Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Home For Funerals is steeped in rich history. As you may have noted in the last issue of The Waynedale News, Abner Elzey personally named our fair Waynedale community back in 1921. But their ties to the funeral business began long before that.
In 1895, Abner S., an ordained minister of the Methodist Church and his wife, Sarah Ellen Linn Elzey, purchased the funeral home business of Thurber and Salisbury in Ossian, Indiana. Abner and Sarah’s son, Dale E. became a partner in the funeral home business in 1916 and the firm name became Elzey and Son. Ilow Elzey, daughter of Abner and Sarah, was also employed by the funeral home.
In the late 1930s the firm opened a funeral home in Waynedale on Old Trail Road under the same name. Abner W. Elzey, a grandson of Abner S. and Sarah was a part of the business from 1934 through 1959. Robert L. Dickey joined the firm in 1951 and Robert L. Haggard joined in 1959. In 1975 the name was changed to Elzey-Dickey-Haggard Funeral Home.
John Patterson became an associate in 1966 and Thomas Rodak in 1976. Both became partners in the late 1970s. Both Mr. Patterson and Mr. Rodak are still involved as consultants to the businesses. Now operating under the auspices of Dignity Memorial, The Elzey Funeral Home name has been around for over a century, and it is their goal to serve and be a part of communities, carrying on the commitment that has been handed and entrusted to them.
As funeral director since 1988, and General Manager for the Dignity Group in Fort Wayne for the past eight years, Randy Keplinger directly oversees Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Home For Funerals and Greenlawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park.
Randy grew up in Markle and attended school in Wells County, graduating from Norwell. He enjoyed playing sports while in school and was a member of the National Honor Society. After graduation, Randy attended Mid-America College and received his degree in Applied Sciences.
During his early years of working for Elzey, Randy lived in one of the apartments above the funeral home for 13 years. He married Theresa Hickey, a former Bishop Luers graduate, in 1990. After the birth of their son Corey in 1997, they moved to a more rural setting southwest of Waynedale. This move worked well in Randy being available at both the Ossian and Waynedale Funeral Homes.
Randy states, “With these businesses, my primary focus is to make sure all of the families are served with compassion, respect and integrity. The work that I do every day is rewarding for me. The ability to help people through one of the toughest times in their life is very satisfying.”
When he is not working, Randy admits to being a real homebody, working around the house, the garden beds and in the yard with Theresa. Both have been members of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church for over 15 years. Theresa has worked for a local law office for 25 years. Randy collects pre-1970s Coca Cola items and has also started to play bass guitar, still learning by his description. Their son Corey currently attends Ball State University. As empty nesters, Randy and Theresa also enjoy taking breaks through traveling. They have one dog, Sasha, and three outdoor cats. Favorite moments include family time biking, hiking and just appreciating nature.
Randy has been active in the community either serving or supporting many projects and endeavors, whether helping on a board or showing support with his presence or donation. He has been involved in the Waynedale Picnic, School Carnivals, Kingston’s Taste of Waynedale and the annual Memorial Day Parade and finds real value in our community banning together for a common purpose and vision.
If you know of a Waynedale supportive individual or business that would be a good fit for the Community Spotlight, please contact The Waynedale News.
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