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Our History

/OolmanFuneralHomes/History01.jpgIn 1932, Amos Van Etten founded the Van Etten Funeral Home in Orange City. Originally located in a business building on the town square, he later moved the business to his residence, where it remained for nearly forty years. In 1972, Dan and Mert Kraai purchased the business, and they constructed a modern funeral home on the edge of the business district. In 1977, the Kraais sold the business to Larry Oolman, a native of Orange City.


  /OolmanFuneralHomes/History02.jpgRuth & Amos Van Etten /OolmanFuneralHomes/History03.jpgDan Kraai, Amos Van Etten, & Mert Kraai  

/OolmanFuneralHomes/History04.jpgIn 1987, the Van Gelder Funeral Home, which had opened in 1975, was also acquired. Gerben Van Gelder, also a native of Orange City, assisted Larry, until retiring in 1997, when Larry's son, Chad, joined the family business. An addition was completed in 1998, and the facility's exterior was completely renovated to reflect the community's Dutch architecture.


/OolmanFuneralHomes/History05.jpgThe Claerbout Furniture Store in Hull began offering funeral services in 1903. The funeral business was purchased in 1947 by A.D. Van Etten, and operated out of a business building in downtown Hull. In 1960, Mr. Van Etten sold the business to W. Dale Kraai. Dale constructed an addition to his residence in Hull to provide facilities for the Kraai Funeral Home. The Oolman family purchased the business in 1983 and continued to operate out of the Kraai's former residence. In 1996, a new ground level chapel and parking lot were completed on the west side of Hull, to better serve the community.


For many years, the Vander Ploeg Family assisted the people of Hospers with their funeral arrangements, utilizing local churches for visitations and funerals. In the 1980's, Chasper Vander Ploeg added a room for visitations to his residence. In 2001, the Oolman family purchased the business from the Vander Ploegs. A new visitation chapel was completed in 2002.