Founded in 1939 by Carl C. Thacker on North Capitol Street in Washington, DC, Thacker Caskets, Inc. began as a relatively small and local funeral supply jobber serving customers in greater Washington, DC market. Originally called Old Dominion Casket Company, the name was changed to Thacker Caskets in the early 1970s. Thacker ingenuity was evident from the start as Carl pioneered a number of advertising and promotional strategies – he was the first to photograph his product line and transfer the photos to slides. In this way, he was able to display his caskets via projector in a vibrant slide show format.
Following Carl Thacker’s untimely death, in 1981 his wife Audrey and son Carl J. (“CJ”) assumed leadership of the company. While others might have been tempted to sell or close the business, Audrey and CJ were committed to perpetuating Carl’s dream, and building upon his legacy. Under their direction, the company grew and prospered.
By 1989, the company had outgrown their original location. They relocated to their headquarters and distribution center to their current home in Clinton, MD, adjacent to Joint Base Andrews – home to the United States Air Force and Navy. In 1991 the company’s first satellite distribution center was established in Pittsburgh, PA and in 1995, Thacker purchased Spencer Casket Company in Richmond, VA in its first acquisition.
A major step forward was taken in January 1999 when Thacker Caskets announced the acquisition of the Loretto Casket Company. After the change in management, immediate improvements were made to the Loretto buildings including new conveyor lines and drying ovens. The production grew from approximately 22 caskets per day to over 160 caskets per day, truly an incredible accomplishment and testimonial to the skills and dedication of the management and employees of Loretto Casket Company.
Continuing on the growth path, in June of 2001, Thacker purchased majority ownership in Balanced Line Casket Company of Cambridge City, IN. Long one of the most revered names in the Midwest, the Balanced Line acquisition enabled Thacker to enter the important Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio markets.
Yet another milestone was reached in June of 2005 when the Thacker family purchased a 210,000 square foot facility in Florence, Alabama – now home to Thacker Casket Manufacturing. The company’s rapid growth had put great pressure on the older Loretto facilities. The new plant provides a wonderful working environment for our employees and the opportunity to take advantage of manufacturing efficiencies simply not available in the former environment.
In 2010, Thacker made yet another investment back into the company by purchasing the assets of Ampcor II, a leading casket handle and hardware maker. This purchase has supplemented Thacker’s efforts to vertically integrate, yet again, into casket handle and hardware manufacturing.
Today, a third generation of Thacker’s is already involved in the company looking forward to continuing the legacy for generations to come. It has been quite a journey from the streets of Washington, DC to presently being the largest family owned casket company in the United States. The Thacker commitment to providing exceptional value and exemplary service has never wavered. It is this dedication and commitment to their customers that has been the guiding spirit at Thacker Caskets, Inc.