T he Lofland Funeral Home has been serving families of Milford and surrounding communities since 1919. Joseph Lofland, Sr., the founder of Lofland Funeral Home, began his career working with A. G. Powders, owner of the Powders Funeral Home on N.W. Front Street, Milford. In 1919, after attending Eckels College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia, PA, Joseph Lofland went in business with Mr. William A. Berry to establish the Berry – Lofland Funeral Home. In 1925, Mr. Lofland decided to go into business on his own, establishing the Joseph S. Lofland Funeral Home, located on the corner of East 2nd Street and Montgomery Street, Milford. He and his wife Ruth E. Lofland served families for many years from the 2nd Street location.
In 1943, Mr. Lofland realized more room would be needed to be able to provide families the quality services they were used to receiving. He moved the funeral home to 219 South Walnut Street, Milford.
In 1946, Joseph S. (Joe) Lofland, Jr. graduated from his father’s alma mater, Eckels College of Mortuary Science and shortly thereafter became a licensed funeral director. He had helped Ruth and Joseph Lofland with the operations of the funeral home as he was growing up.
In 1954, Joe and his wife Dottie purchased the funeral home from his father and mother. Joseph, Sr. stayed active in the funeral business until he was 75 years of age.
Joe and Dottie Lofland provided comfort and service to the Milford area residents for 20 years. During this time, their son, J. Sudler Lofland, III showed an interest in the funeral business and would assist his parents with the day to day operation of the funeral home. In 1971, Sudler graduated from the University of Delaware, and then in 1972, he graduated from the San Francisco School of Mortuary Science and became a licensed funeral director.
In 1984, Joe, Dottie and Sudler decided to move the funeral home to its present location at 102 Lakeview Avenue, Milford. In 1989, Sudler and Joan Lofland purchased the business from his mother and father after they decided it was time to retire. Both Joe and Dottie remained active in the funeral home operations.
In 1994, Bill Carpenter joined the Lofland Funeral Home as a licensed funeral director. Bill had been involved in the funeral service since the age of 16, working for his uncle, funeral director Chandler H. Gebhart, Jr. in New Castle, DE. In September, 1979, Bill graduated from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and became a licensed funeral director in 1980.
In 2000, Sudler and Joan Lofland were approached by L. Donald and Carroll McKnatt with the offer of purchasing the McKnatt Funeral Home in Harrington, DE. With the purchase of McKnatt Funeral Home, new equipment was added and some remodeling took place. Both Donald McKnatt and associate Charles Baker continue to assist with funerals at McKnatt Funeral Home.
In August 2005, Sudler and Joan Lofland decided that they were ready to retire. They sold both the Lofland Funeral Home and the McKnatt Funeral Home to Bill Carpenter and his wife Connie. "My wife and I feel very honored that Sudler and Joan Lofland felt that we would continue with their tradition of excellent service to the communities and families they serve." We look forward to serving you, our friends and neighbors, for years to come.