KOSCIUSKO — Before today’s EMS system was developed, funeral homes often doubled as the ambulance service. This car, a 1970 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight, was customized by Cotner-Bevington Corporation in Blytheville, Ark. It served its entire career in Indiana, finding a new home at Titus Funeral Home over Memorial Day weekend.
“We really weren’t in the market for a classic hearse but when we saw this car come up for sale we just fell in love with its history,” said funeral director and owner Cory Benz. “The car has a story to tell, just like each of us has our own story and we just couldn’t let this car be sold to scrap or left to rust.”
“We’ve entered our hearse in several local car shows this summer and received great responses. The car has such unique characteristics and is something that just is not seen often,” said Benz. “For its age, the hearse is remarkably well kept and remains mostly original with its bright blue faux leather interior and a working siren. The odometer reads right at 70,000 miles and you’d never know it; the ride is very smooth and everything is incredibly tight—they just don’t build them like this anymore.”
Titus Funeral Home provided ambulance services to many residents of the community until the late 1970s. At that time, the funeral home was located at the corner of High and Main Streets, next to the Masonic Lodge. Although both those buildings are gone, Titus Funeral Home continues to serve from their location at 2000 East Sheridan St., Warsaw.