Amos and Ruth Van Etten opened a funeral home and ambulance service in 1932, operating out of a store front on the northside of Windmill Park in Orange City. Three years later, in 1935, they moved the funeral home to their residence on the corner of Arizona Avenue and First Street Northwest in Orange City. In 1945, Amos agreed to provide licensed work to the Claerbout Furniture Store and Funeral Home in Hull and later purchased the funeral home from the Claerbout’s.
Brothers Merlin and Dale Kraai, both natives of Orange City, began helping the Van Etten’s in the 1940’s and early 1950’s. After completing mortuary school in 1957, Dale purchased the funeral home in Hull from Amos and constructed the new Kraai Funeral Home on the west side of his home in Hull. Merlin Kraai purchased the Orange City funeral home in 1972 with his son, Dan, who was a licensed funeral director. They opened their new facility at 216 Albany Avenue Northeast in Orange City in 1973.
In 1975, Gerben and Jan Van Gelder opened the Van Gelder Funeral Home on the north side of Orange City. In January of 1977, Larry Oolman purchased the Van Etten Funeral Home in Orange City from the Kraai Family and changed the name to the Van Etten-Oolman Funeral Home. In 1983, Dale Kraai retired, and sold his funeral home in Hull to Larry and the name was changed to Kraai-Oolman. Four years later, Gerben Van Gelder sold his business to Larry, and the funeral home in Orange City became known as Van Etten-Oolman-Van Gelder. Gerben and Larry worked together until Gerb’s retirement in 1997, when Larry’s son, Chad, joined the business as a licensed funeral director and the name of the business was changed to Oolman Funeral Homes. In 2001, Larry and Chad purchased the Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Hospers from Chap and Will Vander Ploeg. Larry’s daughter, Lori, decided to also be a part of the funeral home and became licensed in 2010.