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A Brief History of DeBaun Funeral Home

Curt DeBaun,Sr. and Myrtle DeBaun began in business in 1925 in Prairie Creek, Indiana. As with starting any new business, times were tough for Curt and Myrtle, and with the onset of the Great Depression, things only got worse. Like their neighbors, they made do, and accepted such things as chickens and pigs for payment of funerals. The DeBaun family persevered, and when World War II came, Curt Jr. joined the Army Air Corps, serving in China, Burma and India. When he returned home, Curt Jr., or Abe, as all of his friends knew him, joined his parents in the family business. Then in 1952, Curt Jr. and his wife Betty opened a branch in Terre Haute, what would later be known as our Idaho Street Chapel. The business in Terre Haute grew quickly over the next few years, in part because of the reputation for fairness and compassion which the DeBaun family had earned over the years. 

The third generation of the family, Curt III, and his wife Debra, joined the business in 1978. Then in 1985 land was purchased in the far south end of Terre Haute for a new funeral home, our Springhill Chapel, which was opened in 1989. Provisions were made during construction to add a crematory, and a few years later it was installed, making our funeral home a leading provider of cremation services in the area. 

In 1995 the DeBaun Family acquired the New Harmony Cemetery, (founded in 1812), located south of Prairieton on State Road 63 with the intent of continuing to offer a quality cemetery option for the people of south-western Vigo County. Since that time a new, well landscaped addition has been opened, and a columbarium and cremation burial area was opened for those families who prefer cremation. 

In 2001 the DeBaun family was approached by the Callahan family, who had operated a funeral home on the East side of Terre Haute since 1913. With the death of Joe Callahan a few years before, the family had begun to look for options which would reflect their beliefs in high service standards and local ownership, and the decision to associate with the DeBaun Funeral Homes was seen as the best way to fulfill these wishes. This lead to the establishment of the DeBaun Funeral Home – Wabash Avenue Chapel at 25th Street and Wabash Ave. in Terre Haute. 

The last few years has seen the addition of a new generation of the family join the business. Seth DeBaun and Curt DeBaun IV are now both working in the family business, continuing the tradition started by their Great-Grandparents almost 90 years ago. Times have changed, old traditions have faded and new ones are born. Most funeral homes in Terre Haute are now owned by an out-of-state corporation, but our family-owned funeral homes have faithfully served Terre Haute and the surrounding community for four generations, and we are committed to continue serving our families well into the future.


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