Oct. 9, 2020
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
BRILLION – Sarah and Jason Pielhop understand the significance of becoming the first non-Wieting family members to own Wieting Funeral Homes, serving Brillion and Reedsville.
But to them, Merlin “Fuzzy” and Kathy Wieting, the longtime owners of the funeral home, are like family.
“This is something that they wanted us to do and trusted us to do. Fuzzy’s dad started here back in 1957, so I mean it’s a family legacy,” Jason said.
“It was awesome that they trusted us with that,” Sarah said.
“We’re literally living in the apartment that they grew up in and now it’s ours,” Jason said.
“We’re doing the same story they did. We’re working here, we’re living here, we’re going to be in the community for a longtime,” Sarah said.
The marquee outside now reads Pielhop Wieting Funeral Homes, making it official that Fuzzy, who became a licensed funeral director in 1978, and Kathy, are retired from the family business.
Fuzzy and Kathy’s succession plan to the Pielhops was first discussed in 2015.
“Five years ago they talked to us and trusted us to continue being in Brillion and Reedsville if we could figure out a way that it was feasible,” Sarah said.
The transitional process did not start until 2019.
“It started with the business evaluations and stuff like that then COVID happened so that slowed a lot of stuff up. We had probably, I think three, closing dates,” Jason said.
The new sign has been ready since March and stored until two weeks ago when the closing date finally happened. The delays in the ownership change because of COVID might have been a blessing in disguise.
“It was just everything that it really proved to us whether we really wanted this bad enough or not,” Sarah said.
There will be immediate changes the Pielhops implement, other than the addition of their name on the business.
“You’re going to see us capping the side parking lot because that had high levels of [PFAs],” Sarah said. “There are some things we have to do to make sure we’re in compliance of our loan … We had to do environmental testing, Phase 1 and Phase 2. Mary Kohrell and Harris from Stantec have been amazing with working us in Calumet County for the Brillion location because there’s no way we could have bought this funeral home without the [Calumet County EPA Grant] that they got.”
There will be changes inside the building, too.
Please see the complete story in the Oct. 8, 2020 print edition of The Brillion News.