Our History

Clarence E. Gehlbach and his wife, Mabel, of New Middletown started in the funeral business in 1916, at a time when it was traditional for funeral preparations and visitations to be done in the home of the deceased. Funerals were done either at home or at church. The Gehlbach's took their mobile equipment when and where they were called.

In 1924, Clarence and his brother-in-law, Ray B. Resch, formed a partnership and purchased the Loweth property in Corydon. They opened Gehlbach & Resch Funeral Home. This decision brought the firm and the Gehlbach's home to the firm's present day Chestnut Street location.

The building and grounds have been expanded and remodeled several times to accommodate the growing firm. In 1953, it survived after a furnace explosion blew fire and fuel oil into the walls. The fire burned in the walls for hours after it was thought to be put out. In 1962, the building was given it's present day red brick, pillared façade, and in 1971, after the death of the founder, the Gehlbach Memorial Chapel was constructed in the spot where the the Gehlbach's home had stood.

In addition to dealing with the deceased, it was common in the past for funeral homes to provide an ambulance service. The family and employees at Gehlbach & Royse were on call 24 hours a day for emergencies as well as death calls up until the early 1980s.

Funeral service traditionally has been a profession that passes down the generations of a family. The business that Clarence and Mabel Gehlbach started has done just that. The Gehlbach's eldest daughter, Genieve, became a hairdresser and served the family business as needed. Her husband, J.V. Royse joined the firm; and later, her sons, Roger and Fred became licensed funeral directors and active in the firm.

Roger Royse, having literally grown up in the funeral home, purchased his Uncle Ray's share of the business in 1963 and the name was changed to Gehlbach & Royse. He lived with his family in the upstairs apartment. In 1969, Roger and his wife Laura (Dookie) built and opened a branch location in Georgetown.

In 1993, Roger's eldest daughter Lou Anne, became a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

Laura L. Royse assumed the role of President with the passing of Roger in September 2004. Their youngest daughter, Holly, officially joined the firm in 2005 as an officer and administrator.

In September, 2010, Lou Anne's oldest son graduated from mortuary school and became the fifth generation of the family business.

From it's inception - to the present day- the Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Home has made every effort to serve the community in a way that would earn respect, friendship and good will. Our goal has always been and will always be to help families provide a service that fully expresses their love and devotion to their deceased loved ones.


Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Homes - Corydon   |  318 East Chestnut Street, Corydon, IN 47112   |   Phone: (812) 738-4131
Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Homes - Georgetown   |  7420 Highway 64, Georgetown, IN 47122   |   Phone: (812) 951-2131
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