Late last year, Kevin and Judy TeBeest of Montevideo purchased Tillie’s Restaurant in Granite Falls with a plan for remodeling the building as a funeral home. Now, nearly nine months later, construction work is finally complete and the husband-wife business team are celebrating the grand opening of the newest Anderson-Te-Beest Funeral Home location.

Almost immediately, visitors will notice that the interior of the space has undergone a profound transformation. Every trace of the old 1970’s era interior is gone, replaced by an invitingly modern interior layout designed to convey elegance and comfort. Keystone Architects oversaw the remodeling, and the work was carried out with an assortment of local contractors and materials. Betsy Lavin of Granite Falls was responsible for designing the new interior. The main dining room now serves as the chapel and has space for between 175 and 200 people.

The space is warmly lit and features several HD wall screens. Former patrons of Tillie’s will also notice that the old horseshoe bar is gone, giving the front entrance a spacious, wide open, feeling. A large stone fireplace serves as the central focal point greeting entering visitors. Some features remain, such as the sunroom at the East end of the building. New wood flooring and updated furniture give the space a brighter and more modern feel.

The TeBeests say it can be used for non-traditional services or even as a casual meeting place. Kevin and Judy say they hope visitors find the new design “homey” and “comforting,” adding that the expansive interior space provides greater flexibility for services. The facility also features comfy armchairs arranged in discreet corners, providing people with quiet spaces to share stories together.

Since announcing their purchase last year, local residents have wondered about the logistics of having a funeral home so close to a motel. Kevin explained that although the funeral home shares a wall with the adjacent Granite Falls Super Motel, there is no actual connection between the two buildings. He also clarified that cremation and body preparation services for the Granite Falls funeral home are actually performed at their Montevideo location.

Although major construction at the funeral home already ended, licensing delays from the Minnesota Department of Health pushed back the official opening date. This week, the couple announced that all remaining paperwork was successfully filed and the funeral home is now open for business. The TeBeest’s also thanked Lavin for the skill and experience she brought to the interior design process, adding that the facility “would not look this nice without her.” Kevin and Judy say they are looking forward to getting to know the community. They will host several open houses later this summer for interested residents.