Our journey began back in 1932, when Orville and Martha Schmaedeke planned to serve the needs of grieving families with a distinct “Vision of Service.” They joined business partner Eugene Harris and opened their first venture, the Harris-Schmaedeke Funeral Home in November of 1936. The funeral home was housed in what now stands as the renowned Jacob Henry Mansion, in Joliet, Illinois.
In 1938, Martha and Orville opened the doors of their home, the new Schmaedeke Funeral Home, in the then rural town of Orland Park, Illinois. When the need of a neighbor would arise, they would make ready their home by clearing out the dining room and living room to accommodate people for a visitation.
In December of 1959, the Schmaedeke's opened the Funeral Home's flagship location at 10701 South Harlem Ave., in the village of Worth. Orville's son Richard joined the family business in 1963. Richard and his wife Janeen Schmaedeke soon became the second generation to carry on the family name, and continued the tradition of ownership for the next 30 years.
In June of 2014, there was a changing of the guard. Dick and Janeen’s daughter Kara, became the third generation of extended family to both own and operate the Funeral Home. Kara has streamlined business into the Worth location, and continue serving families during the most difficult of times.
Kara is no strangers to the day-to-day operations, or to the families they serve. She has diligently worked alongside Dick and Janeen for many years and have provided the quality of care that you have come to know and trust. As the next generation, Kara feels honored to have the personal privilege of being the next stewards of Orville and Martha’s Legacy, and to carry on and contribute to the continued care, compassion and hospitality that are synonymous with the Schmaedeke name. As the Journey continues and the vision of service remains, She is here for you.