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The Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory, Summit County’s first funeral company, and Bissler & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory, of Portage County, have merged. The partnership will ensure that the Bissler family’s 105-year legacy of providing service to Kent will continue under the leadership of the Billow family, which has served greater Akron for more than 140 years. The bonds between the Billows and Bisslers run deep and began in the early 1900s when Civil War veteran Capt. George Billow, founder of The Billow Co., helped his neighbor to the east, Sam C. Bissler, start his funeral practice in 1913. “It is a bond of friendship through funeral service that started more than 100 years ago. Those bonds are now stronger than ever,” said Charles M. Billow, fifth-generation president and owner of The Billow Co., in a statement. “As I approached retirement, I knew in my heart of hearts that there was only one family in the area that I could entrust my business to, and that was the Billows,” said Richard T. Bissler, fourth-generation owner of Bissler & Sons, in a statement. “This move will ensure that the families of Kent and greater Portage County will continue to have access to the highest levels of care when faced with the loss of a loved one. I was worried if I sold out to a corporation or large chain, I would have been run out of town.”