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Helping families, bringing comfort through the toughest of times

One of the most difficult times in a person’s life is making preparations following a loved one’s death.

Funeral director/owner Steve Maher shows the many types of markers Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home offers. Photo by Scott Thoma

The experienced staff at Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home realizes that these are trying times that people go through and do their utmost to honor your loved one with a beautiful and respectful ceremony.

“We are here to help families through these tough times as much as we can,” said Nathan Streed, who along with Steve Maher, is a director/owner of the six funeral home locations in Willmar, Clara City, Kerkhoven, New London, Paynesville and Belgrade. “We will do whatever we can to make the whole process as comfortable for them as possible.”

And whether you are making arrangements for your own funeral or have experienced the loss of a loved one, Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home directors and staff will help with any questions you might have.

Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home has many modern amenities to offer families a quality personalized service.

If a family wishes to hold both the visitation and funeral service on the same day in one location, Harvey Anderson & Johnson can also serve those needs.

Funeral director/owner Nathan Streed shows the large Fellowship Hall with white linen tablecloths that can accommodate 200 guests for a catered meal. Photo by Scott Thoma

“If a family wants to have a visitation, funeral and meal all on the same day in the same location instead of the visitation one day and a funeral the next, we can accommodate them,” Streed said. “One of the things we recently added was a large fellowship area where we can cater in a meal after the service. Our chapel seats about 300 people and we have large screens if the family wants to play videos. We will do whatever we can to help make it as easy as we can for a family. We will work with you to have a personal and unique service.”

A crematory was added to the Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar in 2004 and became known as West Central Cremation Service.

“We are the only funeral home with its own crematory within a 30-mile radius,” said Streed. “About two thirds of the families we serve now have cremation services.”

The top priority of the Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home staff members is honoring someone’s loved one and helping families through a difficult time. They offer a wide range of resources to support families during the pre-planning, service and beyond.

Among those resources are:

Online memorial – A customized, online memorial to share with family and friends. Included in it is the obituary and any photographs a family provides. Visitors can post condolences, share memories, upload photos, and light candles to honor the deceased.

Tribute video – A personal tribute video played at the service and online. Provided photographs will be made into a video memory celebration. DVDs and/or digital files of the video are also available.

Funeral director Terry Smith tells a family about the various urns Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home offers for a cremation service. Photo by Scott Thoma

Ordering flowers – Order flowers directly from the obituary page on the funeral home website. This feature can also be used to select the flowers you would like at the service.

Sharing service details – The dates and times of the service will be posted as part of the online memorial on the funeral home’s website. The memorial can be shared on your Facebook or Twitter page or be sent as an email or text.

Grief support – One year of grief support is offered to the family to help them through the difficult days.

Streed, Maher, Terry Smith, Tony Whelchel and Ryan DeGree are all experienced directors at Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home.

Streed, a native of Ortonville, attended Willmar Community College and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1993. He joined the staff in 1993 as a funeral director and became a partner in 1998 with Keith DeJongh and Roger Bengtson. Streed partnered with Maher and Bengtson in 2004 to own the six funeral home sites. Streed mainly serves the three Harvey Anderson locations in Willmar, Clara City and Kerkhoven. He and his wife Wendy, live in Willmar and have five sons.

“We really do care about the job we are doing,” said Streed. “Like the Golden Rule, we want to treat others as we would like to be treated.”

Maher grew up in Benson and is a 1994 graduate of the University of Minnesota. He joined the Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home staff in 2000 as a funeral director. Maher mainly serves the three Johnson Funeral Home locations in New London, Belgrade and Paynesville. He became one of the partners in the firm in 2004. Maher and his wife Kristy, live in Spicer with their three children.

“I find it very rewarding and challenging to help guide and care for people as they create a meaningful tribute for their loved one,” Maher said. “I can’t imagine anything more rewarding than serving people at one of the most difficult times in life.”

Smith is a native of Windom and first attended college at Southwest Minnesota State University before graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He has been a funeral director since joining the staff in 1999 and primarily serves the Willmar, Clara City and the Kerkhoven area. Smith and his wife Tanya, reside in Willmar with their two children.

Funeral director Ryan DeGree talks to a family about the cremation services offered by Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home. Photo by Scott Thoma

“Working in a community where you live is an advantage because you get to know the people you serve,” Smith noted. “I enjoy the satisfaction of helping people at a difficult time and helping them create a meaningful service that celebrates the memories and life of their loved one.”

Whelchel, a funeral director with Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home since 2006, was born and raised in Nebraska. He attended college at Wayne State College in Nebraska and is now working out of the Johnson Funeral Home office in Paynesville where he will serve the communities of Paynesville, Belgrade and New London.

Following the death of a close friend of his family, Whelchel became interested in funeral service. “From then on, I wanted to make sure that everyone received the proper care they needed,” he stated.

DeGree grew up in Willmar and attended Ridgewater Community College before graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2013. He joined the staff as a director in 2014 and primarily serves families in Willmar, Clara City and Kerkhoven. He also assists with the Johnson Funeral Homes. DeGree and his wife Kristi, live in Willmar with their son.

“After I graduated from the University of Minnesota, it was good to come back and help many families in the Willmar area that I knew ,” DeGree told. “Some of the funerals I helped with were my best friend’s grandfather and recently a classmate’s grandfather. It’s rewarding to help anyone through a difficult time and to develop a bond with them well after the funeral.”

Chris Martins has been the office manager at Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Home for the past 26 years. She is a native of Willmar and lives there with her husband, Ray. They have two grown children.

“Our service doesn’t end after the funeral,” said Martins. The families are going through a difficult time so I assist them with anything they need help with such as filing insurance claims, filing legal documents, notifying Social Security, and various pension plans.”

Among her many duties is assisting the directors in coordinating obituary notices and service information.

Perusing through testimonials, it’s obvious that the directors and staff of Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Homes are professional in the services they offer. Among them were the following comments:

“You will not find a more caring personal staff to take care of your funeral needs than Harvey Anderson Funeral Home.”

Office manager Chris Martins assists families with post-funeral paper work and also assists the directors in coordinating obituary notices and service information. Photo by Scott Thoma

“Incredible care for families at a difficult time.”

“Provided much support during a very difficult time. Could not have asked for anything better.”

“We were very well taken care of. We did the whole service at the funeral home, including a catered luncheon that was very nicely done for about 160 guests.”

Harvey Anderson and Johnson Funeral Homes have been around for decades.

The late Harvey Anderson opened the Anderson-Sperry Funeral Home in 1941 with his partner Burton Sperry in the downtown area of Willmar. With the need for more room, the funeral home was renovated several times throughout the years.

In 1968, Anderson then purchased the funeral home in Kerkhoven. In 1975, Keith DeJongh and his wife, Marlene, became the owners of Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in both Willmar and Kerkhoven. And they purchased the funeral home in Clara City in 1986.

DeJongh eventually became partners with Roger Bengtson and in 1989 they purchased the Johnson Funeral Homes in Willmar, New London, Paynesville and Belgrade. The Johnson Funeral Home site in Willmar closed following the sale.

The Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar moved to its current location on 19th Ave. SW in 1996. The DeJonghs sold out to Bengtson, Streed and Maher in 2004. Bengtson then retired in 2012.

You are welcome to call any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or visit one of the funeral homes in person at your convenience. Also, visit their website at

HARVEY ANDERSON & JOHNSON FUNERAL HOME Willmar 1000 19th Ave. SW. • 320-235-0545 Belgrade 435 Wells St. • 320-254-8262 Clara City 20 N. Main St. • 320-847-3583 Kerkhoven 307 North 14th St. • 320-264-3261 New London 19 Central Ave. E. • 320-354-2211 Paynesville 415 Business 23 W. • 320-243-3618

This is a paid business profile. If you would like to learn more about promoting your business in the Sr. Perspective with a business profile, call Jim at 320-334-3344.

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