This year we have entered our 100th year of serving families all across our community. We have seen tremendous growth and success over the last 100 years while building a name that families can trust. We have created this page to showcase our history and accomplishments, but truthfully we would not be where we are today without the support from this wonderful community. So from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for choosing us to care for your loved one.
Meet the Generations
That built our legacy
John Molnar Sr.
May 21, 1882 - November 22, 1950
John Molnar Sr. came to the United States of America from Hungary in 1903 and settled in the Detroit area in 1912 because of the large Hungarian population. Mr. Molnar worked for Cadillac Motor Company, and was one of the 6 people instrumental in the creation of the V-8 engine for Cadillac. He opened the Detroit Hungarian Funeral home, now the John Molnar Funeral Home, in 1923. He had a very strong work ethic and believed that you never stop learning, a trait that has been carried on with all the Molnar Family. Mr. Molnar Sr. passed away at the age of 68, after losing his battle with a terminal illness.
John F. Molnar
July 4, 1906 - May 25, 1950
John F. Molnar worked as a Master Patternmaker and also was the owner of Harvard Pattern Works. With his father’s encouragement, he went back to school and received his Funeral Director’s license on January 20, 1950. The second generation of the John Molnar Funeral Home began with his addition to help run the family business. Mr. Molnar passed away only four months after receiving his license, at the age of 43 due to a brief illness.
Margaret E. Molnar
August 9, 1909 - August 21, 1987
Margaret E. Molnar, the wife of John F. Molnar, owned and operated the Margaret Molnar Beauty Shoppe next door to the funeral home. Following the passing of her husband and father-in-law in 1950, Margaret had to provide for her young son’s future. She gave up her business as a beauty operator to continue the legacy of the funeral home. Mrs. Molnar continued with the daily operations until 1979 and then went into semi-retirement. The Molnar family experienced a great loss on August 21, 1987 with Margaret’s passing. She will always be remembered for her caring manner and compassion for others.
John S. Molnar
John S. Molnar has been involved with operating the John Molnar Funeral Homes as President since 1969. John's leadership qualities have served him well as 1969 Class President of Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science, former President of the Delwood Kiwanis Club, past officer and member of the Southgate Knights of Columbus, and Past President of The Hungarian Heritage Club. Civically, John has served as Chairman of the Southgate Public Safety Commission, and he is also a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Southgate. John acknowledges his success in business would not have been possible without the steadfast commitment of his wife, Helen. They have one daughter, Angela, who has proudly continued the Molnar tradition of being a licensed funeral director. John and Helen have entered into semi-retirement but he still continues to be a fixture within the funeral homes.
Angela M. Molnar-Ferguson
Angela graduated from Wayne State University in the fall of 1993 as the Vice President of her Mortuary Science Class. After graduation, she began to assist her father in operating the John Molnar Funeral Homes. Today, Angela runs the day to day operation of the funeral home. Community service is also an important part of her life. She is a member of Our Lady of the Woods Catholic Church, and has been a past board member of the Brownstown Downtown Development Authority, and was the past secretary, past president, and charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Brownstown. When she is not hard at work, Angela enjoys spending time with her four daughters, Madelyn, Megan, Melanie and Maranda family and visiting her parents in Florida. With the acquisition of the Nixon and Thon Funeral Homes in 2016, Angela has been intimately involved with making the funeral homes operate as efficiently as possible. She has never been so humbled and proud to work with such an amazing group of people who truly enjoy what they do. Angela is known to be the driving force to keep the funeral home up to date . Angela loves continuing the Molnar family tradition by being able to work with an amazing staff to care for all the families the Molnar Funeral Homes serve.
The First Generation
It was in 1923 that John Molnar Sr. first opened John Molnar Funeral Homes, originally known as Detroit Hungarian Funeral Home, within his very own house. It would remain there until 1936 when he relocated it to its Delray location at 8632 Dearborn Avenue. His strong work ethic and desire to give back to the community are traits passed down through the Molnar family and team.
The Second Generation
John Molnar Sr. had three children. With his father's encouragement, his middle child, John F. Molnar went back to school and received his Funeral Director's license on January 20, 1950, thus beginning the second generation. Unfortunately this pairing of father and son was short lived with both of them passing away in 1950, father due to leukemia, and son after a brief illness. At the time, Margaret E. Molnar, wife of the late John F. Molnar, having to provide for her young son's future, gave up her business as a beauty operator to continue on the legacy of the John Molnar Funeral Home. Mrs. Molnar overcame many adversities operating the funeral home as a non-licensed funeral service practitioner.
The Third Generation
With great pride in 1969, Mrs. Molnar’s dream was fulfilled as her son, John S. Molnar, began the third generation of the John Molnar Funeral Homes by joining her in the day-to-day operations of the funeral home.
While attending Mortuary school, John S. Molnar led the class of 1969 as its president.
The move to Southgate
With a vision for the future and a great shift in population out of the Delray area, mother and son made a heartfelt decision to expand their business into the Downriver area. They purchased the Central Baptist Church, in Southgate, and conducted a year-long renovation, turning it into a state-of-the-art funeral home. September 30, 1971, was a monumental day for the Molnar Family, as it marked the birth of John and Helen Molnar’s daughter, Angela, and began the grand opening weekend of the Southgate Funeral Home.
The Fourth Generation
In 1993, the fourth generation of the John Molnar Funeral Homes began with the addition of John and Helen's daughter, Angela M. Molnar-Ferguson.
This same year also brought about the opening of the Brownstown Chapel, one of the most modern and spacious facilities in the Downriver area. The construction of this facility was prompted when John, Helen and Angela saw the continued growth within the Downriver area, and the need to be proactive and expand South into the rapidly developing Brownstown Township.
Expanding to Wyandotte
In February 2016, Angela and her family acquired R.J. Nixon and H.F. Thon Funeral Homes from Linda Burd Berman, Christine Burd Spedding, and Veronica Burd-Hale. In March 2017 the H.F. Thon Funeral Home became The Thon Center.
Nixon Chapel prior to renovations.
Nixon chapel after renovations.
Once again, thanks to the support of our community, we were nominated for Detroit's 2021 Best of the Best.
What will the future hold?
We are excited for what the future holds and look forward to many more years serving the community. Will the Molnar legacy enter it's 5th generation? Stay tuned as we celebrate our 100th year.
Again, we wouldn't be where we are today without the support of the community. We are both proud and humbled by our accomplishments, but our core value remains the same —- we are with you every step of the way.
Making the news
John Molnar, Sr. opened the Detroit Hungarian Funeral Home, now the Molnar Funeral Homes, in 1923. The funeral home began in his home until relocating across the street to it's Delray location at 8623 Dearborn Avenue, in 1936. He had a strong work ethic and believed that you should never stop learning...