WELLINGTON–Funeral director Tytus Cornejo has purchased Shelley Funeral Home and merged it with his own Cornejo Funeral Home, and he plans to keep his business locally-based in Wellington.


"All of the existing plans (from Shelley Funeral Home) have been transitioned over to Cornejo Funeral Home officially. We’re planning on honoring all those, no questions asked," Cornejo said.


Steve and Dawn Shelley, who had operated Shelley Funeral Home for the past 15 years, approached Cornejo about purchasing their business this summer as they were moving toward retirement.


"I agreed it would be a good fit with me having an established home in Wellington and I’m not anywhere near retirement so I’ll be here a considerable amount of time," Cornejo said. "I was really honored that they thought of me to handle the business."


The closing of the purchase took place on Sept. 1, Cornejo said.


All business will be conducted from the Cornejo Funeral Home building at 1030 Mission Road. Cornejo said he will not be running two funeral homes. He would like to sell the old Shelley building to a different kind of business or as a home.


Cornejo credited the Shelley family with turning the funeral home around when they purchased it.


"I’m thrilled to be carrying on the legacy of local ownership," he said.


Cornejo’s experience with the funeral business goes back to 2003 when he became funeral director for the home opened by Bryce Day in 1999.


In 2013, Cornejo purchased the funeral home from Day and it has been known as Cornejo/Day Funeral Home. Day has since passed away, and the name has been modified to Cornejo Funeral Home.


"It’s a clean name change that really reflects who’s here," Cornejo said.


Steve and Dawn Shelley’s sons purchased the funeral homes their parents operated in Oxford, Winfield and Arkansas City.


"I just purchased the Wellington branch," Cornejo said. "I’m not looking to expand into other communities. Wellington is my hometown. This is where I want to be. This is where I want to spend my career."