History & Staff

At Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home, we have provided customizable memorial services for many years. Personalized service options allow you to honor your loved ones in a way that is both meaningful and healing. We hope to provide support and caring while delivering memorial services that celebrate life and help families find the peace they deserve.
If you’re seeking an honorable celebration of life in Syracuse and the surrounding areas, we invite you to learn more about where we came from and the dedicated people behind our work.

A History of Caring

In 1912, Carl J. Ballweg opened Ballweg Funeral Service and began a legacy of serving families on the south side of Syracuse, New York. After working for Carl on South Salina Street for fifteen years, William A. Lunsford, Jr. purchased the business in 1964 and transformed it into Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home. Upon William’s retirement, the business stayed in the family when his grandson became the owner and president in 1991.

With a passion for serving families, we expanded Ballweg & Lunsford and opened a new location in LaFayette, New York, in 1995. Just a short drive from Syracuse, the LaFayette facility on Field Lane offers the same quality service for which Ballweg & Lunsford is known, but in a more modern facility in an area with a truly rural feel. With ample parking and nine acres of meticulously landscaped grounds, the LaFayette location provides the perfect alternative for families that prefer to be away from the city.

After over 100 years of serving families as an independent funeral home, Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home joined Foundation Partners Group (FPG) in 2016. FPG is a collection of funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries, with locations across the country. Their primary focus is assisting these locations in providing outstanding service to all families and offering both traditional and new and innovative options for burial and cremation. With state of the art technology, Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home is now able to adapt to the ever-changing funeral industry and leave all of its families with memories that can be cherished for a lifetime.

In joining with Foundation Partners Group, the core values that have allowed Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home to be a part of your community for over a century remain unchanged. With the same staff you have grown to trust, we are here to serve your family in whatever way we can. From price-guaranteed prearrangements, to service arrangements at your time of need, to follow-up care, Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home is here to serve you at a competitive price and continue the legacy that Carl started in 1912.

Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care

A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. At Ballweg & Lunsford, our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.

Joe Bowers
Location Leader

Joe Bowers has over 25 years of experience in the funeral industry working for both private family firms and corporate firms. Joe started working in his hometown in western New York washing cars, cutting grass, and setting headstones for the local funeral home. He graduated from Genesee Community College and then Simmons Institute of Funeral Service. He was honored to serve his residency in Syracuse at Fairchild and Meech Funeral Home; and then went to work as the General Manager of Highland South Memorial Park Funeral & Cremations in Knoxville TN.

Joe returned to Central New York to work at Goddard-Crandall-Shepardson Funeral Homes in Syracuse. He recently was the Assistant Licensed Manager for Falardeau Funeral Home in Baldwinsville. Joe has been licensed in the State of New York for over 17 years and was also licensed in North Carolina and Tennessee.  Joe is the Vice President of the Central New York Funeral Directors Association, and a member of the New York State Funeral Directors and The National Funeral Directors Association.  Joe and his wife Karen reside in Liverpool with their three children. Joe loves spending time with his family and their menagerie of pets.

Debra Nelson
Licensed Funeral Director/Administrative Assistant

Debi was born and raised in the Syracuse, New York area. She is a graduate of Onondaga Central Jr./Sr. High School, Rochester Business Institute and Simmons Institute of Mortuary Science. She has been employed at Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home since 1996. Debi is married with two children and five grandchildren. She is an active member of Atonement Lutheran Church and the South Onondaga Fire Department Auxiliary. She loves spending time with her family and friends, Sunday dinners at her home, playing pitch, reading, the ocean and traveling.

Kyle Sharp
Licensed Funeral Director

Kyle is a second generation funeral director who grew up in Berkshire, NY. A 2005 graduate of Newark Valley High School, he went on to earn his B.S. in Biology from Wilkes University in 2009. After working as an aquatic biologist in South Florida, Kyle attended mortuary school at American Academy McCallister Institute in Manhattan, graduating in 2015 with an A.O.S. in Funeral Service. He completed his residency at Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home and became a NYS licensed funeral director in 2016. Kyle is now a resident of Camillus. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, hunting, fishing, and anything that allows him to be outdoors.