History & Staff
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Dwyer funeral home, founded July 1, 1904 is observing its 115th anniversary.
Simon P. Dwyer founded the business in a storefront at 22 Peck's Rd. In 1914, it was moved to a storefront at 138 Wahconah St. After Dwyer died in 1919, his son, F. Emmett Dwyer, took over the business at the age of 17 and moved it to a home at 776 North St., its present location, in 1920.
Emmett Dwyer purchased the former Michael Dowling homestead and transformed it into a funeral home. An addition, including a chapel and five rooms, was added in 1927. Another chapel was added on the south side in 1954, and the entire funeral home was redecorated. It became Pittsfield's first funeral home.
"All were storefronts at that time," said Robert E. Dwyer, president of the company and grandson of the founder. His son, Robert E. Dwyer, Jr., is the fourth generation in the business. "It's one of the oldest still owned by the same family," Dwyer said.
Besides his son, his wife, the former Deborah Pender, is a licensed apprentice funeral director and embalmer in the business, as well as a real estate broker and registered nurse.
Roger J. Nilan had been in the business for 47 years until his passing in 2017. Robert Jr. has been a licensed funeral directors and embalmer for 28 years. Dwyer owns eight buildings that surround the funeral home. "I own four buildings in a row on North St. and, when anything comes up for sale, I buy It to protect our property and to have ample parking." He said.
The funeral home has been remodeled and enlarged to nearly twice its original size and all areas are fully accessible to the handicapped.