Owner / Funeral Director
Ryan L. Hirschy, a native of Monroe, started his career in 1993, when in high school he was introduced to then partners, David Haggard and Gayle Armes. He worked through the I.C.E. program for Haggard & Armes Funeral Home. Apart from Haggard, he has been at the current establishment for the longest amount of time.
He graduated from Adams Central High School in 1994 and recieved his Associates in Mortuary Science in 1996 from Vincennes University. After college Ryan returned to Decatur and received his license to practice funeral directing and embalming in 1997. In 2011, Ryan’s commitment paid off as he became a partner in the firm, renaming the funeral home Haggard-Sefton & Hirschy.
In 1998, he married Rebecca C. Straub and they have 3 children, Isaac, Emilee, and Jonah Hirschy. He and his family are members of Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethren, where Ryan serves on the music committee and assists in leading worship. He also is on the Adams County Community Foundation Grants Committee.
Ryan is also an accomplished singer and has performed throughout the United States. He has performed for countless weddings, funerals, social functions, sporting events, and worship services through the years. He enjoys spending time with his family, landscaping his property, and is an avid sports fan for the Adams Central Jets, the Indiana Hoosiers, and the Detroit Tigers.
Owner / Funeral Director
Patrick E. Sefton has been in the funeral industry his entire life, but has practiced as a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 1986. His father, the late Thomas N. Sefton moved to Decatur in 1962 to purchase and operate the Gillig & Doan Funeral Home, later becoming Sefton Funeral Home. Pat is a 1981 graduate of Bellmont High School and received further professional training at Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago graduating in 1984.
Pat has had a wide array of funeral experience, from working with his father at the family funeral home in Decatur, Nelson’s Funeral Home in Chicago,and managing a branch at D.O. McComb & Sons, a large firm in Fort Wayne. Then in 1998, Pat partnered with David S. Haggard and the firm became Haggard & Sefton Funeral Home.
He married Susan J. Walters in 1989 and they have 3 children, Luke, Josh (Alexis), and John Sefton; they also have a grandson, Gabriel. Pat and his wife have been lifelong parishioners of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, where Pat has served on various boards and committees throughout the years. He is also a member of the Knight of Columbus Monsignor J.J. Seimetz Council 864 and its 4th Degree Assembly 257. He has sat on the board of the Adams County Council on Aging since 1999 and now serves as its President.
Pat enjoys spending time with his family and buddies, loves to fish, and being outdoors. He is a huge sports fan especially for the Bellmont Braves, Indiana Hoosiers, Notre Dame, and the Chicago Cubs. He hopes to spend more time traveling in the years to come.
Owner / Funeral Director
Eric M. Zelt, also started his career in funeral home while in high school in 2005. He then worked at the funeral home half days his senior year through the O.J.T. program and graduated in 2006 from Bellmont High School. He obtained his Associates of Applied Science in Funeral Service in 2009 from Mid-America College of Funeral Service. While in Mortuary College, he worked for Totally Independent Embalming Service, a large trade service in Louisville, Kentucky. Upon returning to Decatur he became a licensed funeral director and embalmer in 2010. In January of 2018 he became partners with Pat Sefton and Ryan Hirschy, resulting in the current name of Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home.
In 2011, he married Shelbi M. Barger and they reside in Decatur and have 3 young children, Henry, Genevieve, and Thomas. Eric and his wife are parishioners of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. He is also a member of the Knight of Columbus, Monsignor J. J. Seimetz Council 864 and the 4th Degree Assembly 257, where he currently serves as its Faithful Navigator. Eric is a charter member and the current Chairman of The Dekatur Germanfest Committee.
He loves spending time with his family and friends, cooking, and he and his wife Shelbi enjoy practicing ballroom dancing.
Funeral Director Intern
Samuel C. Steiner, a native to the Adams County area, graduated from Adams Central High School in 2016. In June of 2020, Samuel graduated as the Salutatorian with Academic Honors from Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in Dallas, Texas. Following graduation, he passed the National Board Exams in July of 2020, and then began his yearlong Funeral Director/Embalmer Internship. In late 2021, he will be able to take the State Board Exams then fulfilling his licensing requirements.
He is a member of First Mennonite Church in Berne, Indiana. In addition, he is active in the Berne Rotary, Adams County Farm Bureau, and also serves on the Adams County Extension Board.
Samuel along with his younger siblings, Maddie and Elijah enjoy spending countless hours raising and showing competitive beef cattle. Above all spending time with family is very important to him.
Former Owner / Funeral Director
David S. Haggard, a native of Adams County, graduated in 1961 from Adams Central High School. He then went on to attend Manchester College and it was there he began working for Bender Funeral Home in North Manchester. Realizing his passion for funeral service, Dave decided to move to Indianapolis and became a student of the Indiana College of Mortuary Science and graduated from that institution in 1966. Upon his completion of Mortuary College he was then licensed as a funeral director and embalmer. Haggard then enlisted in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Montgomery, Alabama, where he served as a Colonel’s Aide. While serving in the military he also practiced as a funeral director for White Chapel in Montgomery. It was there he also met his wife-to-be, Faye Brock and the two were wed in October of 1970.
The newly married couple decided to move back to Adams County in 1974 and Dave partnered with Elmer “Chalky” Winteregg and Richard Linn, who were operating a long established funeral home in Decatur. It remained Wintergg-Linn & Haggard until Linn retired and Gayle Armes joined in 1986 and it became Haggard & Armes. It was during this tenure that future partner Ryan Hirschy began his career at a young age. After 12 years, Armes went back to his native Fairmount, Indiana to practice and Patrick Sefton partnered with Dave, renaming it Haggard & Sefton. During this partnership extensive remodeling, additions, and property acquirements were undertaken to better serve the families. In 2011, Haggard went into semi-retirement and longtime funeral director, Ryan Hirschy became partner and took over the day-to-day operations of the funeral home; renaming the firm Haggard-Sefton & Hirschy. In 2018, longstanding employee, Eric Zelt bought-in adding yet an additional last name to the firm, Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt.
Dave and Faye reside in Decatur and have 2 children, Matthew Haggard and Sarah (Ryan) Wolfe. They also have 3 grandchildren, David Haggard, and Carter & Cooper Wolfe. He and his wife are members of The First United Methodist Church, where Dave serves on the Finance Committee, Hospitality Team, and delivers meals weekly for Fishes & Loaves.
Haggard also served as the Coroner for Adams County for
2 terms from 1984-1992. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Adams County
Historical Society and is a member of the City of Decatur Zoning Board. He is member
of the Decatur Masonic Lodge 571 F. & A.M., Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite Valley of Ft. Wayne, Mizpah Temple and Adams County Calliopers. He is also
a member of the Decatur Optimist Club, American Legion Post 43, Elks Lodge 993,
and Eagles Aerie 2653. Most recently Dave was the recipient of the 2017 Stephen Decatur Award.
Robin Gerber has been employed with our funeral home since 2004 as the Administrative Assistant. Before coming to work at the funeral home, she worked at Bellmont High School in the office for 15 ½ years. Robin was born and raised in Decatur, and a 1982 graduate of Bellmont High School and a 1984 graduate of Ravenscroft Beauty College.
Married to Keith Gerber in March of 1985, they have 2 beautiful daughters, Rachel and Hope. She is a member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, where she sings in the church choir, is a member of the St. Mark’s Food Pantry Committee, and has served on various boards and committees.
Robin loves to spend time with family and friends and most of all enjoys family time on Oliver Lake.
Cheryl J. (Carr) Ulman is a native of Van Wert County, Ohio and graduated from Parkway High School in 1967. She has worked as our Secretary first from 1999 - 2003 and then again rejoined our staff in 2015, after returning back to Decatur from Avon.
She is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Decatur, where she is part of their weekly Bible Study. She resides in Decatur and has 2 children, Donna J. (Brian) Ulman-Babbs and Anthony J. (Yvonne) Ulman; 2 grandchildren, Amanda (Aaron) Olson and Brittany Ulman; and great grandson, Levi Olson.
Cheryl enjoys reading, having daily devotions, spending time with her family, and being outside in nice weather. She also takes care of her mother and step father. She likes working with everyone at the funeral home and finds great joy in helping people.
Funeral Home Assistant
Brad Byerly, of Bluffton, IN started working at the Funeral Home in the spring of 2019. Brad recently retired after 34 years teaching vocal music to Middle and High School students. Most of those years were spent teaching at Adams Central Community Schools.
He is married to Susie Byerly who is also a teacher at Adams Central. Both are members of Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethren, where Brad serves on the music committee and has been a long time pianist.
Brad’s interests include landscaping, antiquing, traveling, music and spending time with friends and family.
Valerie Summersett started working at the Funeral Home in August of 2019. She is originally from Berea, Ohio. Valerie graduated from high school in 1996 and was a Bluffton University graduate in 2000.
Valerie has been happily married to Tim Summersett, of Berne, IN, since 1999. Together, they have 3 children; Alexa, at age 15, went to Heaven, Chloe, age 14 and Wesley, age 11.
Valerie and her family attend First Missionary Church, in Berne. She spends time volunteering every month for an organization called MUM’s (Mother’s Uplifting Mother’s).
The Summersett’s support an organization called Children’s Medical Missions and have been involved in hosting children from other countries that come to the states to receive medical treatment.
Valerie enjoys spending much of her time attending the sporting events that her kids are involved in, being outdoors and going on vacations.