Photographer / Jubilee Edgell
It’s quiet in the foyer. Flowers line the hallway leading to the chapel, the perfume filling the air with a sweet essence. At the door of the chapel, there’s a pedestal with a sign-in book and a little stack of bulletins with the deceased’s picture on the front. Right inside the door, there’s a mural of pictures celebrating the life that was.
There are a few people at Frain Mortuary that no one has really seen, and they like it better that way. They are the ones in black suits that greet the guests as they walk inside. They’re the ones that will check on the young mothers with their children and relatives of the deceased in the back room. They’re the ones who place a caring hand on the widow’s shoulder and quietly asks if she wants a glass of water. They’re also the ones who helped the family plan this important ceremony and the funeral tomorrow morning. They are the staff at Frain Mortuary.
In 1951, Maxwell C. Frain began working for what was known as Fry & Lange Funeral Home and Furniture Store. While there, Maxwell caught Walter Lange’s vision that the services they offered were a chance to minister to hurting people at one of their most critical times of need.
“[Lange] talked about the responsibility that he felt he had to care for others and to do things quietly and humbly and not for recognition,” says Jon Frain, Maxwell’s grandson and co-owner alongside his father, Dan.
In 1961, Maxwell took over the business. When his sons came on board, he mentored them in Lange’s code of ethics. That legacy has now become the core of Frain Mortuary’s purpose and mission.
As a man of faith and an active member in the community, Jon’s calling to care for the hurting is genuine.
“Most of what we do is in the way we treat people: we visit with them and treat them like family,” Jon says. “We believe that everyone deserves to be treated the same and given dignity and respect.”
The Frain’s take it one step further by offering grief resources.
“We provide a variety of prep materials at our funeral homes for families at the time. They also have them upon request and on our website, just simply to let [mourners] know that they are not alone in that process,” Jon explained. “We also follow it up with a grief resource book that we send usually within a month after the death.”
At the end of the day, the staff at Frain Mortuary find deep satisfaction with their work.
“It’s not strange for me to care for a deceased person and it’s not uncomfortable to care for the living,” Jon says. “I take on people’s burdens. I say, ‘Put them on me for this week and let me take care of things. You focus on remembering your loved one while I do all this for you.’”
Frain Mortuary has locations in Winamac, Francesville, and Medaryville. They can be reached through frainmortuary.com or at 574-946-3222.