New funeral chapel coming to Ellsworth

Mahn currently serves residents in downtown office

By Sarah Nigbor
Posted 3/23/23

ELLSWORTH – Mahn Family Funeral & Cremation Services is planning to build a new funeral home/chapel on land next to Knutson Dental in Ellsworth’s Crossing Meadows Business Park. 

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New funeral chapel coming to Ellsworth

Mahn currently serves residents in downtown office


ELLSWORTH – Mahn Family Funeral & Cremation Services is planning to build a new funeral home/chapel on land next to Knutson Dental in Ellsworth’s Crossing Meadows Business Park. 

Until the ground is broken and the building goes up, Vice President Joe Mahn said the family-run business is serving the community from a planning office located at 344 W. Main St. in downtown Ellsworth. They also have locations in Red Wing, Rochester, Zumbrota, Lake City and Pine Island, Minn.

The plan is to build a spacious chapel to hold services and celebrations of life, along with planning offices and a community room for luncheons. The current downtown office is a temporary spot to help people plan for funeral and cremation services, whether they’re at churches, event centers or elsewhere.

When asked why they chose to expand by building in Ellsworth, the answer was easy.

“We’ve always kind of served Ellsworth to a point,” Mahn said. “We have helped many families in the area. More recently we’ve had community members reach out to us and say we should expand into Ellsworth. It’s always been an area we were interested in expanding into. It’s familiar territory and familiar faces.”

In a perfect world without supply chain issues and delays, and an unsnowy spring, the facility would be ready to open in November or December, Mahn said. Construction is expected to take seven to eight months once ground is broken. Mahn and several staff members are licensed in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“Being right on the river, we’ve always had folks who were licensed in both states,” Mahn said. 

A little history

Joe Mahn’s dad, John Mahn, purchased the Bodelson Funeral Home in Red Wing in 1986. Two years later, he remodeled it and reopened it as the Bodelson-Mahn Funeral Home. Throughout the decades, the family added four more locations to its service area.

Mahn said there was never any pressure from his family to join the business, though he always helped out in the summers.

“When I got old enough to drive, my dad told me I better get a suit,” Mahn said. “I would help with transfers into our care. I became comfortable with it and thought it was something I could do.”

Mahn said the funeral home profession isn’t necessarily one that people jump into or dream of going into.  

“It’s really got to be who you are,” he said. “To help people in that hard time of loss, it’s not necessarily something that can be trained.”

Mahn finds being a shoulder that families can lean on in difficult times to be rewarding.

“To know that you’re really making a difference is really helpful,” Mahn said. “When times are tough, you know that your job matters and you’re helping them through the hardest times of their lives. That helps me get up every day.”

Mahn gives his team a great amount of credit. They are willing to be available at a moment’s notice for families in need, he said. The business includes his uncle, wife and employees who have been with them long-term and feel like family.

“We have a long history of people being with us. “We are always looking to find better ways to serve people. There is not a cookie-cutter way to do it. We’re always involved in our communities. We’re forever evolving and changing with the times. We do whatever we can do to help while still giving professional assistance.”

One big change in the business is showing people casket and urn options via video rather than leading them into an overwhelming casket-filled showroom. Mahn said it’s about moving traditions forward that fit into today’s world.

Mahn credits the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce for helping them get the ball moving at the state level for licensing with the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

“They have been great,” Mahn said. “It’s been a nice place to meet people in town. Businesses have been supportive, which makes it that much more exciting to come work in the area.”

Ellsworth Chamber Executive Team Member Kim Beebe said even before the Mahn family opened its new office in Ellsworth, they were active and engaged in the community and organization.

“They’ve been putting a lot of effort into getting to know the community and our local business leaders,” Beebe said. “It’s clear they are going to be great community partners and contribute to the economic vitality of our business community.”

Village President Becky Beissel said the village is excited to welcome Mahn Funeral Home to the Crossing Meadows Business Park.

“Businesses are really starting to notice Ellsworth and we hope this is just the start of more commercial development in the near future. This business park has been a distressed Tax Increment District and hasn’t seen any development in the last 15 years,” Beissel said. “We appreciate their investment and their confidence in our community.”

Mahn said he’s thrilled to be joining the Ellsworth community and having an actual physical presence in town. The crematory is located at their Red Wing facility and will remain there.

“Everything is in-house so you don’t have to worry about where your loved one is,” he said. “A family business, that’s the way we operate. All of our staff is part of our family. I hope those values trickle from myself to everybody.”

To learn more, visit

Mahn Family Funeral & Cremation Services, Ellsworth, Wisconsin