Our Story

Three generations in the business. Two locations across Maryland & Virginia. One simple mission.

One Saturday morning in 1993, Advent’s founder and Director Melanie Wilhelm Dunaway developed the mission for a new funeral home—one that would provide clients with caring, responsive service; straightforward advice; and options that allowed families to honor their loved ones in ways that were personalized to their needs.

Melanie chose to call the business “Advent” for its meaning—a new beginning. 

Melanie, the third generation of the Wilhelm family to serve in the funeral business, sold her house to fund the opening of Advent’s first facility in Annapolis, MD. In 1995, Advent opened its Falls Church, VA, location, and in 2013, Advent added its facility in Lanham, MD. 

At Advent, we believe that the more you know, the better for you and the better for us. Our philosophy is simple: It’s about your needs. Not ours.

Advent specializes in offering the simpler, more individualized funeral services preferred by families today—whether cremation or burial. We offer an unparalleled level of personal attention, exceptionally responsive service, and a wide range of price options not often found among other funeral homes. Above all, we offer our clients factual information and honest advice—with no pressure.

We hope that if you have a need for funeral or cremation services, you will consider Advent.

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