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Photos and story by JJ Kaplan

Ask anyone in the service industry why they do what they do. Most business owners feel an intrinsic reward much greater than the services provided. This strong sense of satisfaction of “being there” for their customers is the reason that Max Nelson and his daughter, Jennifer Nelson Williams, of ARN Mortuary and Cremation Service do what they do.

Max Nelson and Jennifer Nelson Williams

Max Nelson and Jennifer Nelson Williams

As owners of Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Mortuary (ARN), Max and Jennifer pride themselves in offering personalized service to provide comfort and care. When a loved one dies in the middle of the night, whom shall be called first? Should you call the police, coroner, pastor, priest or rabbi? The answer is a simple…call ARN.

An ARN staff member lives on-site 24 hours a day to answer questions and offer assistance. This is an expense that many funeral homes have phased out. It is important to Max and Jennifer that someone personally be available and onsite to meet your needs at any time. When needed, a member of the ARN staff will come to the home day or night, arrange transportation to ARN and remain with the body through the night. It is comforting to know that someone is personally taking care of things.

Max and Jennifer often honor personal requests when helping families make final arrangements. It’s the details and special requests that make the arrangements deeply personal and provide comfort to the families. Through the years, they have had many personal requests, each making the funeral experience more meaningful to a family. The baby boomer generation in particular wants more personalization and selection.

ARN is the only crematory in the Carmel and Zionsville area that offers an onsite crematory,

Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Mortuary on Michigan Road in Zionsville

providing peace of mind to families and friends. By offering an onsite crematory, families can be assured the cremains (ashes) are truly their loved ones. Families may view the cremation or sit in the tranquil meditation room during the cremation and be a part of the entire process. This was an important addition to the facility when the firm moved to 11411 N. Michigan Rd. More and more families are choosing cremation: having an onsite crematory eases concerns and provides peace of mind during this stressful time.

When we completed this interview, Jennifer asked if I wanted the tour. I was impressed by the beautiful chapel with its crystal chandeliers and elegant furnishings. The room can accommodate large gatherings or be divided for a smaller, more intimate service. The chapel is adaptable to serve all faiths and cultures. Attention to detail is apparent every step of the way.

Max went to work in 1955 at the age of 17. He began working at Aaron-Ruben Mortuary, doing everything he could to help the owners and learn the business. Later he attended the Indiana College of Mortuary Science. Eventually he bought out the founding partners and became sole owner. After graduating in 1990 with her degree in Psychology, Jennifer joined him in the business and became the firm’s president in 2002.

Originally located on North Meridian from 1935 to 1966, the business later relocated to 86th and Ditch from 1966 to 2009. Then in 2009, they relocated to their current location at 11411 N. Michigan Rd. in Zionsville, tucked between Altum’s Horticulture Center and Zionsville Presbyterian Church. This beautiful state-of-the-art building was specifically designed to be a full-service mortuary.

Whether discussing preplanning or at-need services, Max, Jennifer and their experienced staff will make you feel welcome and comforted. The experts at Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Mortuary and Cremation Service welcome your inquiries by phone, email or dropping in. An ARN staff member will personally provide comfort and guidance whenever it is needed…every step of the way.

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