History

By your side since 1913

The Cass Funeral Home was established in 1913 by Mr. Melvin A. Cass. Mr. Cass purchased the business and some equipment from Mr. Lucius Rand, who had been operating a funeral parlour in Fitch Bay. At that time, Mr. Cass had two horse drawn hearses; one, a beautifully decorated black carriage with large fancy wheels, an enclosed roof panel and four glass walls for the summer, and the other was a sled type, somewhat smaller than the carriage and with fewer decorations, used during the winter months. Funeral homes as we know them today were virtually nonexistent. When a person passed away, the undertaker was notified and he would then transport his equipment to the home of the deceased to perform his duties of embalming, dressing, and all the necessary preparations for viewing. The body was then set up in the parlour for visitation, symbolized by placing a black wreath on the front door. The caskets were usually assembled locally, often by the undertaker himself, as was the case of Mr. Cass. Melvin would build the casket shell, and his wife Jessie would sew and install the linings.

                

Melvin Cass and his wife, Jessie A. Whitney, had three children: Howard, Helen and Harold. Jessie Cass died in 1917, just 21 days after giving birth to Harold, and a short three years later, Melvin passed away at the early age of 45. Howard, now only fifteen years old, was left to manage his father’s business, but having no desire to pursue a career in the funeral business, he handed everything over to his uncle, Lewis O. Cass, with whom he now lived. Some time later, Melvin's youngest son Harold showed an interest in the business, therefore his uncle Lewis, having raised Melvin's children as his own,  set up the company as L.O. Cass and son.

In 1920 Lewis Cass moved the business to Beebe, Quebec and remained there until the completion of a new funeral home in Rock Island in 1945. The business eventually outgrew the Rock Island home, so in 1962 Harold Cass, now managing the business, purchased the Stevens house in Stanstead, where it is located to this present day. In 1965 the company expanded once again with the opening of the funeral parlour on Clough street in Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec.

In 1972 Harold Cass sold the company to Charles W. Ross, Beryl Webster and Harold's nephew, Douglas Cass. Several years later, L.O. Cass and son purchased the R.L. Bishop and son funeral home on Queen street in Sherbrooke, welcoming George Bishop as the fourth partner in the company.

Beryl Webster passed away following a brief illness in 1979, allowing Mr. Meredith Barter the opportunity to become a partner within the company. As the company continued to expand, they purchased the Gordon Smith funeral home in Sawyerville, purchased and renovated a new parlor in Cookshire, and purchased the Gordon Boynton funeral home in Bury. Following the purchase of Mr. Boynton's funeral home, his son Everett Boynton joined the staff of L.O. Cass and son, and soon became a parther in the firm. At that time, Kenneth Ward from Stanstead, who was employed at the Stanstead location, also became a minority shareholder with the company.

From the small husband and wife business that began in 1913 in Fitch Bay, Quebec, L.O. Cass and son Ltd. has grown to include eight locations throughout the Townships: Stanstead, Ayer’s Cliff, Lennoxville (Sherbrooke), Richmond, Cookshire, Sawyerville, Windsor and Rock Forest (Sherbrooke). It has a fleet of eight vehicles, and a staff of ten employees. In 1992 Charles Ross, Meredith Barter, Douglas Cass and Kenneth Ward sold their interest in the company to R. Barry Evans, Jacques Laberge and Everett Boynton. The new partnership restructured the company under it's current name, Cass Funeral Homes inc. / Résidences Funéraires Cass Inc., and is proud to be one of the oldest funeral services business in the Eastern Townships.