Christensen Family Funeral Home expands to Brownstown

BROWNSTOWN — While driving around Jackson County after arriving here four years ago, Daniel and Betsy Christensen went by the bottom of High Street in Brownstown.

They looked up and saw a two-story building housing Winklepleck-Brock Funeral Home and immediately fell in love with it.

They had purchased Woodlawn Family Funeral Centre in Seymour and were looking to lay down roots in the county.

“I love antiques, I love the old look and I thought, ‘Man, I’d love to have that someday,’” Daniel said.

“We thought it was cute, loved this as a home. It’s so beautiful,” Betsy said.

Two days before Daniel’s birthday in early May this year, Kris Brock, owner of Winklepleck-Brock, told him, “Brownstown needs a local, hands-on owner to get involved in the community, to build love and trust. Are you interested?” Brock is a Brownstown native who owns funeral homes in Texas and lives there.

Daniel talked to his wife, and they agreed it was a great offer because they do a lot of business in the Brownstown area. They also prayed about it.

“She takes everything to prayer, and we prayed about it and we’re like, ‘God, if it’s not your will, shut it down,’ but nothing shut it down,” Daniel said.

On June 23, the Christensens closed on the purchase.

“God listens to the desires of your heart, and when you speak stuff like that, if it’s his will, he makes it happen,” Daniel said. “Did I think it would happen like this? No. But I’m honored.”

To honor the history of the funeral home, which was founded in Freetown in the late 1800s and later moved to 320 N. High St. in Brownstown, the Christensens chose the name Christensen Family Funeral Home — Winklepleck Chapel.

“My father always taught me ‘Pursue where you want to go with all your heart, but don’t forget what brought you there,’ so I’m honoring the past while pursuing our future,” Daniel said.

They did the same thing when they became owners of Stewart and Hoagland Funeral Home in Scottsburg and changed the name to Christensen-Hoagland Family Funeral Home on Jan. 1, 2022. That funeral home is the oldest in Scott County, established in 1896.

The Christensens took ownership of Woodlawn on Dec. 1, 2019, and changed the name to Christensen Family Funeral Home in February 2022.

At all locations, including the word “family” was important because it truly is a family business. The Christensens’ sons, Chandler and Hayden, and daughter-in-law, Meredith, and Daniel’s mother, Barbara, are among the staff members.

“We are local people serving local people, and it’s our family serving yours,” Daniel said. “When you deal with Christensen Family Funeral Home, you deal with a Christensen.”

Shortly after they took ownership of the Brownstown funeral home, Daniel said the building received a new roof, new lighting, new sound and a new carport and was power washed. A new awning recently was installed over the front entrance, too.

Fortunately, the interior of the funeral home was in good shape.

“If you were to walk into our house right now, everything is done gray and white and farming,” Daniel said. “We walk in this front door and the first thing we see is gray and white paint on the walls, almost as if this was tailor-made for us.”

Their pastor, Larry Arrowood, came to pray a prayer of blessing and peace to the families they serve.

Daniel said they are very conscious of the local economy and lowered their prices, and they are the only funeral home in town that owns its own crematory.

“Your loved one never leaves my family’s care,” he said.

Like their other locations, they are honoring prearrangements at face value, and prearrangements with other funeral homes are transferable, too.

“If there have been any families over the years that have had prearrangements in the past with Winklepleck, we invite people to come home,” Daniel said. “I encourage people to shop. I encourage people to ask questions. Many times, we can save the family money because if they prearranged and it was more expensive than now, we refund the difference back to the family.”

Daniel said they understand the difference between funeral business and funeral service.

“I learned a very valuable lesson when my father passed away,” he said. “I was in Bible college going into ministry. Dad died, I came home, I watched the funeral director handle my mother and I said, ‘My God, this is ministry,’ and that’s why we do what we do. Our slogan is ‘Loving and serving people, making a difference one family at a time.’ We’re excited about every opportunity that God gives us to serve another family and to love another family.”

The family focuses on after-care, too. They have access to counselors and grief therapy for those who have lost loved ones or just need someone to talk to. Betsy said one of her aspirations is to pursue a master’s degree in counseling so she can help with that.

“A lot of funeral homes, the moment they leave the cemetery, you don’t hear from them again,” Daniel said. “We don’t want to be like that. That’s why we have an after-care program that sends out a card on the one-year anniversary and remembers the descendant’s birthday.”

He often gets stopped in stores and restaurants and is thanked for the care they provided.

“This is somebody who trusted me with their loved one. There is no greater honor than that, and it’s a huge trust factor,” he said. “It’s just a good feeling. They don’t forget you. It’s valuable to us that we made an impact in their life.”

The Christensens also get involved in each community they serve. Daniel is deputy coroner for Jackson County and an ambassador for the Jackson County Chamber, and he and Betsy are on the ministry team at The Tabernacle at Sandy Creek in Seymour and are involved in Scottsburg Main Street.

Betsy said they are ready to get involved in Brownstown, too.

“Community involvement is everything to us,” Daniel said.

The Christensens are honored to bring their family name into another community.

“Brother Arrowood said it best, ‘Dan, you’re building a name in this county that when people hear Christensen, they automatically think you’re loved,’” Daniel said. “‘What funeral home are you using?’ ‘Christensen.’ ‘You’re in good hands.’ That’s our goal. … When people walk in our facilities, they feel the love of a family that’s walking this journey with them. That’s our No. 1 goal.”

At a glance 

Christensen Family Funeral Home Winklepleck Chapel, 320 N. High St., Brownstown; 812-358-4303

Christensen Family Funeral Home, 311 Holiday Square Road, Seymour; 812-523-1074

Christensen-Hoagland Family Funeral Home, 80 N. First St., Scottsburg; 812-752-2525

For information, visit or find the funeral homes on Facebook.

If you go 

What: Open house

When: 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 28

Where: Christensen Family Funeral Home Winklepleck Chapel, 320 N. High St., Brownstown

Who: Public is invited