Now that former Lancaster County funeral director Ben Siar is behind bars for stealing from clients, what is next for the business? It has a new name and a new owner who just wants to bury the past.
Melanie Scheid is a funeral director who has been in the business for 20 years.
“It's been very rewarding and very satisfying to be able to serve and help the people in need,” Scheid said.
In November, Scheid bought a funeral home in Conestoga, Lancaster County. It is a bit outdated so she is busy renovating.
“We'll have the videos back here for the DVDs and for memory pictures and there will be sofas and love seats back here for the family to gather,” Scheid said.
A new look, a new owner, and a new name: Melanie B. Scheid Funeral & Cremation Services, The Gundel Chapel.
It is the former Gundel Funeral home, which has been part of the community for decades. The funeral home is a place that is usually eerily quiet; the sound of scandal broke the silence. That did not scare Scheid.
“I was very aggressive immediately to contact who I could to try to obtain ownership,” said Scheid.
While some people may look at the funeral home and remember the bad that happened there, Scheid saw the potential for good.
“Give them back a funeral home that they'd be proud to call their community funeral home and just provide everything I possibly can to bring back the Gundel name, the reputation this funeral home once had,” Scheid said.
Scheid hopes that when the community sees the new sign out front, they can lay the funeral home's past to rest.
“I'm here to serve the community the way they need to be served. It's a brand new start,” she said.