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Leave Well: About Us

About Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services is a fourth-generation, completely family owned and operated business. For more than 100 years, we've served Cleveland-area families with gratitude as they celebrate a life lived.

Compassion and innovation are embedded in our roots. Our goal is to deliver inspired, genuine care and exceed every family's expectations—and this is what we've done since our founding. 

Our story began in 1905, when Gustav H. Busch opened the Rehburg-Busch Furniture Hardware and Undertaking Company in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland. A lot has happened since then.

Explore our family's story below. 

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Our History

1905

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Gustave Busch and William Rehburg found Rehburg-Busch Furniture Hardware and Undertaking Company.

1914

Busch improves his service by retiring his horse drawn hearse/ambulance and replaces with an automobile.

1918

Spanish flu pandemic spreads worldwide. 

1925

Gustave-Busch

Busch ventures on his own to build the Pearl Rd Funeral Home, the first of its kind designated for specific funeral purpose only. Rehburg continues the furniture and hardware business at its original storefront.

1928

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J. Milton Busch (second generation, son of Gustave) joins family firm.

1933

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Gustave Busch (founder) passes away in August 1933, and firm is carried on by son J. Milton. Gustave died while rocking his grandson John on that August night. 

1938

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First expansion is completed on the back of the Pearl Rd. Funeral Home.

1944

Busch is invited to join National Selected Morticians, now known as Selected Independent Funeral Homes.

1944

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J. Milton Busch serves as deputy coroner during tragic East Ohio gas explosion, where 59 people lost their lives.

1945

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J. Milton Busch awarded Selective Service Medal by President Harry S. Truman.

1949

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Expansion continues at the Pearl Rd. funeral home with the addition of front porch and two front rooms.

1954

J. Milton Busch is elected Secretary Treasurer of National Selected Morticians, currently Selected Independent Funeral Homes.

1955

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John M. Busch (third generation, son of J. Milton) joins family firm, upon graduating from Heidelberg College.

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1961

J. Milton Busch (second generation) passes away in March 1961. Tradition carried on by son John.

1961

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Expansion continues at the Pearl Rd. funeral home on the north side with three viewing rooms, catering facilities and expanded parking.

1963

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Dan Avis (brother-in-law) and Jack McGreevey prepare for a funeral procession in the newly renovated Pearl Rd. funeral home parking lot. 

1969

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Busch opens brand new funeral home in November at 7501 Ridge Road in Parma. 

Explore our Parma funeral home amenities

1970

Busch acquires Boswell Jones Mortuary, Inc. located at 13613 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH and becomes a provider of Cleveland Memorial Society

1978

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John M. Busch elected Secretary Treasurer of National Selected Morticians, now known as Selected Independent Funeral Homes.

1982

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J. Mark Busch (fourth generation, son of John Busch) joins family firm, upon graduating from Heidelberg College.

1983

First in area to hire full-time pre planning advisors. 

Learn more about our preplanning services.

1986

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James H.Busch (fourth generation, son of John Busch) joins family firm, upon graduating from Hiram College.

1986

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Busch acquires Burmeister Funeral Homes in Avon Lake (founded in 1944) and Avon (founded in 1964) from William C. and Gretchen Burmeister.

Explore our Avon and Avon Lake funeral home amenities. 

1986

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Busch acquires Bogner Funeral Home in North Ridgeville, founded in 1963 by Hal and Cathy Bogner.

1987

Busch establishes its mission statement, "To serve, educate and genuinely care for families."

1987

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Busch acquires Curtis- Scheuffler Funeral Home in Elyria from Ernie and Eda Mae Scheuffler. This was the oldest funeral home in Lorain County, founded in 1852.

See our Elyria funeral home amenities.

1988

Busch establishes our own on-site crematory with private viewing room at the Parma location.

Learn more about our cremation services.

1988

Busch is the first to establish full-time Bereavement Care Services. 

1989

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Funeral home changes name from Busch Funeral Services to Busch Family Funeral Chapels to encapsulate the growing business.

1990

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William M. Burmeister (third generation, son of William C.) joins family firm.

1990

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John Busch begins succession planning of the family business to Jim and Mark (fourth generation).

1995

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Tom Corrigan establishes a partnership with Busch to build a new funeral home in Fairview Park / Rocky River.

See our Fairview Park funeral home amenities

1997

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Busch acquires Saxton-Parker-Daniels Funeral Chapels in Lakewood (founded in 1872) from Ed and Marge Saxton, Harlan and Joan Saxton, Rick and Dorothy Parker. Eventually consolidated with Fairview Park / Rocky River location in 2007.

1999 - 2001

J. Mark Busch serves as board chair of Funeral Service Foundation. Later becomes major gift liaison for Hand in Hand capital campaign.

2000

Busch renovates Pearl Rd apartments, which becomes office space, and commits to dedicated staff training area.

2001

Busch sells funeral home in North Ridgeville to location manager, Bob Liston. Now operating as Liston Funeral Home.

2003

Busch acquires interest / shares from Tom Corrigan, Tom Berry and Sean Berry.

2004

NEW BU Logo Color

Busch Family Funeral Chapels changes its name to Busch Funeral and Crematory Services to meet changing trends.

2004

Busch adds Certified Celebrants to staff. Celebrants are trained professionals who work directly with families to create personalized tributes.

Learn more about our Certified Celebrants.

2004

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Busch sponsors Veterans Appreciation Week, in conjunction with Tri-C Western Campus, featuring the Vietnam Traveling Wall replica.

2005

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Busch celebrates 100 years of our family serving you and our communities by sponsoring each community's 4th of July fireworks display.

2008

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Busch is selected by the Green Burial Council as an approved green burial provider for Northeast Ohio's first natural cemetery. 

Learn more about our green burial services.

2010

Busch does extensive renovation and improvements to its care center.

2011

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Busch family is recognized with the Westside Ecumenical Ministries Lamplighter Humanitarian Award.

2011 - 2015

Extensive renovations and technology upgrades completed at all locations.

2013

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Busch adds "Cremation, Burial, Preplanning" to marquis signage.

2014-2015

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James H. Busch is elected as Secretary Treasurer of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, formerly National Selected Morticians. 

2015

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Busch acquires Babitt Funeral Home in North Royalton, founded in 1972 from William and Cindy Babitt.

See our North Royalton funeral home amenities

2018

Busch staff attends the Customer Service Revolution, adopts "Create compassionate moments."

2018

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The Busch family is honored with the Ahola Corporation Longevity Award at the Crain's Family Business Forum.

2019

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Busch launches its sister brand, Lakeside Simple Cremation, to meet the needs of Cleveland-area families experiencing a loss—no matter their budget or service preferences.

2019

Busch establishes second retort at its Parma crematory.

2019

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

Busch is recognized for 75 years of membership at the 2019 Annual Meeting of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. 

2020

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John M Busch (third generation) passes away February 23, 2020.

2020

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J. Mark Busch (fourth generation) retires from firm, and James H. becomes sole owner.

“Look forward not behind. Your best days are still in front of you. Be focused and keep your dreams alive.”

“At Busch, our commitment will continue to be forward thinking, inventive, and most important, honest and straight forward. Grateful for your trust.” — James H. Busch President