E stablished in 1923 by J. Everett and Dolly (Fesler) Copher, Copher & Fesler Funeral Home began as a storefront funeral chapel in downtown Elwood. Sensing the need for an additional funeral home, Everett Copher ventured from his original vocation as a farmer to establish his own funeral parlor in 1923. Priding himself on honest dealings and treating each family in the same manner regardless of circumstance led to Everett’s overwhelming success in funeral service. As their family business grew, the Copher family needed more space and moved the business in 1930 to its present location in the spacious "Hupp" family residence on South Anderson Street. Living in the family quarters right above the funeral home gave them ready access to manage their business and raise their growing family.
In 1944 - at the same time that the funeral home was continuing to grow - the Copher family suffered the loss of its founder, Everett Copher who died unexpectedly on his farm at the edge of Elwood. At that time, the business became the responsibility of Everett’s wife, Dolly and their eldest son, J. Phil Copher. Charles Copher, the couple’s 3rd son, later joined the family business after serving in the U.S. Army and attending mortuary college.
Wayne Mosbaugh - a lifelong resident of the community - joined the staff of the funeral home as a licensed funeral director in 1963 following graduation from funeral service college in Indianapolis. Wayne remains at the funeral home today as a funeral director and Vice-President of the firm.
Throughout the history of the firm, the funeral home was well-known for its 24-hour Ambulance service to the residents of Elwood and surrounding communities. Having equipment necessary for the task, it was typical in those days for ambulances to be operated by local funeral homes. Although this was a demanding service in addition to the functions of the funeral home, many area families remember the valuable service provided by the Copher & Fesler ambulance staff. In a citywide agreement in 1981, ambulance service was dropped by the city’s funeral homes and the Copher family donated its ambulance to the City of Elwood.
In 1984, Phil Copher died unexpectedly leaving the ownership of the funeral home to his brother, Charles "Chuck" and his wife, Roberta "Bobbi" Copher. Charles and Roberta continued to grow the business with Roberta expanding and managing the funeral home’s pre-need program. In late 1998, lifelong Elwood resident and funeral director Corey May and his wife Sonya, joined the Copher family as owners and partners in the business. In 2002, the name of the funeral home was amended to Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home to reflect the joint ownership with the May Family.
Today, with directors Corey May and Wayne Mosbaugh the funeral home continues to thrive with great emphasis placed on honest and professional service. Sonya May oversees the funeral home’s aftercare program for the families served each year. Without a doubt, the funeral home’s success today is a direct result of the hard work of many dedicated family members and staff in over 85 years of continuous service to the Elwood community. Although there is a trend toward large corporate ownership at many funeral homes, Copher-Fesler-May is proud to remain 100% family-owned and operated by the Copher and May families.