History & Award-Winning Staff
Our staff is always focused on you. We are constantly learning new ways and improving tried-and-true ways to provide you, your family, and your guests with only the best to help you celebrate, honor, and remember a life. We invite you to learn our history and meet our exceptional staff.
"A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. “ ~Douglas Pagels
The family and staff at Erlewein Mortuaries consider ourselves to be "more than a funeral home... a family friend."
Early in his career as a Funeral Director, Dane Erlewein knew he wanted to operate his own mortuary. Having worked for a large firm, he wanted families he served to experience the service a smaller, family-owned mortuary could provide. In 1995, the Erlewein family - Dane, and his wife, B.J., decided to form a partnership and build Erlewein Mortuary in Greenfield with his parents, Bruce and Judi, as investors.
Knowing that location was important to the success of their business, they began searching for land. Property on US 40 at County Road 150 West was soon purchased from the Hockett family and the building process was underway in early 1996. While driving home from work in March 1996, Judi was killed in an automobile accident - only six months before the grand opening of her son's dream. Dane and B.J. opened the mortuary in September 1996.
In the beginning, Dane managed the mortuary with administrative help from his sister, Tisha (Erlewein) Lucas. In 1999, Bruce retired as Guidance Counselor for Morristown High School after 32 years. He returned to college and became a licensed Funeral Director. B.J., a registered pharmacist, worked for a large pharmaceutical firm in Indianapolis before joining the mortuary full-time in September 2002 as Administrative Manager.
In May 2003, the Erlewein family purchased a second funeral home in Fortville, Indiana. The former Hughes Funeral Home, Fisher-McCarty Chapel, located at 124 East Staat Street, became Erlewein Mortuary – Fortville, offering the same superior service as the facility in Greenfield.
While battling health problems, Bruce decided to step away from the business in early 2004, though he continued to work at the mortuaries on a part-time basis until 2008. Bruce passed away in January 2010. In March 2005, Dane and B.J. began an expansion project at the Greenfield mortuary. The original mortuary was tripled in size, offering an unmatched facility and innovative services for families. The expansion project was completed in January 2006.
Long-time friend and Funeral Director, Evan Osborn, joined the staff in November 2006. He lives in Knightstown with his two daughters, Brittany and Kimberly, and son, Kennedy. Funeral Director Greg Johnson joined the staff in February 2007, along with his wife, Greenfield native, Holly (Porter) Johnson. They live in Greenfield with their two daughters, Lydia and Vivian. Casey Gumberts, Funeral Director Intern, joined the staff full-time in May 2011, after having worked part-time at the mortuary during her college years. She lives in Greenfield. Dane and B.J. continue to operate the mortuaries with the assistance of these full-time staff members and several part-time associates.
Our Valued Staff
Dane Erlewein, Funeral Director/Owner
Dane was born at Hancock Memorial Hospital in Greenfield to Bruce and Judith Erlewein. Dane was raised in the Morristown-Fountaintown area, where much of his family continues to live.
He graduated from Morristown High School in 1987 and received an Associates degree in Mortuary Science from Vincennes University in 1989. After receiving his Funeral Director’s license, Dane worked for a large funeral home in Indianapolis for several years before opening Erlewein Mortuary. He and his wife, B.J., reside in Greenfield and have two children, Gibson and Lily.
Dane’s involvement in the community includes being a member, Past President, and current President of the Greenfield Lions Club; a Board member of the Fortville Optimist Club, Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation, and the Greater Greenfield Chamber of Commerce; a member of the New Palestine and Fortville-McCordsville Chambers of Commerce; an Advisory Council Member for Ivy Tech Mortuary Science Program; an Advisory Council member for Springhurst Health Campus; a member of Park Chapel Christian Church; 2002 Hancock County Chairman for the United Way; Deputy Coroner for Hancock County; and a member of the Hightower Advisory Board of Directors.
He has also served on the Board of Directors for Leadership Hancock County, Set A Good Example Foundation, and Riley Festival. In his free time, Dane enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his wife and children.
B.J. Erlewein, Manager/Owner
Dane’s wife, Billie Jo, known to many as B.J., was born in Canton, Illinois to William and Rose Landis. At the age of 12, her family moved to Morristown, Indiana, where she graduated from Morristown High School in 1988. She married her high school sweetheart, Dane, in 1991. B.J. graduated from Butler University’s College of Pharmacy in 1993.
After working in retail pharmacy and for a large pharmaceutical firm in Indianapolis, B.J. joined Erlewein Mortuaries full-time in September 2002. She is a member of Park Chapel Christian Church in Greenfield, the Greater Greenfield Chamber of Commerce from which she received the “Business Woman of the Year 2006" Award, the New Palestine Chamber of Commerce, and the Fortville-McCordsville Chamber of Commerce. B.J. was a coach for Marauder Youth Football League (MYFL) cheerleaders for six years and has volunteered on the PTO, School Improvement Team, and Corporate Improvement Council for Mt. Vernon Schools. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Hancock County Community Foundation and the Indiana Funeral Directors Association’s Ethics Task Force. She currently serves on the board of the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation and on HCCF's Women's Fund's Membership Committee, along with her daughter, Lily.
Evan Osborn, Funeral Director
Evan joined Erlewein Mortuaries in Fortville and Greenfield in November 2005. Evan is a 1986 graduate of Lawrence Central High School. He attended the University of Indianapolis and graduated from Vincennes University with a degree in Mortuary Science in 1990. He has three children, Brittany, Kimberly, and Kennedy. Evan was formerly Funeral Director and Manager at a large firm in Indianapolis for more than 15 years.
He is a member of the Moose Lodge #17, the Scottish Rite, the Mystic Circle Lodge #685, the American Legion #495, the New Palestine Chamber of Commerce, and Greenfield Sertoma. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his kids, riding motorcycles, and driving race cars. Evan is also an avid Nascar fan.
Greg Johnson, Funeral Director
After serving his internship in Noblesville, Greg joined Erlewein Mortuaries in February 2007. Greg was born and raised in Morris, MN and graduated from Morris Area High School in 1997. He went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2001 after majoring in Theatre Arts Performance. Unfortunately, Greg’s brother passed away in 2002 leading him to return to mortuary school, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 2005. Greg married Greenfield native Holly Porter in 2005. The couple currently resides in Greenfield with their daughters, Lydia and Vivian, and two dogs, Pablo and Hammy. Greg is a member of the Greenfield Rotary Club. In his spare time, Greg enjoys spending time with his family, sports, movies, playing cards, and reading.
Casey Gumberts, Funeral Director
Casey was born and raised in Morristown, Indiana. She graduated from Morristown High School in 2007, where she had played basketball and played on a state champion volleyball team. She attended IUPUI for one year and then transferred to Vincennes University.
At Vincennes, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Funeral Service degree in 2010 and a psychology degree in 2011. In college, she also became a member of the community service based sorority Kappa Delta Gamma and served as the president. Eventually, she plans on pursuing psychology further and focusing on grief therapy. Casey served her internship at Erlewein Mortuary from May 2011 until August 2012, when she joined the staff as a Funeral Director.
In her spare time, Casey enjoys volunteering with the Greenfield varsity volleyball program, watching NASCAR, spending time with her family and cats, watching documentaries, and fishing.
Bill Cole, Funeral Director
Bill was born in South Bend, Indiana. He graduated from South Bend Central High School in 1955 and from Worsham College of Mortuary Science Chicago in 1957. He has been a licensed Funeral Director since 1958. Bill married Janet (Cass) Cole on October 12, 1957. They live in Fortville.
He served in the U.S. Army on active duty for six months, then served five and a half years in the Reserves.
Bill retired from full-time funeral service in 2006 and has been serving families part-time at Erlewein Mortuary since November 2006. He had owned and operated Cole Funeral Home in Winamac, Indiana for six years. He had also managed the former Hughes Funeral Home (now Erlewein Mortuary) in Fortville for six years.
He and Janet had five children: son, Timothy, who passed away in 2003; daughter, Carrie Fogleman who passed away in 2007; son, Dan, and his wife Jennifer, Cole, who live in Carmel; daughter, Amy Lawrence, who lives in La Porte; daughter, Julie, and her husband Mike Good, who live in Plymouth; and son-in-law, Joe Fogleman who lives in Carmel. They also have 12 grandchildren!
Bill is a member of New Hope Presbyterian Church in Fishers. He is Past President of the Fortville Lions Club, a member of both the Indiana and Marion County Funeral Director Associations, and a member of the Fortville Masonic Lodge #207 F&AM. He enjoys fishing and Colts football in his spare time.
Leiah Bainter, Office Assistant
Leiah has lived in Greenfield most of her life. She is the daughter of Neil and Joy Bragdon. Leiah graduated from Greenfield-Central in 1998 and served in the United States Army Reserves from 1997 to 2005. She married Jesse Bainter on August 17, 2002. They have three children, Haley, Jocelyn and Emma.
She continues to work at Harris Elementary as an Instructional Assistant and joined Erlewein Mortuary in July 2010. She is a member of First Church of God and M.A.D.D of Hancock County. In her free time, Leiah enjoys shopping, spending time with her family, and traveling.
Dick Basey, Family Assistant
Dick was born in Marion County to Edward and Stellia Basey. He graduated from Morristown High School in 1951 and studied Accounting and Payroll at Indiana Business College. He married Delores A. (Hewitt) Basey on November 26, 1953. Together, they have three children - Shannon (Basey) Jenks, Marva (Basey) Kutz, and Tamara (Basey) Wilson; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He served in the U.S. Navy as a gunner's mate on the U.S.S. Baltimore from 1951-1955. Dick was employed as an Estimator for Hamilton Displays in Indianapolis for 41 years before retiring in 1998. He has worked as a Family Assistant at Erlewein Mortuary since 1996. Dick is very involved in the community. He is Past Master of the Morristown Masonic Lodge, Past Patron of the Morristown Eastern Star, and a member of the Morristown American Legion. Dick is a member of the Morristown United Methodist Church. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Fountaintown Volunteer Fire Department for many years and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Fountaintown Cemetery Association. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, woodworking, and being a Master Gardener.
Jack Brown, Family Assistant
Jack was born in Bedford, Indiana and moved to Hancock County at the age of 4. He graduated from Charlottesville High School in 1961 and from the Indianapolis Police Academy in 1969. He served the Indiana National Guard from 1964 until 1972. Jack joined the Greenfield Police Department in 1969 and served the City of Greenfield for 32 years as a Road Sargent and Police Chaplain. Jack retired from the City of Greenfield in 2001 and has continued to serve the public in various ways since his retirement.
Jack is married to Marsha (Brooks) Brown, and they have four children, Shantelle (Andy) Ebbert, Alisha (Guiseppe) Cavaletto, Ryan (Kinsey Anderson) Collins, and Cara Collins. They also have four grandchildren (Emily Ebbert, Abby Ebbert, Tyler Cavaletto, and Mikayla Cavaletto). They reside in Greenfield. Jack is a member of the Greenfield Church of Christ, International Society of Police Chaplains and the Fraternal Order of Police. He also sings with the Voices of Faith who visit local nursing homes monthly.
Jack enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren, Bible reading, woodworking and photography.
Art Liphard, Family Assistant
Art was born in Lafayette, Indiana, to H. Frank Liphard and Margaret “Peggy” (Johnson) Liphard Lizenby. He graduated from Decatur Central High in 1957 and from Purdue University in 1962 with a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering. Before retiring in 2004, he was a construction project manager/estimator for Jungclaus-Campbell in Indianapolis for 28 years. He had served in the U.S. Army from 1962-1964. Art is a member of Cumberland Christian Church. He is married to Virginia “Ginny” A. Liphard, and they reside in Cumberland. Art and Ginny have two children, Terry Liphard of Indianapolis and Ginger (husband, Gerry) Gibson of Markleville. Art also has a brother, Patrick “Pat” Liphard; three grandchildren; and three great-grandsons, Jacob, Carson, and Peyton. Other than being a die-hard Boilermakers fan, Art spends his free time helping the elderly, volunteering at his church, and ministering to the sick.
Norm Smith, Family Assistant
Norm was born in Shelbyville, Indiana to Mahlon and Pearl Smith. He attended Shelbyville schools. Norm married Gladys (Stephens) Smith on October 26, 1947 who preceded him in death on September 8, 1999. Norm married Jan Rura on June 29, 2001 and they reside in Greenfield. He has one son and four grandchildren who live in Shelbyville. Norm has been a member of the First Church of the Nazarene in Shelbyville for over 50 years, where he served in many different church functions, including Music Director for over 15 years, Sunday School Teacher and Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Norm has had experience in the funeral business in his earlier years working in Shelbyville. His past work history is in the field of transportation and warehousing, for which he attended Indiana, Purdue, and Butler Universities. He and his wife, Jan, enjoy traveling, having taken many tours and cruises.
Ed Stoepler, Family Assistant
Ed Stoepler was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Edward N. Stoepler Sr. and Theresa (Kistmer) Stoepler on September 3, 1922 at St. Vincent’s Hospital. He has a sister, Dorothy Jane Stoepler, who was born on March 23, 1920.
Ed attended public schools on the east side of Indianapolis and graduated from Arsenal Tech High School in 1940. His family moved to Chicago, Illinois where he was employed as a cartographer with Rand McNally Co. He returned to Indianapolis two years later with family.
After Pearl Harbor, December 1941, the Indiana State Fairgrounds was converted to an aircraft engine and parts supply depot by the US Air Force under full military command. Ed and his coworkers were civilians as civil service employees receiving warehousing and stocking military engines and engine parts to be reshipped to various war fronts as needed, 24/7. All shipping locations were coded to not reveal locations in the Pacific and North African Bases. In 1945 and 1946, the parts depot was decomissioned and returned to state.
During Post-War years, Ed worked in an Evansville auto dealership with coworkers from Supply Depot. He later returned to Indianapolis and then on to Greenfield in 1951, selling cars at an auto dealership. During this time, Ed sold his personal ’49 Ford five-window coupe to a young man who had a sister as his “bank”. Shortly after this transaction, the “bank” and Ed really became acquainted, then married in May 1954. She was a Greenfield girl, Dolores Jane Stafford. She worked as a bookkeeper at the Chevrolet Dealership. Ed and Dolores had a daughter 2 ½ years later on December 15, 1956, Donna Jo, the first grandchild in the family. They were blessed three years later with a second child on April 9, 1960, DeAnne Ray.
In 1957, Ed was employed by Shelby Petroleum as a manager of Wholesale and Bulk plant ordering, stocking and sales of oil and lubricants plus gasoline and diesel fuels. They were a privately owned and company, selling and distributing products, first with Ox Sunray and later Union Oil. The company grew and expanded to handle the product sales more efficiently. Ed attended several company schools to learn technology information concerning product application and service capability. This helped to maintain customer needs and service level. After 43 years of employment there, the company was sold. After a year or so of part-time employment, Ed retired.
Dane Erlewein, a member of Greenfield Lions Club, asked Ed to start part-time at the funeral home, setting up chairs, handling flowers and driving the family car. As the funeral home business grew, the building was tripled in size and staff was increased as well. Ed has been at the funeral home ever since. He believes it is very interesting work and he has wonderful people to work with. Dane and BJ carry a very high level of service toward their clientele and their employees, as well.
Jim Wilson, Family Assistant
Born in Marion County, Jim is the son of Albert and Nondas Wilson. Jim graduated from Morristown High School, then married his high school sweetheart, Virginia.