Our Story

The Glende­Johnson­Nelson­Nilson Funeral Homes have served the families of our communities with caring and compassion for over 50 years.

Evan Glende, lifelong resident of the Fergus Falls area, together with Sam Miller, built the present facility in 1950 called the Glende­Miller Funeral Home. Years later, Adolph Johnson joined the firm and the name Glende­Johnson Funeral Home was adopted.

In 1969, Doug Nelson joined the firm and in 1995, Glende­Johnson­Nelson Funeral Home partnered with Bruce Nilson, who owned and operated the Nilson Funeral Homes of Fergus Falls, Battle Lake, Ashby, and Evansville. Today, the firm is staffed by four full time funeral directors: Rick Mekalson, Chris Carlson, Andrew Yaggie, and Luke Johnson, with continued assistance by Bruce Nilson and Doug Nelson.

After nearly 50 years of operation in the same facility, the Glende­Nilson Funeral Home & Cremation Service held an open house on Thursday, July 11, 2002 to celebrate a major renovation and expansion. As part of the remodeling, a state­of­the­art 4,200 square­foot addition was constructed in what was the original funeral home parking lot. Among many other things, the renovation included the addition of a brand new chapel and crematory.

The new addition houses a beautifully appointed lobby, handicapped accessible restrooms, and a new chapel with seating for up to 200 people. The 700 square foot addition extending the length of the garage, houses a crematory and provides an outside seating area next to the beautiful Otter Tail River and Veterans Park. The original building was also completely renovated to include an expanded display room, a kitchenette, children’s room, and a multi­purpose room. New staff offices and an updated preparation room complete the nearly 10,000 square­foot facility.

Recognizing the changing desires of families we are called upon to serve, further renovations in 2014 led to the creation of our “Life Event Center”. Providing true flexibility, our Life Event Center is used largely as a lunch or reception area, with the ability to seat up to 100 guests. It also provides flexibility for more informal gatherings, can be used as a second chapel, and is a great venue for educational seminars. State of the art video and audio enhancements complete the renovations.

We invite you and your family stop by and tour our beautiful facilities.