About Us

Over eighty years ago , John F. Donovan founded Donovan Funeral Home in downtown Kalamazoo, and years later, moved the business to a historic mansion at 447 W. South Street. Roy Betzler purchased Donovan's in 1975, working with John's nephew, Charles. Ten years later Roy moved the business to the current, modern, single-story facility on Stadium Drive. In 1991, Roy's son Scott joined the firm. The family expanded their service to the community in 1999, when they bought the Thompson & Hawley Funeral Home in Paw Paw, and renamed it the Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home. In February of 2006 the physical form of The Life Story Experience was built – The Life Story Center. “It’s truly an extension of your home and doesn’t feel or look like a funeral home”, says Scott Betzler. This unique space allows families to hold services and receptions all under one roof.