Family wants Lasher to remain a funeral home

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

Since the untimely death of Lasher Funeral Home director Ken Peterson in May, the Woodstock business is still in operation by staff members Scott DiMicco and Ralph van Hoesen. Ken’s mother, Janet, and his brother, Carl, hope to sell the business to a qualified funeral director, although Carl remarked that no one could replace the historical perspective Ken brought to his work, with his lifelong knowledge of the community and its history.

“Janet Peterson has been appointed administrator of Ken’s estate,” said attorney Josh Koplovitz. “That puts her in charge of Lasher. The family’s plan is to continue Lasher as a funeral home. No one in the family is in a position to take over operation, so they are going to have to find a buyer. They’re still in the early stages of deciding how to proceed, whether to list the property with a real estate broker.”

“It’s very sad to see what’s happening,” said Carl. “Mom’s 90, and I’m going to be 60 next year. My brother knew the business, and we don’t. There’s a shortage of funeral directors. We’d love to find someone who was like my brother, someone who has compassion. At his memorial, the community certainly came out and showed their support of him, and it’s a way to give back to the community, to find someone young and ambitious who can put their energy into the work.”


DiMicco was Ken’s assistant and worked with him for 12 years. Ralph van Hoesen joined the business six years ago, after retiring from a career with Verizon. He had attended mortuary science college with Ken and maintained his licensing over the years. “We want the community to know we are here, keeping it open,” said DiMicco. “The only difference will be Ken, unfortunately. He was one of a kind, one of those people if you try to find a duplicate, it’ll never happen. He was not only an employer but a friend. People are more than welcome to stop by and talk. We appreciate the outpouring of people who showed up for his service and came by to offer their help.”  

Carl said keeping the business a funeral home is what his brother would have wanted. Until a buyer is found, he said, “Scott and Ralph been able to help the community with their grieving. That’s the main thing — to still be there for so many families.”