C oming to the Village of Ubly in 1981 was a lot like returning to their cherished childhood in Detroit's Poletown. It also marked an 18 year dream for John and Arlene who grew up together in the same neighborhood populated by many family owned businesses.
As youngster's both John and Arlene learned the importance of individual personalized service, which has become a family tradition. John's grandfather started Detroit's, Anthony Chrzanowski Funeral Home in 1911 and then his mother Irene became a licensed funeral director and opened the Herman Smigielski Funeral Home in 1945. John followed in his parent’s footsteps and obtained his mortuary science license in 1962 and was then employed by his mother as well as William Sullivan and Son Funeral Home.
John and Arlene purchased the Ubly location in 1981 from Ernie Zinger and renamed it Zinger-Smigielski Funeral Home. They then acquired the Minden City location in 1985 from Frank and Eleene Bowen which is now known as Smigielski Funeral Home.
The Smigielski’s didn’t get an easy start either. The first month they didn't have one single call, but Ernie Zinger assured them it would be ok and people just needed to get to know them. The two of them quickly became involved in local organizations such as the Lion's Club, but it didn’t take long before they were able to build a trust with members of the community.
The Smigielski's way is what’s gotten them where they are today with the care and time they take with each family to plan every detail of the funeral.