New equipment aids Bob and Colton Borth in producing high quality memorial stones.

“I was only 22 when I started in this business 32 years ago,” Bob Borth said. “I was caretaker at Home Cemetery, and that wasn’t a full-time job. A monument company asked me to work for them. Four years later I went on my own, starting Borth Memorials.”

Over the years, Bob has learned a lot about the business and put in many hours of sometimes back-breaking work. Now he has a truck with a lift to make setting those heavy stones a bit less hard on the body.

In 2015, Borth Memorials moved to its present location, near the corner of Highways 4 and 14, a move that greatly improved the company’s visibility.

“It’s a good location,” said Bob. “Our business has doubled since the move. Last year we sold 250 monuments in 59 cities.”

Bob said since 2012 three monument businesses in southern Minnesota went out of business — in Windom, Fairmont, and one in New Ulm. That leaves Borth Memorials with a lot of territory to cover. Bob said the majority of their work is in a 60-plus mile radius around Sleepy Eye. But they make sales that take them farther.

“This year we are working as far east as Owatonna, north to Halstead (north of Fargo) and west to Fremont, Nebraska,” said Bob. “Our business comes from advertising and word of mouth. Satisfied customers are the best way to promote our business.”

The “we” in Borth Memorials includes Bob’s son Colton, who has worked with Bob since he was 16. After high school, Colton attended South Central College for business and came to work with his dad full-time. Son Kyle will graduate from St. Mary’s this spring and plans to join Bob and Colton at Borth Memorials.

Each stone is a customized work of art. Bob creates the designs on his laser printer, according to the directions and wishes of customers.

Bob and Colton are both very pleased with the enclosed sandblasting system they added to their shop. In the past, when cutting designs and letters into the stones, Colton would use a handheld sandblaster, moving back and forth across the design for hours. The new equipment makes the deep cuts in just minutes. Then Colton does the finer work with the handheld unit.

As soon as the ground thaws and dries this spring, the guys at Borth Memorials will kick into gear on their busy season. “People want their stones in place by Memorial Day,” said Bob. “As soon as we can this spring, we will be at cemeteries setting stones to make that date.” 

That work will continue until the ground freezes next November. The work inside the shop, creating the stones to memorialize loved ones for their families, never ends.

See more about Borth Memorials at their website: borthmemorials .com or call 800-714-9226.