History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Our beautiful Redwood Falls facility was built in the mid-1920s as the Hardy family residence. John Hoepner purchased the building around 1960 and it has served the community as a funeral home ever since. The photo at the top of our website is Ramsey Falls, located in our 217 acre city park, Alexander Ramsey park.

Our Valued Staff

  • Alan  Hillestad

    Alan Hillestad Owner/Director/Licensed Pre-Need Consultant

    Alan Hillestad realized his life-long dream in February 2011 when he purchased Nelson-Martin Funeral Service. A long-time resident of the Redwood Falls-Morgan area, Al has worked as a funeral director in the surrounding communities since 1995. He grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, attended Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, and received his degree in mortuary science from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois. Al and his children Isabel, Aleeha and Jackson make their home in Redwood Falls.

  • Bernie  Kretsch

    Bernie Kretsch Funeral Assistant


    Bernie Kretsch is a long-time resident of the Bechyn area, moving there with his family at the young age of two weeks old. He grew up on the family farm, attended country school and graduated from Redwood Falls High School in 1959. Except for the three years Bernie and his wife Sharon (Barnes) lived in the Twin Cities, Bernie operated the family farm. He retired from farming in 2001 and, at that time, began working part-time at Nelson-Martin Funeral Service. Bernie and Sharon have seven adult children and several grandchildren.

  • Jackie  Lueck

    Jackie Lueck Office Manager

    Jackie Lueck has been a resident of Redwood Falls since moving here in 1975 to work for Production Credit Association. Originally a farm girl from Chippewa County, she is a graduate of Murdock High School and Canby Vocational-Technical Institute. Jackie joined the Nelson-Martin Funeral Service family in February 2007 as office manager. She and her husband Paul – a life-long resident of Redwood Falls – are the parents of two adult daughters and grandparents of an ever-growing brood.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Jimmy Sands Funeral Assistant

  • Diane Radel

    Diane Radel Funeral Assistant

  • Jo Ann  Dehncke

    Jo Ann Dehncke

    In Memory of Jo Ann Dehncke

  • Dave  Homan

    Dave Homan Funeral Assistant

  • Jim  Johnson

    Jim Johnson Funeral Director