Tom and Erich Schepp opened their new funeral home facility in Minoa last week. The Schepps have been performing funeral services in the Eastern suburbs for over 100 years.
Minoa For more than 100 years, the Schepp family has been all about funerals. And the grand opening of the Schepp Family Funeral Homes’ new Minoa facility marks the end of Tom Schepp’s 30 year old vision: to have three refurbished funeral homes in different communities in the Eastern suburbs. If there’s one thing that’s clear after these 100 plus years in the Eastern Syracuse communities, it’s that the Schepps know best when it comes to funerals.
“We’ve been very fortunate that these communities have supported us as well as they have,” said Schepp. “It would’ve been easy for me to come in and sit on what my father built - maybe go on trips and go to the racetrack. But I think you have to demonstrate to the community that you’re investing in yourself, and that’s a good reason for them to invest in you.”
The Schepps have been in Minoa long before it was even known as Minoa. Marc Schepp emigrated from the Lorraine region of France in 1836 to New York City and traveled the Erie Canal before disembarking in what is now known as Minoa. He walked on a dirt trail, which Schepp believes was right across the street from the new facility, located at the corner of Kirkville Road and Schepps Corners Road.
“You have no idea how many times I’ve stood here and looked across there and just thought ‘wow,’” Schepp said, pointing out across the front yard.
Marc Schepp’s son Ernest grew up in Kirkville, but moved to Canastota to start a furniture store where he did more than just sell furniture. Tom Schepp explained that back in those times, furniture salesmen had to take on a bit more responsibility as “undertakers”.
As rural families began to buy caskets from their local furniture store rather than build their own coffin, they asked the proprietor where they could get mourning crepe, chairs, rent a hearse and hire an embalmer. This furniture salesman then undertook to provide all of these services, thus creating the service business “undertaking.”