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150 years, five generations: Kresge Funeral Home marks milestone in business

William H. Kresge Funeral Home in Brodheadsville recently celebrated 150 years serving the West End Community.

The Kresge Funeral Home was first a furniture store in the late 1800s and then branched out to the funeral business. Over the years, they have developed a reputation for caring and support.

The founder of the funeral home, William A. Kresge, was by trade a furniture maker and carpenter. During the 1870s he built many of the original homes along Route 209 in Brodheadsville. He also built and sold caskets that probably led Kresge to turning his furniture store into a funeral home after receiving his license as a mortician. Since then, five generations of the Kresge family have served the community.

Success for 150 years

“It has always been the mission of our funeral home to provide considerate, caring and compassionate services to every family we serve. I was not fortunate enough to know my great-grandfather or grandfather, but I know my father lived by that statement,” said Thomas J. Kresge. “In my 43 years here, I have tried to carry on that same tradition, and I am confident that my son will also.” His son stepped in as the funeral director nearly 10 years ago.

Thomas C Kresge, the youngest and the fifth generation of the William H. Kresge Funeral Home, said he was fortunate to spend a lot of time with his father and his grandfather.

“They instilled in me the knowledge and understanding of the business at such a young age, it ultimately led to a comfortable transition when I decided to become the fifth-generation funeral director.”

Both father and son credit the longevity of their funeral home to the compassion and care they show to everyone who comes through their doors.


“Today people want everything to be personalized, so we have added a video service and have personalized the services for the families,” said Thomas J. Kresge.

The cost of funerals have increased, according to the older Kresge. Every year for the past three to four years the funeral home has been hit with a 3% markup on the caskets they buy.

The average traditional funeral that includes having the grave opened and closed is $9,500. If it is a cremation the cost is $2,500.

Many families are choosing just cremation and no service, but Thomas J. thinks that sometimes it is hard to find closure without some concrete place you can go and visit to make it seem real.

Thomas J. Kresge, right, now the supervisor, and his son, Thomas C. Kresge, who is the fifth generation funeral director, sit under the portraits of the other family members, who were once funeral directors.