Lakeview changing hands

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The business might be under new ownership, but the faces at Lakeview Funeral Home and Crematory remain familiar.

Chris Toomer and Tonya Mortensen recently purchased Lakeview from Daron Johnson, who started the business in 1997 with Dennis Boro. Johnson said he will continue to be involved with the Lakeview family, “but in a lesser role.”

“We’re not changing. We want to keep providing the service that Lakeview has always done,” Mortensen said.

“And carry on the legacy that Daron and Dennis built,” Toomer added.

Toomer has been at Lakeview for 10 years, moving here in 2007 with his wife, Jenn. The couple has two sons, Carson, 16, and Hadan, 11. Toomer had managed corporate funeral homes in Iowa but wanted to move closer to family in northwest Iowa.

“The private ownership (of Lakeview) rather than the corporate ownership was huge for me,” he said. “And, or course, Daron and Dennis were awesome.”

Toomer remembers being intrigued by his uncle’s funeral business at his great-grandmother’s service when he was 11.

“From then on, that’s what I always told people I was going to be and do,” he said. “To be real honest, I thought it was real cool, at 11, that you could raise and lower the bed of a casket, but as I got older, it was all about helping people.

“There aren’t too many professions where you can walk into somebody’s life at their absolute worst moment, and they welcome you in. You’re part of their family for a week, pretty intimately, and even though you walk out about as quickly as you walk in, they remember you forever.”

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