Family Business in Louisiana: The Case of Rabenhorst Funeral Homes

Cater, J. J., Beal, B. D., Justis, R. T. 2007. Family business in Louisiana: The case of Rabenhorst Funeral Homes. Annual Advances in Business Cases, 27: 221-237. [PDF]


Rabenhorst Funeral Homes is the oldest continuously owned family business in Baton Rouge, LA. Founded in 1866 by Charles F. Rabenhorst, the business is now in the fourth generation of family ownership and management. We trace the development of the firm and examine the changing leadership styles of each generation. The themes of respecting tradition, displaying a basic philosophy of service, offering high quality products, and retaining loyal, long-term employees are emphasized. The fourth generation of Rabenhorsts consists of four siblings, each owning an equal share of the company. This situation has necessitated a management by committee or family top management team approach to the leadership of the business.


  • Katie Gruman says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this paper! Charles F. Rabenhorst and Caroline Focken are my 3rd great grandparents. Their daughter Caroline “Carrie” (Rabenhorst) Barillier is my 2nd great grandmother. I’m curious as to why neither Carrie nor Viola (Rabenhorst) Kerr are not mentioned anywhere in the paper, despite the wealth of information provided by Viola’s daughter, Karen. According to my grandmother, Viola (or Lola) worked in the funeral home her whole career.

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