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Our Wahpeton Roots

Published: December 31, 2019

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Our history goes back to 1919, when brothers Frank Vertin and Joseph Vertin, Sr. ran a funeral home and furniture store. Frank later assumed responsibility for the Wahpeton location and Joseph operated the funeral home and furniture store in Breckenridge, MN, with his sons.

When Frank retired in 1947, Robert Caspers, Sr. and Russel Munson partnered to purchase the business from him. In 1961, after a tragic airplane accident claimed the lives of Russel Munson and his wife, Bella, Robert Caspers, Sr. became the sole owner of both the funeral home and furniture store, which operated for many years under the name of Vertin's Wahpeton. Later, Robert’s son, Craig, began as a funeral director, working hand-in-hand with Russel’s brother, Bun Munson, who was the manager.

The name was eventually changed to Vertin-Munson Funeral Home, and Craig and Sue Caspers became the owners in 1992. In 2009, the Vertin family of Breckenridge acquired full ownership of the business, and Craig and Sue continued to manage the daily operation. In 2016, our new funeral home was built. Sue retired in 2015, and we were saddened by her death in May of this year. Craig, although retired, still works with our staff occasionally. The funeral home is now managed by Lance Ehrlin, funeral director.

Several of our staff members were raised right here in the Wahpeton area, and we are all grateful to be a part of a close community. We proudly participate in many local organizations and events because we strongly believe in the value of supporting the community. Whether it’s through attending church or coaching wrestling, we are always eager to strengthen our relationships with the families we are honored to serve.

To create meaningful tributes, we strive to go above and beyond by adding personalized touches and making families feel comforted. For those who are interested in putting arrangements in place in advance, we are here to listen to your needs and help you review the many options. And for those who are on the journey through grief, we provide experienced, ongoing care through support groups and special events.

We have been serving families for one hundred years, so our reputation of quality service precedes us, but adapting to the changing needs of families is equally important. We are always working to learn and grow so that we can continue to provide superior care for our community in the years to come.

Grief and the Holidays

Published: December 14, 2019

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If you have lost a loved one, the holiday season can be an especially challenging time of year. While others are experiencing extra joy and excitement, your feelings of sorrow and loneliness might seem magnified. However, there are a few strategies that can help make the holidays a bit more manageable.

Allow Yourself to Feel

Trying to ignore or escape your feelings, even with good intentions of not wanting to put a damper on the holiday cheer, will only extend the grieving process. It is important to verbalize those feelings and talk with others about how you are doing. But there are many other forms of expression that will provide an outlet for the swelling emotions this time of year as well. Maybe you find peace when taking a quiet walk in the forest after a snowfall. Maybe writing about your favorite Christmas memories with your loved one makes you smile. Maybe attending a holiday concert with others who are in the same situation helps you feel less isolated. Find what fits for you.

Take Care of Yourself

We know that grief can take a huge toll on a person—mentally, emotionally, and physically—and the holidays can be taxing even without the added pain of life without your loved one. Be sure you are setting aside extra time this season to focus on your own well-being. Take more breaks and be realistic about your expectations. Participating in the festivities might help create a sense of comfort and hope, but give yourself permission to sit out from a few holiday traditions or celebrations if you feel they will be overwhelming.

Find Ways to Honor Your Loved One

For some, finding ways to include the memory of a loved one in holiday activities makes the experience less sorrowful. Whether it’s listening to their favorite Christmas song or baking the kind of cookies you always made together, those reminders of your loved one might make their presence feel more tangible. You could consider starting a new tradition in their honor, giving you something new to look forward to for the years to come. Seeking out an opportunity to give back to others this time of year is also a very special way to pay tribute to your loved one.

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