History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
People's Co-operative Funeral Home began on February 18th, 1936 with a midnight knock on the farmhouse door of W.H. and Emma Kosanke.
The caller was Jess L. Prewett, the owner of The Lone Wolf Funeral Home, and he arrived with a startling proposal. The funeral home had fallen on hard times. He wanted to sell his funeral home to Planters Co-Operative Association, and have the co-op hire him to run it. In that way, he believed, the funeral home could survive. An agreement was reached, papers were drawn and signed, and the nation's first - and Oklahoma's only - co-operative funeral home was born.
In 1934, the Kosankes lost their 22-month old daughter in an explosion. While the tragedy broke their hearts, it also opened their eyes to the costs in the funeral industry. Emma urged her husband, W.H., to make the new People's Co-operative Funeral Home a "true co-operative." The original members decided to contribute large amounts of money to get the funeral home "on it's feet." The concept behind the new business was to provide funeral services to members at the lowest possible cost.
The Early Years
In all honesty, the funeral home faced many challenges in the beginning. Some casket manufacturers would not see to the new co-operative, because of boycott threats from nearby investor-owned funeral homes who were fearful of losing revenue. After all,their costs were significantly higher than those of People's Co-operative. So, as the commitment of the members was great, a truck owned by the co-operative was used to go out-of-state to pick up caskets. Others were sent in by train in unmarked boxes, with no return addresses. Today, major casket manufacturers call on People's wanting to see their merchandise, and because of the number of services we perform for local families, substantial discounts have been obtained.
Membership in People's Co-operative Funeral Home saves families a considerable amount of money. Sometimes, cost savings are up to one-half the cost of other area facilities. Today, People's Co-operative Funeral Home serves well over 1,500 families who are members, and that number continues to grow. It has become a "true" co-operative," providing quality funeral services to members at the lowest possible cost. We are proud to say that the dream of Mr. and Mrs. Kosanke, and the other ground-breaking founders, has become a reality.
If this community-based approach to caring for your loved ones appeals to you, please stop by our office, or call us at(580) 846-9018 to learn more.