After decades in funeral service, the Harvey Anderson and Johnson Funeral Home still holds fast to its tradition of service to the area in serving the needs of bereaved families.
Harvey Anderson Funeral Home's roots go back to the 1930's when Harvey Anderson, a native of the Pennock area, went to work for his uncle, Adolph Benson, at the Willmar Furniture Co. and for his uncle's partner, Victor V. Nelson, who was a mortician. In 1932, Harvey earned his mortuary science license from the University of Minnesota, and then worked as a mortician with Nelson and Benson for nine years before opening his own funeral home.
The beginning of today's Harvey Anderson Funeral Home came on May 1, 1941, when Harvey and his partner, Burton Sperry, established the Anderson-Sperry Funeral Home. They acquired the brick home at 404 7th St SW, that formerly belonged to Willmar dentist, Oscar Hedin. The building was remodeled in 1947, and Harvey and his wife, Blanche, moved into the apartment above the funeral home, where they lived and raised their three children. As more area was required, extensive remodeling was completed in 1955.
The staff was increasing and the funeral home was expanding. In the 1950's, Blanche Anderson earned her funeral directors license. Then in 1966, Keith DeJongh and his wife Marlene, came to Willmar from his home community of Rock Rapids, Iowa to work for Harvey Anderson. Keith had graduated with a degree in mortuary science from the University of Minnesota. In 1968, Harvey purchased the Kerkhoven funeral home from Carter Severied. In 1975, Keith and Marlene DeJongh became the new owners of Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar and Kerkhoven. In 1976, a new funeral home was built in Kerkhoven.
There was another expansion in 1986 with the purchase of the Smith Funeral Home (the former Gordon Yock home) in Clara City, now known as Harvey Anderson Clara City Funeral Home.
In 1989, Richard and Violet Johnson, of the Johnson Funeral Homes, sold their funeral homes in Willmar, New London, Paynesville and Belgrade to Keith DeJongh and Roger Bengtson. The Willmar chapel, located on First Street closed following the sale. In 1991, the building was sold to Doctors Norris, Gustafson and Nagel of Family Eye Clinic.
In 1996, the Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar moved from the 404 7th St SW location, to a new facility at their current location, 1000 19th Ave SW.
In 2004, Harvey Anderson Funeral Home added a crematory to expand their funeral service, known as West Central Cremation Service.
Keith and Marlene DeJongh began selling stock to Roger Bengtson & Nathan Streed in 1998. In 2004, Roger Bengtson, Nathan Streed and Steve Maher completed the purchase of Harvey Anderson and Johnson Funeral Homes and in 2012 Roger Bengtson retired. Today, Harvey Anderson and Johnson Funeral Homes continue to serve families by providing meaningful service with professionalism, dignity and care. Every effort is made to pay careful attention to detail and to respect each family's wishes in order to create a personalized tribute that meets the family's specific needs.