Bonnerup Funeral and Cremation Service began in 1922 when Jens and Alma Bonnerup opened a funeral home in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Jens was an immigrant from Denmark who married an Albert Lea area native, Alma. The couple worked out of several locations until they settled in their Clark Street location in Albert Lea in the 1940's. The family business expanded in 1945 to include their son and daughter-in-law, Robert and LaVonne Bonnerup. Working together, they continued the commitment of superior service to area families.
In 1963, the Bonnerup's added a chapel in Ellendale, allowing them to provide quality, caring funeral service to the many families in the Ellendale area. A local residence was remodeled to serve as a visitation chapel, while administration remained in Albert Lea. In 2007, a new facility was constructed to better serve the needs of the community.
Jens Bonnerup, founding father, died in 1969, having retired several years earlier due to ill health. The Bonnerup tradition continued with the addition of Jens' grandson, David, who joined Bonnerup Funeral Service in 1977. In 1986, to further expand their service area, Friedrich's Funeral Home in New Richland was purchased from Howard and Marie Friedrich.
In October of 2001, Tom Vertin, a third generation Minnesota funeral director, and the Bonnerup staff of licensed funeral directors purchased Bonnerup Funeral Service and its three locations. While appreciative of the rich history of the Clark Street location, the decision was made to begin planning for a one-level building in a new location.
On May 31, 2009, the Grand Opening Celebration was held to celebrate a new state-of-the-art facility, which is located at 2210 East Main Street in Albert Lea.
Approaching the facility on Main Street, one is struck by the glass-enclosed front vestibule, the warm colors of the building's exterior, the large windows with their deep burgundy awnings, and the drive-under canopy on the west side. A variety of planted trees, grass, flowers and other landscaping enhance the property.
Walking into the facility through the north main entrance, families will step out of the elements and into an airy, climate controlled, glass vestibule featuring a combination of plantings and a cozy seating area.
At the lobby, families will be welcomed into a generous space featuring an oak and granite, natural gas fireplace, a central 14' high, barrel ceiling with soft, indirect lighting, comfortable furniture groupings, and a soothing decor in soft earth tones of gold, sage, caramel, and dark brown, accented with burgundy.
The lobby also offers a centrally located reception desk and a built-in register cabinet both featuring the same deep green granite that graces the fireplace. The lobby is flanked on the right by a chapel and on the left by a new Reception Center.
The main chapel features a large, but intimate space filled with comfortable seating, special lighting, a new digital piano and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment for sharing video or music tributes that truly personalize the service of a loved one. The area also offers a possible second chapel, featuring a unique atmosphere created by the presence of six large, arched windows.
The new Reception Center also features six of the large, arched windows which help create a warm and inviting gathering space. This large, open area can comfortably accommodate in excess of 100 guests and family members.
You are welcome to stop by for a tour of our new facility.