2017 Best of Topeka: Penwell-Gabel Cremation, Funerals & Receptions

Couple welcomes son into longtime business

Best Funeral Home/Crematory

 

Penwell-Gabel Cremation, Funerals & Receptions

penwellgabeltopeka.com

Ren and Theresa Newcomer’s business used to be known as Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home. Now, it’s Penwell-Gabel Cremation, Funerals & Receptions.

The name change illustrates how those at Penwell-Gabel were willing to listen to the families they serve and slightly modify the way the business brands itself, said Ren Newcomer, a fourth-generation funeral director.

The Newcomers have owned Penwell-Gabel since 1978, but the business has operated in Topeka since 1893. The couple is excited that their son — John Newcomer, a graduate of Hayden High School and the University of Kansas — recently moved back to Topeka and is joining them in the business after spending the past 10 years in Chicago and Louisville, Ky.

Penwell-Gabel has seen the popularity of cremations rise to the point where slightly more than 50 percent of its customers now choose that option, Ren Newcomer said. Meanwhile, funeral services have generally become less formal.

Ren Newcomer talks about Penwell-Gabel Cremations, Funerals and Receptions, which was named Best Funeral Home/Crematory for 2017.

Penwell-Gabel offers reception facilities and food service at its four funeral homes in Topeka and Mount Hope Cemetery, Funeral Chapel & Reception Center. The business also owns Penwell-Gabel Cemetery & Mausoleum.

First runner-up: Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home

Second runner-up: Dove Cremation & Funeral Service

 

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