NEW LONDON, WI — Cline & Hanson Funeral Home in New London, Wisconsin, was faced with a challenge recently when the growth of their business outstripped their facilities. Located in the residential area of their town of 8,000 popula- tion, Cline & Hanson also had locations in two other centers of this rural area. The recent acquisition of two additional funeral homes meant that they now served five communities.
Speaking for Cline & Hanson, funeral director Kent Rusch noted that their calls per year had doubled. “Working from our flagship New London site and now handling approximately 300 calls per year, we experienced the stress of working from a single station preparation room,” he explained.
That is when they called in Duncan Stuart Todd, Ltd., the preparation room specialists, designed the facility providing new plumbing, electrical and a highly effective ventilation system, exclusive with DST.
“We had one work station with a slop sink that required constant cleaning. Our new prep room has two work sta- tions, each equipped with the Todd Morgue Table Receptor, which is a totally enclosed waste water removal system that eliminates splashing of blood and other waste mate- rials,” Mr. Rusch went on to say.
The renovation was complicated by the fact that the structure was over 100 years old, having served as a funeral home since 1914. “Another factor,” Mr. Rusch commented, “was that we needed to get our project done fast. We ordered all the components from DST and waited for everything to arrive before we began construction. The Todd’s, Duncan and Mar- jori, walked our contractors through every phase of the building process. Our room was fully operational again in 45 days.”
“Our newly renovated prep room is a pleasure to work in. DST took a tired old prep room and turned it into a state-of-the-art, OSHA com- pliant, embalming facility,” concluded Mr. Rusch.
Cline & Hanson is owned and operated by a two pairs of two generational funeral directors, David Rusch and son Kent Rusch, along with John A. Dahlke and son Jon Dahlke.
The tradition of family continuity is echoed in DST, Ltd., which is an extension of the work of Duncan Todd’s father, J. Stuart Todd, a pioneer in the field of funeral home architecture. Duncan Todd is also a licensed architect.
Like many other funeral home owners, the Rusch and Dahlke families had a furni- ture store, which they closed two years ago when funeral home service took over their energies. They continue their civic activities and also participate in NFDA conven- tions. As a testament to their interest in serving families during difficult times, David Rusch and Kent Rusch are both past presidents of the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association.