Weerts Funeral Home, Davenport, and its affiliated cremation companies have become the latest Quad-City companies to be acquired by funeral service provider Service Corp. International.
The Houston-based Service Corp. International announced Thursday that it has acquired Weerts and its Riverbend Cremation and Quad-Cities Pet Cremation companies, both in Bettendorf. Details of the transaction, which closed Wednesday, were not disclosed.
Founded in 1909, Weerts Funeral Home has served the Quad-City region for more than 100 years. David Deuth acquired the firm from Jim Weerts in 2005. In 2012, Deuth developed a state-of-the-art cremation center, Riverbend Cremation.
Service Corp. International already owns Runge Mortuary and Crematory, Davenport; Hodgson Funeral Home, Rock Island; and Davenport Memorial Park, said Henry "Hank" Runge III, general manager of the Quad-City group. The company has owned Runge since late 1998 and Hodgson since 2010.
The sale comes as Deuth is battling cancer. In a news release, he indicated that it was a difficult decision to step away from the successful businesses he helped create and grow.
"Linda (his wife) and I have decided and agreed that the restoration of my health must be my singular focus and my number one priority," Deuth said in a news release. Deuth has committed to being retained by Service Corp. International in a consultative role moving forward.
According to Runge, Weerts will retain its staff of about 12 and be known as Weerts Funeral Home, a Dignity provider.
The company owns and operates about 2,000 funeral homes and cemeteries in North America. It has a presence in 45 states, Puerto Rico and eight Canadian provinces.
"They have demonstrated a commitment to the care and continuity of our excellent staff, to the continuity of our brands and their respective operations — and to the care of the community that depends upon our services," Deuth said in an open letter to the regional funeral directors' association.
No significant changes are expected to operations at Weerts, located at 3625 Jersey Ridge Road. Service Corp. International also will continue to honor and fulfill all customers' pre-need contracts.
"We are very excited to have the Weerts’ high-standards, tradition and team join our company, and we look forward to their continued success in the Quad-Cities," said Bill O’Brien, Service Corp.’s managing director.
Service Corp. International was founded in 1962 by Robert Waltrip, a licensed funeral director who grew up in the family's funeral home business. He is chairman emeritus. The publicly traded company is traded under the symbol SCI on the New York Stock Exchange.