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[caption width="250" caption=" Rodman Neeper and Snyder funeral homes have merged their businesses into one, the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center. Pictured are, from left, Clay Snyder, George Rodman and Mike Neeper. (Submitted) "][/caption]

MELISSA MACKEY

Staff Writer

Two longtime Delaware funeral homes are merging into one business.

Rodman Neeper and Snyder funeral homes have merged their businesses into one, the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center, which took effect this month, the owners said.

Each of the funeral homes’ two facilities will continue to operate as normal, DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home President Clay Snyder said.

DeVore-Snyder has a number of funeral homes throughout north central Ohio, including two Delaware County buildings — the 75 W. William St. location in Delaware and the 637 Ohio 61 location in Sunbury. Rodman Neeper has two buildings — the 1510 W. William St. location in Delaware and the 207 E. High St. location in Ashley.

The merger has been in the works for about a year, Snyder said. Although funeral home consolidation is a normal part of the industry, the driving force in the Rodman Neeper and Snyder consolidation is Rodman’s decision to get out of the funeral home business. His children chose careers outside the funeral industry.

“The time has come in my life to pass that delicate responsibility to a younger, more energetic successor,” Rodman said. “This will also allow me to devote time to other interests. I have tried to help heal the hearts of the families that we have been called to serve, in stepping back and slowing down a bit. This will allow me to explore other interests, including the redevelopment of the former funeral home location on North Sandusky Street, destroyed by fire on Sept. 11, 2010.”

Rodman will still be involved in the business, just not on a daily basis, Snyder said.

“This community should rest assured that Neeper and Snyder will continue to take good care of their funeral needs, under my watchful eye of course,” Rodman said. “The dynamics of business have changed, which is the reason why so many businesses are merging.”

Rodman’s colleague, Mike Neeper, will continue to serve as the manager of the Delaware funeral home at 1510 W. William St. His wife, Lora Neeper, will continue to design and create floral arrangements on site. Snyder will continue to work out of all the funeral home locations, he said.

While merging the Snyder’s existing location on 75 W. William St. into the Rodman facility on 1510 W. William St. has been discussed, there has been no decision made on a move at this time, the owners said. However, plans for additional parking for DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home’s 75 W. William St. location at the site where the former armory once stood are now on hold.

For now, operations will remain the same, Snyder said.

“Business will operate as is for about six months before making any determination,” Snyder said.

The public won’t see the signs or websites change for about a month, Snyder said. The change will come after the new name is approved by the Ohio State Board of Embalmers. Current phone numbers for the funeral homes will remain the same.

The merger will allow for a full-time funeral pre-planning counselor who will be dedicated to counseling individuals who wish to plan funerals in advance and assisting families with pre-planning celebrations. No other staffing changes will occur, Snyder said.

The partnership will also allow for new and unique services provided by the DeVore-Snyder organization, including the extensive media department, the ability to make customized memorial folders, videos and large personalized display portraits. A larger selection of granite custom-designed memorials and monuments will also be available.

“We are most proud of this alliance and because of it, we will be better prepared to answer the call,” Snyder said. “To aid in the celebration of lives well-lived with funerals and services of all types. We stand ready to be a guiding light during life’s most difficult hour, as the Snyder family and their associates have done with integrity and compassion for the past four generations.”

Rodman Neeper Funeral Home began serving Delaware and the surrounding community since 1906 at its former downtown location at 92 N. Sandusky St.

The Snyder family purchased the DeVore Funeral Homes of Delaware, Sunbury and Marengo from Dick and Phyllis DeVore in 1993, continuing the Snyder’s tradition of serving families, which began with their grandfather and great-grandfather Ora Snyder in 1922.