After decades serving as a restaurant, the former Tillie’s building now has a new owner. The property was purchased in December by Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home and Cremation Service, who will open a permanent Granite Falls funeral home later this year.

Anderson-TeBeest is based out of Montevideo and is owned by local residents Kevin and Judy TeBeest. The couple also own Hanson & Dahl Funeral Home in Dawson in addition to managing the J.H. Lynner Funeral Home in Clarkfield. In addition to overseeing funeral arrangements, they also offer monument sales, funeral pre-arrangement, and grief support. Anderson-TeBeest Funeral Home is part owner in a crematory. When you call them for cremation services, they professionally care for your loved one through the entire process.

Building plans have already been drawn up with Keystone Architects. Local contractors will begin putting together estimates and bids throughout January, with actual construction beginning sometime in February. Kevin anticipates construction to last around 90 days -- putting the formal opening sometime in the spring.

The couple explained that the current building will remain, but added that it will need to undergo major renovations. “We will take out a few interior walls, but the main shell of the building will remain,” Kevin said.

Additional changes to the existing building include converting the old dining room into a chapel and transforming the horseshoe counter into an open reception space. The chapel can seat between 150 and 200 people. The TeBeests also said they will add two handicap accessible bathrooms and that they plan on keeping the sun room.

Kevin explained that the existing building is perfectly suited for their many needs. “We will have the ability to have a traditional type service in the chapel itself or we can have a contemporary type service using the sun room,” he explained.

Judy and Kevin also addressed concerns raised about the future funeral home’s proximity to Granite Falls Super Motel. Currently, a hallway connects the two buildings, but Kevin said access to the connection would be completely limited. “The structure will remain, however, you won’t be able to get in. It will serve as an emergency exit only.” he added.

Judy explained that once open, the funeral home could bring extra business to the hotel. “When we have a funeral now, it is very common (probably 90% of the time) for people to call and ask, ‘Where can we stay?’” The couple emphasized that like any business, their presence in the community would help boost others, citing their prominent role in the Montevideo business community as an example.

Kevin and Judy were born and raised in Montevideo and graduated from Montevideo High School. Kevin received his degree in mortuary science from the University of Minnesota in 1985 before joining Anderson Funeral Home in 1992. Judy also graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1985 and in 2014, completed the mortuary science program from the Des Moines Area Community College. In addition to being a licensed mortician, Judy is also trained as a funeral celebrant, a licensed social worker, and holds a Master's Degree in Education from Southwest Minnesota State.

Their son, Kyle TeBeest, is also a licensed mortician, and now works with his parents at the funeral home. There are two additional licensed morticians on staff, Camille Steffel and Elizabeth Bakkelund. Although they are based in Montevideo, the staff provide services all over the region. The company was founded in 1908 in South Dakota and moved to the Montevideo location in 1912.

The company was originally founded as Anderson and Anderson Undertakers, but changed its name several times over the years to reflect new terminology.

Today, Anderson-TeBeest prides itself on being able to offer a wide variety of different services to accommodate every family. They organize both secular and religious services, and work with loved ones to customize services to reflect unique lives.

During the remodeling process, they will be serving the Granite Falls area from their Montevideo location.