Business Profile – A Family Serving Families
Story by Megan Whitehead | Apr 26, 2017
Photography by Keith Borgmeyer
Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home
Generations of the Trimble family have worked hard to help the residents of Jefferson City during the most difficult times of their lives. This shared history and knowledge is what drives Kent, Christy, and Kyle Trimble and their business, Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home.
Dulle-Trimble has only been in the hands of two families since the late 1800s. “Grandma Dorothy and Grandpa Riley Trimble were in the business for 52 years,” says Kyle. “Grandpa worked at a funeral home during the summers while attending the University of Illinois.”
On July 1, 1945, the Trimble’s purchased their first funeral home, in Moline, Illinois. Exactly 50 years later, their son, Kent, and his wife of 37 years, Christy, purchased what is now called Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home from the Dulle family, who wished to retire in 1995.
“My brother and I were both in funeral service with our parents,” says Kent. “In ’95 I sold my half of the stock to my brother, so he continues on with the Trimble Funeral Home in Moline. He has his son in business with him, and I have my son in business with me.”
“We really value getting to work with our family,” says Christy. “It would not be as enjoyable working the hours we do if we didn’t get to work with each other.”
When the Trimbles moved to Jefferson City to begin running Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home, Kyle immediately showed an interest in the family business. “He wanted to know details,” says Christy. “He would come into the funeral home and help set up flowers, load flowers, clean, wash cars, and do more day to day, behind the scenes work.”
From then to now (Kyle officially joined the business in 2007), Kyle has worked every job you can have in a funeral home. Through their hard work, Kyle and his sister, Genta, who lives in Los Angeles, learned valuable life lessons: Stay until the job is done, and make what you’ve worked on better than you found it. “In many family-owned businesses, that’s the spirit that you have to have,” says Christy.
“What’s nice about being a family business is that we’re a family who is serving other families,” says Kyle. “We’re there for all our families.”
This mindset is essential when working in the funeral industry. “We know that while we can do services the same a thousand times — but for that one family that walks in this funeral home to see their loved one, we know it’s the first time for them,” says Christy. “We try to be mindful of that so that everything is perfect for their first viewing. We know they may not remember what was said to them, but they will remember how they felt: special.”
“You have to make sure every family feels like they are the only family,” adds Kyle.
To further serve their families and make the funeral process easier and more efficient, the Trimbles added an in-house crematory in July of 2015, the only one in Cole County. “A few years ago, we made the decision to open our own crematory because we did not want to give up custodianship of the deceased in our care,” says Kyle. “We take pride in the level of service we give all our families. We do all our work here, under our supervision, for traditional services, and we wanted to give the same level of service to families who choose cremation.”
This addition came alongside an expansion of the funeral home itself. While the building has been updated, a few special items remain from the original 1984 building, including the wallpaper and doors in the chapel, where the pews sport the logo for Dulle-Trimble.
The Trimbles offered some advice for future planning. The most important thing to remember is to have a conversation with your loved ones about their wishes. This will prevent unnecessary financial and emotional burdens on loved ones left behind.
“The ideal is that they come into our office, we sit down with them, pull out a file, and say ‘We sat down with your parents 10 years ago, and these are their wishes,’” says Kyle. “You can see that emotional burden just lift off their shoulders.”
The Trimble family has generations of experience and strives to treat every family that walks through their doors like their own. And when you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, it helps to go to someone who will take care of you.