of the parlors.
The ambulance services to the community were an important and demanding part of the business. In 1968, the state requirements increased greatly and the services were then being provided by other agencies.
Lestor’s son Roger joined the family business in 1975, until 1983 when the Proctor’s sold the business to Gary L. Couture and Lester Proctor's nephew, Leonard K. Stark. At the time, Gary had been an employee for nearly twenty years before acquiring ownership.
Mr. Stark sold his share of the business to Edward and Mary Ochalek in 1988. The Ochalek’s were also part owners of the Ochalek-Stark Funeral Service, located in Milan, MI.
In 1989, extensive remodeling of the building took place on both the interior and the exterior. A second story was added above the garage to closely resemble that of a carriage house, and is commonly mistaken to be part of the original structure.
Nick Handler joined Couture-Ochalek Funeral Home in 1995 as an employee and became a full partner in 1997, renaming the business to Couture-Handler Funeral Homes.
Nick Handler then became a sole-proprietor of Couture-Handler Funeral Homes in April of 2006. The business name was changed to Handler Funeral Homes on September 1, 2006.