Wintz & Ray Yankton Funeral Home


Serving Yankton, SD​​ 605.665.3644
Serving Hartington, Crofton, Coleridge & Laurel, NE 402.254.6547

5th and Cedar St.

Yankton Funeral Home History

Our History

215 W. Third St.

History of Wintz & Ray Yankton Funeral Home

History of the Yankton Wintz & Ray Funeral Home

The Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Inc. can trace it's beginning back to 1874, when Josiah R. Sanborn established the firm. He operated the funeral home along with the furniture store which was located on 215 W. Third Street. In April 1876, he hired a young German immigrant named Edward Tenge, and in 1892, was taken in as a partner. In 1905, Edward purchased Sanborn's interest, but five years later had to sell the business to his only son, William, after suffering a stroke.

In 1920, A.G. Schenk, brother-in-law of William Tenge, and W.S. Donohue bought the funeral home from the Tenge estate following William's death. In 1923, Mr. Donohue resigned and A.G. Schenk became sole owner. In that same year, A.G. purchased the building on 5th and Cedar Street, moving the funeral home from 233 Broadway. This would be the site of the funeral home for 63 years. In 1936, Floyd A. Schenk, son of A.G., joined the firm and later had sole ownership.

In summer 1963, Stanley G. Ray joined Floyd as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Stan left Yankton in 1966 and returned in 1976 and bought the business from Floyd the following year. Stan operated the business with his wife, Judy, and in 1986 moved the business to its present location. In 1992, Stan Ray sold the firm to the Jon Lane family and in the fall of 1998, Jim and Kim Cantrell purchased the business.

In February 2000, Jim Cantrell and Stan Ray joined forces with Jim and Jerry Wintz, owners of the Wintz Funeral Home in Hartington, Coleridge, and Crofton to form the Ray, Cantrell & Wintz Funeral Home. Two of Jim and Carla Wintz's sons joined the staff as licensed funeral directors; Paul Wintz in August of 2002, and Steve Wintz in April of 2004.

In September of 2004, Jim and Jerry Wintz purchased Jim Cantrell's interest in the funeral home and changed its name to the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Inc.

History of the Wintz Funeral Home

In 1874, Fred Reifert, began a funeral business in St. Helena, Nebraska. In 1883 he moved his business to Hartington and operated his funeral business and a furniture store out of a downtown building. In 1892 he purchased the property at what is now 203 West Franklin St. The larger, 2 story structure, has continued to be operated as a funeral home since that time.

In 1921 Fred passed away and his son George, along with Fred's daughters, Clara and Lucille, continued to operate the business. Another son, Ralph, joined the family business in 1932. It was in March of 1947 that a 30 year old named Richard Wintz, and his wife Katherine, purchased the business from the Reifert family.

In 1958 Richard added a more modern funeral chapel to the original structure. In 1960 the house was remodeled to add additional living quarters to the west side of the 2 story home. Richard and Katherine raised 9 children here. They sold their downtown furniture store in 1962 and at that time purchased the Smith-Reichendeifer Funeral Home in Hartington and Coleridge.

In 1963 the Home Theater building in Crofton was purchased from the Kostel family and remodeled into a funeral chapel. Richard's oldest son, Jim, and his wife Carla, joined the family business in July of 1975.

On February 10, 1981, Richard died of lung cancer. In August of 1985 Richard's youngest son, Jerry, joined the family business. His wife Kristi began helping after their marriage in 1987. In January of 2000 Jim and Jerry merged their business with the Ray Funeral Chapel in Yankton and in August of 2002 Jim's oldest son, Paul, became a 3rd generation funeral director in the family business. Jim's 3rd son, Steve, followed suit when he also joined the business in April of 2004. Paul and Steve both live in Yankton and work at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton. In March of 2018, Jerry’s oldest son, Jason Wintz, moved back to Hartington and also works as a licensed funeral director and a few months later in May 2018, the Wintz Funeral Home expanded its business into Laurel, Nebraska when Scott Hasemann sold the funeral home. 

Since 1892 there has been a funeral business located at 203 West Franklin St. in Hartington. The Reifert family operated the business for 55 years and now the Wintz family has been serving the area for 70+ years. We believe that few businesses can claim that only 2 families have operated the same business for over 125 years.

Your Yankton, SD and Hartington, Crofton, Coleridge, and Laurel, NE Funeral Home

Yankton Funeral Home History

Present location at 2901 Douglas

Yankton Funeral Home History

203 W. Franklin in Hartington