About Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services
Since 1928 when T.R. Chiles left the farmlands of the Ada/Alger area and moved to town, Lima and area citizens began to experience a level of care and concern never before experienced and which continues into the new millennium.
The knowledge of his concerned and compassionate service soon became widespread and the business, originally owned by his sister-in-law, Harriet Bowersock, began to grow. In 1941, T.R.’s younger son Russell became licensed as a funeral director and embalmer and joined him in their chosen life’s work. Chiles and Son Funeral Home quickly began to take the lead with Lima’s first air conditioned chapels, large off street parking areas, the largest and most modern ambulance fleet to care for the sick and injured are but a few of the innovations offered by Chiles. These ideas accompanied by a commitment to service led to a growth pattern exceeding even the highest expectations of T.R. Chiles.
In 1947, Howard R. Laman, T.R.’s son-in-law, became licensed and joined the firm followed in 1948 by Harold S. Chiles, T.R.’s older son, forming not only a slogan, but a way of life which still lives today – A Family Dedicated to Service.
In 1961, Donald S. Chiles, Harold’s son, earned his license and joined the family firm followed in 1964 by James R. Chiles, Russ’s son. The third generation was made complete in 1990 when Howard Laman’s son, H.Robert Laman received his funeral director’s license.
As the family had grown, so too had the business. The Wayne Street Chapel, fashioned from the Judge Richey home in 1932 and then greatly expanded n the late 1950’s, was soon insufficient to meet the space needs of a rapidly growing business. And so in 1959 the Harry Lewis Funeral Home, located at 828 Bellefontaine Avenue, was purchased and remodeled to better serve the families of east and northeast Lima. In 1967, Chiles saw further expansion with the construction of the Shawnee Chapel to meet the needs of a greatly expanding population in the west and southwest areas of the city.
The Chiles and Laman families ventured outside Lima in 1986 with the purchase of the Diller Funeral Home and the Basinger Funeral Home, both old and established firms in the small college town of Bluffton, OH. At the same time, the Haas-Diller Funeral Home in Pandora was also purchased. Gordon Diller, the owner and operator, along with his wife moved to Bluffton to operate and manage the new venture. Believing in the same philosophies as the Chiles and Laman families, along with being well known and well respected, Gordon provided a smooth transition from the previous owners while moving the service to an exemplary level as voiced by client families.
Today, the third generation of family plus the eight additional funeral directors now associated with Chiles remain committed to that slogan, that way of life that began so many years ago – A Family Dedicated to Service.