“We couldn’t see it [Mathews Funeral Home] being sold and made into apartments,” said Barb Feiss.
After a quick discussion with Tom Hawkins, they decided to bid jointly when the building went up at a tax auction. Later a partnership was formed to include Tom’s wife, Wendy, and her brother Mike Mathews. Wendy and Mike’s father, Walter “Bud” Mathews, ran the funeral home for over 30 years and was well respected and liked in the town.
Meeder’s Restaurant was the scene of a welcoming reception on Sunday, July 26 for new Ripley Funeral Director Steven Von Volen.
A 2006 graduate of SUNY Canton College of Technology with a degree in Mortuary Science, Steve and his wife, Vanessa, plan to work together.
“I have my certificate in cosmetology and I’m completing my Mortuary Science residency soon,” said Mrs. Von Volen.
Along with their 3 month old baby girl, Madison, they currently live in Fluvanna, but will be moving soon to the Fantauzzi Funeral Home in Westfield, where Steve currently works under the direction of Michael Fantauzzi in the Westfield and Fredonia funeral homes.
“We eventually want to move to Ripley,” said Mr. Von Volen. “It’s important to be a part of the community and we hope to serve everybody well. It’s an honor to work with the people of Ripley. We definitely feel welcome here.”
Mr. Von Volen has worked at Addison Funeral Home in Angola as well.
Many people at the gathering expressed feelings of gratitude that Ripley once more has a local funeral home.
Owners of Mathew Funeral Home are, from left to right, Tom Hawkins, Wendy Hawkins, Steven Von Volen (Funeral Home Director), Michael Fantauzzi (Fantauzzi Funeral Homes), Barb Feiss, and Mike Mathews.