Our Heritage

Providing Quality Funeral Service to the Lehigh Valley since 1860

Jonas Mink, Founder

In the year 1860, Jonas Mink began what is known today as the Trexler Home. A cabinet maker by trade, Jonas began undertaking in the old Mink home south of the present city limits of Allentown. Undertaking at the time was not the complete, professional service with which the public has become familiar today. Jonas was an accomplished coffin maker, one whom people sought out at time of death for his quality workmanship and because he seemed a little more considerate of the family's feelings.

With this humble beginning, consideration to the family's needs, distinguished service, honesty, integrity and a spotless reputation for the finest in funeral service have become synonymous with the Trexler name.

Mink Home

When Jonas Mink died, his widow, Caroline Wieand Mink continued the business with the help of a nephew, Jacob G. Sterner. In 1873, appreciating the greater opportunities afforded in Allentown, Jacob moved to 116 South Eighth Street where he continued cabinet making and undertaking. He assumed full control of the business in 1884.

Jacob Sterner

By this time people were already beginning to expect more service from the undertaker. There still was no scientific preservation in those days, however more refined practices were coming into being... carved horse-drawn hearses replaced wagons, grave diggers replaced neighbors who dug graves. The religious ceremony was held in the church or home as well as at the cemetery or churchyard.

The year 1904 brought forth a progressive pioneer in the funeral service field. In that year, Oliver S. Rabenold, nephew-in-law of Jacob G. Sterner and father of Arline Rabenold Trexler entered the business.

True to American tradition, Oliver rose from a simple job as blacksmith's helper to a position of prominence in the mortuary profession in Pennsylvania. Born in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, in 1870; it was not until 1904 that the opportunity came to become associated in the family undertaking business then owned by an uncle of Mrs. Rabenold. A courteous Christian gentleman, Oliver S. Rabenold, found in the field of funeral service an outlet for his deep, sincere love for his fellowmen. He assumed full control of the business in 1915 and during the next 25 years devoted his life to the profession.

It was during his lifetime that factory-made caskets replaced home-made coffins, modern embalming became prevalent and funeral directing became a profession requiring scientific education, while the increased use of both funeral homes and motorized equipment demanded that a funeral director devote his full time to his profession.

Seeing the need for training in the newly evolving profession, Mr. Rabenold, through study with the Barnes School of Embalming in Boston became one of the first school trained as well as one of the first licensed funeral directors in Pennsylvania.

Oliver S. Rabenold

In 1927 Theodore T. Trexler, a graduate of the Eckels College of Mortuary Science, joined Mr. Rabenold in the funeral profession and the following year Mr. Rabenold's daughter, Arline S. Rabenold, also joined her father in the funeral profession.

Always closely associated with and keenly interested in her father's business, Arline Rabenold Trexler early recognized the challenge of the profession and the greater opportunities for community service. Her early training under her father's guidance, together with the finest preparation at the Cincinnati College of Embalming, culminated in her profound appreciation for all the varied aspects, problems and special situations that are required of present day funeral service.

When Mr. Rabenold died in 1939, he left his family a distinguished reputation and his daughter and son-in-law capably assumed the management of the business. In 1958 a son, DeForrest L. Trexler, a graduate of the Eckels College of Mortuary Science, entered the service of the Trexler Funeral Homes.

In the late 1960's, after his own father's sudden death, Carl F. Schmoyer, a fourth generation funeral director from Breinigsville served his apprenticeship under the guidance of his father's close friend and classmate, Theodore T. Trexler. Carl assisted the Trexler's until Spring of 1978 when Mr. and Mrs. Trexler retired and became Director's Emeriti.

Carl F. Schmoyer purchased the business that year and along with his family's funeral home in Breiningsville, he continues the long standing tradition of services to the Lehigh Valley.

In the early 1990's a renovation project was completed giving the facility expanded seating and a fresh, but familiar look. At the same time, Carl's son, Carl Schmoyer, III joined his father on a full time basis.

One detail that has not changed is the sincere, compassionate, and attentive service that has been established for over 140 years...

Your visit is welcome anytime. We feel that you will appreciate why TREXLER is the first choice of so many local families and is considered "Historic Allentown's Finest Funeral Home".