Brilliant’s only funeral home was founded in the late 1940’s by Earl and Pearl Williams, who purchased the McIntire family home at the corner of Third and Ohio Street. The Williams converted it into a small funeral chapel. Along with their son and daughter-in-law, Orval and Tillie, they also operated an ambulance service and a taxi service.
At one point, due to family disagreements, Orval and Tillie ceased operations with the elder Williams. They later operated a funeral home out of the Clever property at the corner of Clever and Third Streets for approximately six months before Orval bought out his parents at the Third and Ohio location. He and Tillie continued to operate the funeral home, ambulance service and taxi service, until the fire department took over ambulance services and the taxi service was no longer a viable business. Orval continued to operate the funeral home until his son’s tragic death.
The home was then purchased by Frank Van Hove of Tiltonsville and later sold to William Wheeler in 1982. Under Mr. Wheeler’s direction, the business has grown from its original six rooms to sixteen rooms and now boasts a four car garage. The Wheeler Funeral home is a modern facility, offering spacious viewing rooms, full size casket display room and convenient, ample parking, as well as a branch facility in Mingo.
In April of 2008 we remodeled the Brilliant facility. We extended the main viewing room eight feet to allow for 14 more chairs to be set up in this room for funeral services. We replaced all the light fixtures and ceiling and also knocked out two walls for a more open floor plan. In addition we replaced all the flooring to make the funeral home feel brighter and more spacious.
The funeral home serves not only families in Brilliant, but also families throughout Wells Township, Mingo and Georges Run.
Bill, along with his daughter Kristen and son-in-law Michael, and the Wheeler Funeral Home have become an integral part of and an asset to the community. Upon the death of a friend or family member, Bill, Kristen, Mike and their staff make everyone feel comfortable and welcome.