T he Cease Family Funeral Homes has roots that go back to 1901 when Hans Peterson started Peterson Funeral Service in Bagley, where Ed Cease became employed as a licensed embalmer in 1928.
Edmund "Ed" Cease was born in 1906 in Arco, MN and moved with his parents, sister and brother to Elma, Iowa as a child.
In 1920, the family moved to Bagley where Ed graduated from High School in 1926. In 1928, he attended a nine month "Course in Embalming" through the Extension Division of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ed worked for the Neujahr Funeral Home and then for Peterson Funeral Home. In 1942, he purchased the Peterson and Neujahr businesses and combined them to form the Cease Funeral Home. Besides offering funeral service, they operated ambulance service until 1966, when the ambulance service was sold to M. A. "Red" Offerdahl.
Ed's son Wayne, graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1958 and joined his father in the funeral home operation. Later they formed a partnership and Ed retired in 1976.
In 1957, Wayne acquired the Halterman Funeral Home in Clearbrook, Minnesota from Bob Halterman and in 1965, Wayne purchased the Slagerman Funeral Home in Gonvick, Minnesota from Roy Slagerman.
In 1984, Wayne purchased the Bemidji Funeral Chapel in Bemidji, Minnesota from Paul Brown and Wayne's son Kevin, a 1983 graduate of the University of Minnesota, became the manager.
In 1986, a new funeral home was built in Park Rapids, Minnesota. Kent Cease, Wayne's son, and a 1984 graduate of the University of Minnesota, became manager. Also in 1986, a funeral home was constructed in Cass Lake, Minnesota which is operated in conjunction with the Bemidji operation.
In 1989, Wayne purchased the Erickson Funeral Chapel in Nevis, Minnesota which is operated in conjunction with the Park Rapids funeral home.
In 1995, Wayne entered into a partnership with his daughter, Kelly Cease Bowman and sons - Kevin, Kent and Kurt Cease. Together they built a funeral home in Blackduck, Minnesota in 1995. Kurt Cease a 1985 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Department of Mortuary Science was named manager. In 1996 a new funeral home was constructed in Bagley to provide handicap accessibility and a much larger chapel and parking area. Kelly Cease Bowman, a 1992 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Department of Mortuary Science was its manager.
In 2003, a much larger facility was constructed in Bemidji with a larger chapel, lunch facilities, and parking, and an addition of a crematorium.
Through the years the Cease tradition has been to provide the best in facilities and service. It is our aim to serve as we ourselves would want to be served.