In the Beginning..
In 1945, two well known local young men of impecable reputation, Marvin Krapf & Ken Hughes pooled their resources and efforts and joined in a partnership to continue a business operated by the Krapf family since 1918. Together they established Krapf & Hughes Funeral Home as Hazleton's newest funeral service provider. That partnership continued with great progress and success until 1978 when Ken purchased Marvin's interest, became the sole owner of the business, and converted it to it's present corporation status.
From opening day through retirement of both original partners, Krapf & Hughes Funeral Home maintained the reputation of being one of the most respected funeral service establishments in the area. Their honesty, compassion, and professional talents were known throughout the community and are hallmarks of their legacy.
End of an Era.....
Just at about the time of Marvin Krapf's retirement, Ken Hughes became concerned about who would help him maintain the the high standard of quality service that everyone came to expect from the now well established firm. He needed someone dependable and enthusiastic. Someone who could be his right hand man. Someone who could quickly learn the requirements of the business and take care of all of the behind the scenes responsibilities.
Enter, Joe Kutchmarick, the white haired long-time acquintance of Ken Hughes who quickly became as closely associated with the business as Ken himself. Joe was Involved in all aspects of the operation from maintainance to management. As a result of Joe's loyalty and dedication, the two maintained a special relationship that transcended friendship and endured until Ken's death in 2004.
A Period of Transition....
In the early 1980's, after nearly 40 years in funeral service, Ken began to contemplate not only retirement, but how he would perpetuate his business. Not having any children or heir apparent, he embarked on a quest to hand pick his successor.
After carefully considering a number of offers from anxious purchasers, Ken quickly concluded that none of them was exactly right to be entrusted to serve the families with whom he had, over the years, developed such a special bond.
A conversation with his trusted friend ensued, and the question arose, "Joe, what am I going to do?"
Recognizing an opportunity too good to let pass, but fully understanding that he personally could never fill the position, Joe thought of his own son, and made that suggestion to Ken. Ken warmly received the idea and encouraged Joe to take the proposal home to his son.
A New Era Begins
Initially, Joe’s son Ron dismissed the ideas of leaving his wife and two young children to return to school for two more years of education and then taking on the huge financial obligation necessary to purchase the business as a virtual impossibility. But, after much careful consideration and some gentle persuasion from both his father and Ken Hughes, he soon found himself embarking on a major career change.
Ron applied for admission to Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, NY and began his studies there in the Spring of 1983. He enrolled in the accelerated studies program and graduated with honors in the Spring of 1984. Shortly thereafter he passed the national and state board examinations and began a one year internship under Ken Hughes’ supervision. He took over ownership and management of the business in 1985 and a new era began.
Ken continued his supportive involvement until 1990 when he formally retired. Joe Kutchmarick proudly continued to assist his son until his own retirement in 2004.
History Becomes Present
Ron spent the next 18 years, improving the business and developing his own reputation. His son Michael, after earning a degree in business administration, decided to pursue the additional education requirements necessary to secure a funeral director’s license, and join in the family business.
Once again staffed with two full time funeral directors, the new father-son team worked closely together, and the Krapf & Hughes reputation continued to flourish.
Under this new joint management, an opportunity for expansion into the Butler Valley soon developed. Together, and with the committment of the whole Kutchmarick family, Ron and Michael, in August of 2002, established the firm’s second location, Butler Chapel, in Drums, a fast growing Hazleton suburb. Thus, a rich history has become a proud present.
Our On-Site Crematory
In 2014, Krapf & Hughes embarked on an expansion of the business to include an on-site cremation facility. Situated on the property of our Butler Chapel, our funeral home is one of the very few in the Hazleton Area offering on-site cremation services.
When your family entrusts Krapf & Hughes Funeral Home and Crematory with your loved one, they remain in our care for the entirety of the process. Our funeral home staff will take your loved one into our care from their place of passing and house them at our state-of-the-art cremation facility until the cremation takes place. A member of our staff will then, complete that process in-house.
In your search for a funeral home, it is important to make sure that your loved one is properly cared for. Ensuring a staff member of the funeral home accompanies your loved one through every step of the cremation process is essential. Krapf & Hughes Funeral Homes and Crematory stands ready to assist your family with all your cremation needs.
A Legacy Passed On
Recently, the firm's owner, Ron Kutchmarick, has stepped back from daily operations to watch his legacy be carried on by his son Michael, daughter Michele, son-in-law David and grandchildren Logan and Samantha.
In September of 2020, Krapf & Hughes closed its Hazle Chapel on Broad Street and moved operations to its Butler Chapel in Drums. In late Fall of 2020, our team embarked on a total renovation and expansion of our Drums facility scheduled to be completed in Spring 2021.