After 125 Years, Boston Funeral Home Remains Locally Owned
By Jacob Mathias
After 125 years in business, Boston Funeral Home in Stevens Point is continuing to run under William and Nathan Boston, the fourth and fifth generation of funeral directors in the Boston Family.
Boston Funeral Home opened in 1888 under Harry Downs Boston who bought an existing furniture store, added on an undertaking business and became the Boston Furniture and Undertaking Co.
“It was common back in the day to have a furniture store slash undertaking,” said Nate Boston.
Boston said that it used to be the norm that visitation or wakes were often done in the homes of the deceased’s family, rather than in a funeral home. As the undertaking business grew, Boston said that the furniture store was eventually sold off to what would later become Furniture and Appliance Mart.
The current home of Boston Funeral Home on Briggs street was constructed in 1974 and has had renovations and modernization since then.
“I feel very honored that we’re able to be around for 125 years,” said Boston.
Boston Funeral Home is the oldest continually family run funeral home in the city and possibly the oldest in the city; the Portage County Historical Society has yet to confirm this.
Although the funeral home has been in the family for five generations, Nathan said he never felt pressure to join the family business when he was younger, originally going to college for a degree in biology before switching to mortuary science and joining the family.
“When I was a little kid, I don’t think I wanted to be a funeral director,” said Boston, who also said his step-daughter shows no signs of wanting to become a mortician.
Boston Funeral Home offers a full range of funerary services including funeral tributes, burials, cremations, housing of remains.
“Our work is more with the living than with the people who have passed on,” said Boston.
Boston said that his job as funeral director has only two functions:
1. Creating a meaningful event
2. Final disposition
As traditions have changed and cultures evolve, memorializing the deceased has come to mean different things to different people and Boston said that the funeral home abides by every family’s wishes for their loved ones.
“We’re very humbled by folks we’re able to serve,” said Boston.
“Folks are going to tell us what they want done.”
He noted that being a funeral director requires a lot of flexibility of patience.
“We can never predict when someone is going to pass,” said Boston. He also said that he has to be able to take other people’s emotions in stride, noting that for some grief isn’t a sad, crying time while for others it is.
Boston Funeral Home is located at 1649 Briggs Street, Stevens Point. They can be reached at 715-344-4223.