The history of funeral service in Holland goes back to 1865 when John Alberti had a livery and undertaking business located on East Ninth Street. In 1899, John Dykstra bought the undertaking business from Mr. Alberti and moved into the building next to the livery where he started Dykstra Funeral Home. It was there that John, his wife Josephine, and two daughters, Anna Marie and Ethel started the business.
In 1906, John was faced with a decision. George Azling, owner of the funeral home in Saugatuck, had a sudden heart attack and passed away while conducting a funeral. Not looking to expand, John felt compassion for Mrs. Azling, offering to buy the business, keeping Mrs. Azling as the caretaker and her family intact.
John was ahead of his time, bringing the first automobile hearse to the city of Holland in 1916. By the early 1930’s, John had employed Gilbert Vande Water and Julius Kleinheksel to help him run the business. In 1932, they established the city’s only ambulance service which was in operation for over 50 years. The untimely passing of John in 1938 left the responsibility of running the business to his daughter Ethel Kleinheksel.
By the 1960’s, Julius’s sons, Victor Kleinheksel and Carrow Kleinheksel had been licensed and were now running the business. Victor’s son Craig joined the family in 1975 and now his son Cort came on board in 2015. With this came the addition of Northwood Chapel (Douglas Avenue) and Mulder Chapel (32nd Street). While we still operate from Holland’s last original funeral home from the 1800’s, several additions have been added and a recent renovation makes the Downtown Chapel a convenient location for families in this area.
Today, we have 5 licensed directors. With family owned funeral homes decreasing, our family is committed to serving this community with dignity, kindness and compassion while making each family’s experience truly memorable. The rich sense of family in its 5th generation is still evident today and is carried on through the legacy of John Dykstra.
Because every family’s needs are unique to the situation, it is our goal to always honor a life well lived. To us, family is everything, and caring for your family is no different. Dykstra Funeral Homes has 3 locations in the Holland area and 1 in Saugatuck, offering your family competitive services and cremation to fit every budget.