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 Heritage of Frerker Funeral Home

Theodore B. Volmer was a cabinet maker by trade. He settled in St. Louis and apprenticed himself to a cabinet maker named Mr. Ratermann. After a year of training during which Mr. Volmer also attended the St. Louis Embalming School, Mr. Ratermann considered his pupil skilled enough to start his own business. Mr. Ratermann suggests that Theodore start a business in Carlyle since it was a growing city.

By this time Theodore had married his shipboard sweetheart, Mary Schulte. They settled in Carlyle where he established the Carlyle Furniture and Funeral Company in 1867. His business prospered since he was an excellent craftsman and offered the only funeral service within 15 miles.

Theodore and Mary raised a family of seven daughters, all of whom were taught to help with the family business. Mr. Volmer made the caskets and the girls lined them.

In 1900, Christine Volmer, Theodore’s second oldest daughter married John Frerker, a Carlyle man, who subsequently purchased the funeral and furniture business from Mr. Volmer. They raised a family of four children, a daughter Helen, and three sons, Paul, Pete, and Bill.

The three boys grew up in the business and, after they finished high school, Paul and Pete enrolled in the Worsham Training School of Anatomy, now the Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Bill attended the Carpenter School of Mortuary Science in St. Louis, MO.

In 1925 John Frerker Purchased the Klein building on the corner of 7th and Fairfax, and remodeled it for a funeral home. It was one of the first facilities of such for miles around.

John H. Frerker died in 1933 and the funeral business was carried on by his sons, Paul and Pete while Bill operated the furniture store. In addition to the Carlyle facility the Frerker brothers opened a funeral home in Beckemeyer in 1954 to better serve their community.

Pete Frerker, Tom’s father died unexpectedly in December of 1966. At that time Bill came into the funeral business more prominently following the closing of the furniture store.

In February of 1969 Paul Frerker died suddenly followed by Bill’s death four months later leaving Bill’s widow, Agnes, to operate the business.

At that time Illinois state law required that the owner of a funeral home had to be a licensed funeral director. This is when Tom enrolled in the Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago.

After graduating from Worsham and passing the state of Illinois examination, Tom and his family returned to Carlyle to complete his one year apprenticeship. He purchased the business in August of 1973.

Our Heritage of Hempen Funeral Home

In 1915, Henry B. Hempen formed a partnership with Theodore J. Welling and established Welling & Hempen, a popular general store in New Baden. The store sold an array of household products and LP gas. It also provided a number of services including plumbing, heating, and sheet metal products and services. In addition, Henry received his funeral director’s license and established funeral service, providing caskets and other funeral merchandise, all of which was housed above the general store.

Funeral visitations around the turn of the century in the United States were mostly held in the home of the deceased. Most often preparation of the deceased was also done in the home. This meant that all equipment and supplies had to be taken to the home by horse and buggy at any time of day or night, in any kind of weather. Equipment for the wake or visitation was also delivered. Since most homes had no electricity, batteries and “strings of lights” as well as chairs, flowers stands, tables for lunch, and other equipment and supplies were delivered.

Following preparation of the deceased, the family invited relatives, neighbors, and friends into their home for the visitation or wake, which was usually held in the front parlor or living room. The invitation was generally extended by use of funeral notices placed in businesses and public places to announce the wake since there were no telephones or local radio, and daily newspapers in rural areas were virtually non-existent. Houses sometimes were built with funerals in mind, with two front doors, one for visitors to enter, the other to exit. The actual funeral service usually held in the deceased’s church. As transportation improved, traditions evolved and families began choosing to have visitations at funeral homes instead.

In late 1943, the Welling & Hempen partnership was dissolved. By this time the old general store had expanded; it made sense to separate the different businesses. Henry purchased property on the north side of Hanover Street in New Baden, about four blocks east of the original location, and established what would become Hempen Hardware, continuing his plumbing, heating, sheet metal, pump and pump repair, and insurance business. Shortly thereafter, he purchased property on the south side of the highway and established Hempen Funeral Home.

Henry was married to Augusta Mann and had three children: Marjorie, Bernard and Marilyn. Bernard, or Ben, as most knew him, served in the US Navy during WWII, then returned home to join his father in the businesses. Like his father, Ben was a licensed funeral director and embalmer as well as a licensed plumber. In 1956 Henry and Ben purchased property in Albers and built what was then the first building in Clinton County to be built as a funeral home. Prior to that, most funeral homes were established in converted single-family houses.

In January 1965, Ben purchased the businesses from his father. Ben had married Dorothy Carson in 1943 and together they had seven children. Ben’s son, Carson, entered the businesses with his father in 1970. Like his father and grandfather, Carson was a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and a licensed plumber. In 1976, Carson purchased the businesses from his father. Carson and Ben were also certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). Hempen Funeral Home provided ambulance service in New Baden and the surrounding area. This was a common practice since often times funeral homes had the only vehicle that could accommodate people needing emergency transportation to a hospital.

In 1979, Carson upgraded the ambulance service by applying for and receiving a federal grant and placing into service one of the first van style ambulances in the area. In August, 1983 Carson assisted the Village of New Baden in establishing the municipal ambulance service to continue to provide service to New Baden, Albers, Damiansville, New Memphis, and Lookingglass Township.

In 1990, Carson closed Hempen Hardware to concentrate his efforts in the funeral business. Throughout this time, Carson had begun to assist other funeral homes in Southern Illinois including Bruegge Funeral Home in Breese and Brefeld Funeral Home in Aviston. In June of 1997, when Mike Bruegge decided to concentrate solely on his furniture business, Carson purchased Bruegge Funeral Home in Breese. He had also been assisting Dorothea (Brefeld) Lengermann and her husband Paul in the operation of Brefeld Funeral Home in Aviston.

In May, 1999, a new funeral home was built and Carson purchased the business from the estate of Paul & Dorothy Lengermann. Today, Hempen Funeral Home has locations in Breese, Aviston, Albers, & New Baden.

Hempen Funeral Home has been providing family owned services for well over 100 years – since 1872 in Breese, 1910 in Aviston, and 1915 in New Baden & Albers.

In June of 2014, Eric Nordike purchased Hempen Funeral Home from Carson Hempen. Eric and his staff will continue to provide Clinton County with the devoted service of the past. We look forward to growing the business and serving Clinton County residents with unique and personalized funeral services. We want every service we conduct to reflect the life that we have been entrusted to honor.

We take great pride in our service to our community. We believe that “giving back” is a major part of our obligation. That’s why you will see Nordike Funeral Home as a sponsor to many local charitable events and personnel from the funeral home involved. We understand the values of Clinton County. Most importantly, we understand the importance of creating a meaningful funeral service for a life well lived.

Our Valued Staff

Eric  Nordike

Eric Nordike, Owner / President

Eric was born November 5, 1984 in Carlyle, IL, son of Duane and Denise (Fauke) Nordike. On July 11, 2009 Eric married Alicia Knolhoff, daughter of Dennis and Sharon Knolhoff, of Hoffman and they reside in Carlyle, along with their children, Aften and Easten.

Eric is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Carlyle, a trustee for the McKendree Chapel Cemetery in Keyesport, a trustee for the Carlyle Township Cemetery in Carlyle, he has been a member of the Carlyle Fire Department since 2005 where he has achieved the rank of Assistant Chief, and he also served as an EMT for Breese EMS for 8 years. Eric is also a member of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association and the Egyptian Funeral Directors Association.

He is a 2003 graduate of Carlyle High School, a 2005 graduate of Kaskaskia College and a 2007 graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. Eric has been involved in the funeral service industry since 2005 but has been a licensed funeral director since August of 2007 where he worked at Frerker Funeral Home in Carlyle before purchasing all four locations of Hempen Funeral Home in June 2014. In July of 2015 Eric purchased Frerker Funeral Home in Carlyle. All locations are now ran under the name of Nordike Funeral Homes but carry on the history and values of the past.

Haley Pritchett

Haley Pritchett, Funeral Director/Embalmer/Manager

Haley M. Howell Pritchett was born January 4, 1985 in Jefferson City, MO, the daughter of Larry Howell and wife Lois of Hernando, FL., and Judy (Nilges) Howell of Westphalia, MO. She currently resides in New Baden with her daughter, Skylar.

She is a 2003 graduate of New Bloomfield R-III High School, New Bloomfield, MO and served in the United States Air Force as a Personnel Security Specialist before attending the Mortuary Science Program at St. Louis Community College and graduating in 2009.

Haley is a licensed Missouri Funeral Director and licensed Illinois Funeral Director and Embalmer and has been with Nordike Funeral Home since 2008. She is a member of St. George Parish in New Baden, IL, the Trenton Cemetery Association Trustee Board, the Western Catholic Union Post 314 of Westphalia, MO, Illinois Funeral Director's Association, National Funeral Director's Association, Missouri Funeral Director and Embalmer's Association, Egyptian Funeral Director's Association, and the St. Clair County Funeral Director's Association.

David Caplinger

David Caplinger, Funeral Director/Embalmer

David was born on August 6, 1992 in Irvine, CA, son of Dave and Karla (Cowen) Caplinger. In December of 1996, David and his family moved to Carlyle, IL where he currently resides.

He is a 2010 graduate of Mater Dei Catholic High School, a 2012 graduate of Kaskaskia College, and in 2016 graduated Summa Cum Laude from The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in Cincinnati, OH with a Bachelor's degree in Mortuary Science.

David is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Carlyle, and has also been a firefighter and EMT on the Carlyle Fire Department since 2011.

David served his apprenticeship with Nordike Funeral Home, and is now a licensed funeral director and embalmer since May of 2018.

Tonya Diekemper

Tonya Diekemper, Funeral Director/Embalmer

Tonya is a 1995 graduate of Carlyle High School and a 2009 graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a Bachelor's degree in Mortuary Science.

She is currently serving as a member of the Carlyle Unit School Board of Education, the PTO secretary, and the secretary for the Carlyle Lions Club.

Tonya lives in rural Carlyle with her husband, Jason. They have 5 children, Siera (husband, Aaron), Bryce, Wyatt, Wade, and Owen.

Tom Frerker

Tom Frerker

Tom was born and raised in Carlyle, and grew into his place as the 4th generation owner of Frerker Funeral Home.

Tom is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, and the Egyptian Funeral Directors Association. He and Mary attend St. Mary Church, where he served as Chairman of the Pastoral Council.

He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 1382 in Carlyle, and his other civic duties include serving in the Carlyle Chamber of Commerce, the Lions, Rotary, and Optimist Clubs; the Carlyle Community Unit District Foundation, the Clinton County Relay for Life Committee, Board member of the Friends of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Tom also served as a member of the Board of Directors of USBank.

He and his wife Mary, a Registered Nurse working with the American Red Cross, have two grown children and five grandchildren.

Tom sold Frerker Funeral Home to Eric Nordike in July of 2015.

B. Carson  Hempen

B. Carson Hempen

Born July 16, 1947 the son of the late Bernard P. & Dorothy A. (Carson) Hempen in St. Joseph Hospital, Breese, IL, Carson “grew up” working around the funeral home and is the third generation funeral director of Hempen Funeral Home. He married Norma Berndsen January 2, 1968 in St. Dominic Church in Breese. Carson is a member of St. George Parish, is a member & former president of the New Baden Chamber of Commerce, former chairman & member of Friends of St. Joseph Hospital, member of St. Joseph Hospital Governing Board, Breese, Breese Chamber of Commerce, National Funeral Directors Association, Illinois Funeral Directors Association, Egyptian Funeral Directors Association, St. Clair County Funeral Directors Association In addition to being licensed as a funeral director, Carson is a licensed private pilot and member of the Illinois Pilots Association, Gateway Pilots Association, & Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association. Carson and Norma sold all four locations of Hempen Funeral Home to Eric Nordike in June 2014. The name was then changed to Hempen-Nordike Funeral Home.

Al “Turk”  Kuper

Al “Turk” Kuper, Greeter