Funeral planning center to open in downtown Milwaukee

Rozga Funeral Home will open location on Mason Street

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Rozga Funeral Home plans to open a unique location in downtown Milwaukee.

Rendering of the Rozga Funeral Planning Center planned downtown.

The Rozga Funeral Planning Center, which will be located at 224 E. Mason St., will offer traditional cremation and burial services along with event planning services at several Milwaukee venues including the Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum or the Bartolotta restaurants.

Educational workshops about advanced funeral planning will also be offered.

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John Rozga, president of Rozga Funeral Homes, said the trend for many years has been for funeral homes to move to the suburbs, but with the recent growth of Milwaukee’s downtown, he wanted to be a part of it.

“We looked over our shoulder and took notice of all of the development downtown,” Rozga said. “In the 1950s and ’60s there was a great concentration of funeral homes downtown, but they left. This is not a luxury item and we see a definite need. We’re really excited to be opening downtown.”

Cremations are typically priced at one-third less than funeral and burial costs and about 50 percent of his customers are opting for that option, Rozga said. He expects even more people who visit the downtown location will choose non-traditional types of services for their loved ones.

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The 1,100-square-foot Mason Street location will be staffed by at least two people. The company, which currently has two locations, both on the south side of Milwaukee, employs 14 people.

The downtown location will be the first planning center of its kind in Milwaukee, with only a few similar planning centers in the country. It is expected to open in September.

Rozga was started in 1898 by John Rozga’s great grandfather, who made caskets as a furniture builder. Today, the company is run by John and his wife, Jackie, and their son, Trevor, who is a fifth-generation Rozga, and just received his funeral director license earlier this year.

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