Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Ever since we opened our gates we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are not a burial ground. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond with kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
Learn the legacy.
In 1937 Francis and Alice Lockwood purchased the residence at 301 East Michigan Ave. and converted it to a funeral home. At that time most funeral services were conducted at the family's home or the family's Church. The first level of the funeral home was used as the Lockwood's residence and when needed, as a funeral home.
In September of 1951 they remodeled, adding the front pillars, the chapel to the west, and a two car garage to the rear. The Lockwoods moved to the upstairs apartment to allow the main level to be used solely as a funeral home. In February of 1961 they offered Mildred and Gerald Bahnmiller the opportunity to purchase but not to take ownership until July 1, 1961, which they did. At that time the population of Saline was about 2200. Approximately 40 to 48 funerals were conducted each year.
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
Willard James (Jim) Robison, Jr is the younger of two boys born to Willard “Bud” and Agnes Robison, of Perrysburg, Ohio. During his high school years, Jim participated in track and field, and enjoyed tennis and golf. He also became a very skilled drummer, and joined the group “Johnny [and the Hurricanes.” While with the Hurricanes, Jim recorded several million sellers and toured with Dick Clark Productions all over the U.S. After high school graduation in 1960, and eventually leaving the band, Jim attended Bowling Green University, Ohio University, and then graduated from Toledo University with a Bachelor of Science degree. While earning his undergraduate degree, Jim began working part-time in an apprentice capacity for the David R. Jason Funeral Home in Point Place, Ohio. This marked the beginning of his interest and career in the funeral business. After finishing at TU, Jim attended the University of Michigan, studying landscape architecture, but decided his science preparation would be better used in a medical related field. So he chose to attend the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, and graduated with honors in 1970. Overlapping these experiences, Jim served in the United States Air Force 180th Tactical Group from 1966 – 1972. Immediately after graduating from CCMS, Jim joined the staff of Muehlig Chapel, in Ann Arbor, MI. In 1976, he married Alison Reed, a public school teacher and musical theater actress. They remained in Ann Arbor until 1983, when Jim, Alison, and their children, Stephen and Emily moved to Saline to purchase the Bahnmiller Funeral Home. After settling in to a new home, the apartment above the business, Jim worked with the guidance and support of Gerald Bahnmiller, to make the transition as seamless as possible. Jim also continued his participation in community service, having been a Kiwanis member in Ann Arbor, then joining Rotary in Saline. One of his and his family’s favorite events involving these groups has always been the annual Saline Community Fair. While Jim continued as director of the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home, Alison worked for a time with the Saline Chamber of Commerce, and then began substitute teaching in the Saline Area Schools. Hired in 1991, she taught 3rd and 6th grades until her retirement in 2007. Both of their children graduated from Saline High School and went on to complete college and graduate studies. Steve returned to Saline in 2004 to work with his father in the funeral business, and Emily pursued nursing. As the communities served by the funeral home have grown, so have the services offered by the staff. Of particular note is the monument and marker business that Jim has developed, giving individuals and families access to an enormous variety of beautiful materials, which can be manufactured to suit anyone’s taste. Though his artistic skills and creativity are most evident as he facilitates the design of monuments, Jim takes great pride in all phases of the work he does to serve those in need. When he has the opportunity to be away from his work, he and Alison love to travel, to be on or near the water, regardless of the distance from home. Jim is also a very knowledgeable classic car enthusiast, sailor, and fly fisherman. He is most in his element outdoors, no matter the temperature. Alison still loves musical theater, reading, writing and singing, and works alongside her husband and son when the need arises.
Steve R. Robison
Steve was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1983, the Robison family moved to Saline, making the apartment above the funeral business their new home. From preschool through 12th grade, Steve attended Saline Area Schools. Specifically, in high school he was involved in many sports including football, baseball, snowboarding, and wrestling. In addition to athletics, Steve was an important member of Saline High School’s theatre sound and lighting team. He was also a cellist in both the Saline Chamber Orchestra and the nationally renowned Saline Fiddlers. After graduation from high school in 1997, Steve went on to Hope College in Holland, MI. where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Political Science, in 2001. From early childhood, Steve had an affinity for anything mechanical, so it was a natural move, after college graduation, to take a job in Chicago with a toy invention studio that was responsible for designing new toys for Fischer Price, Hasbro, and Mattel. In a short time, he realized that his true home was back in Saline, so he returned and went to work with his father in the funeral business. Steve continued his education at the Wayne State College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences where he received his Mortuary Science degree in 2008. In the fall of 2010, Steve was married, and he and his wife Jamie live above the funeral home. Jamie received her Masters Degree in Art Therapy and Counseling from Wayne State University. Steve is a full-time director on the funeral home staff, and he will assume responsibility of Robison-Bahnmiller after the retirement of the owner, his father, Jim Robison. In his time away from the business, Steve is an avid model train collector, card player, snowboarder, music lover, and a big fan of UofM football. He and Jamie also enjoy traveling to northern Michigan, and spending time with extended family, many of whom live close by.
Larry J. Griffin Jr.
Larry joined the staff of the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home in 2016. He is a graduate of Detroit Catholic Central High School. He and Steve Robison attended Mortuary Science College together at Wayne State University. Larry grew up in the funeral industry and followed in the footsteps of his Grandfather who owned a funeral home in Detroit for over 75 years. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family and is a big UofM fan.
Member of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Saline and President of the Saline Historical Society.
Born the oldest of four sons in Detroit to a father from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a mother from southeast Michigan, James (Jim) is a graduate of Thurston High School, Redford Township, Michigan and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Michigan State University. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Fort Lee, Virginia, Fort Riley, Kansas and briefly during the “Cold War” in the former West Germany. Jim and his wife Caryn have lived in Saline since 2004. Their daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and grandson live in the far northwest Chicago suburbs. His career in the chemical industry spanned more than forty years, primarily in business development and sales in fine chemicals. Following employment with many different companies in several locations throughout the country, he retired in June 2014 from Wacker Chemical Corporation, Adrian, Michigan.
After retirement, Jim has been an assistant at Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home since September 2015. In retirement, Jim enjoys volunteering. He is an active member and current secretary of the Rotary Club of Saline. Jim coordinates and delivers Meals on Wheels on Tuesdays for EMH Senior Solutions and the Saline Area Senior Center throughout the Saline area. Jim has been a Trustee at his church, First United Methodist Church of Saline, and currently serves on the Committee on Planned and Recognition Giving, the Stewardship & Finance Committee and is the Convener for the Columbarium Team. He has also volunteered for Saline Main Street’s Oktoberfest, Trunk or Treat, Ladies Night Out, and Clean Saline. He enjoys traveling and has visited half of the 44 European countries as well as several countries in Asia not to mention many countries in this hemisphere. Jim enjoys being active and interacting with people.
Chris is a graduate of Wayne State University and joined Robison-Bahnmiller part-time in 2010. She resides in Milan with her husband and two sons and are members of East Ida Immanuel Lutheran Church. She enjoys vacationing in northern Michigan, boating, and travel.
Assistant. Member of Saline First United Methodist Church.
Awards & Associations
Donate money to Saline Area Social Service and Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home will match up to $1,000. Stephen Robison, one of the owners of the family-owned business, said the business is always looking for ways to give back to the community. “People often don’t see that there are people in need in Saline. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It’s important for people to help their friends and neighbors,” Robison said. Jamail Aikens, Director of Saline Area Social Service, said cash donations are very important to the agency, which helps 300 individuals a week. “Our recent food and dry good drive means we’re stocked for a few months. But money helps us pay the bills and our employees. It also helps us help our clients in other ways,” Aikens said. Last week, Saline Area Social Service purchased a double stroller for one of its clients. “That stroller is going to help her get to the grocery store and get things done. It’s the kind of thing we wouldn’t be able to do without donations,” Aikens said.
Saline Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award
The Saline Area Chamber of Commerce held its nineteenth annual Business Enterprise Awards Ceremony Thursday night at Stonebridge Golf Club. The celebration came complete with good food, good humor, politicians and well-deserved honor for local businesses. There were three awards this year rather than the usual two. Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home received a Lifetime Achievement Award for 77 years of service to the community. As for all of the award recipients, U.S. Representative Tim Walberg, State Representative Gretchen Driskell and Saline Mayor Brain Marl each presented proclamations honoring the business. Driskell’s proclamations were also signed by Representative Adam Zemke, Representative Randy Richardville and Governor Snyder. Marl presented his resolution speaking of the Robison’s “big brains and bigger hearts.” In thanking him, Jim Robison called him “Go-go,” a pet name he used for Marl when Marl was a child and his grandparents worked at the funeral business.