Our History

Our History

Built by John McKeough in 1878, the estate property at 245 Wellington Street West in Chatham was known as “Summerlands”. Following the death of Mr. McKeough in 1899, his nephew, W.E. McKeough, resided here until 1925. It was in that year, over 90 years ago, that the property was first used as a funeral home. W.G. Burrows, one of the first funeral home operators in Chatham, and also one of Chatham’s oldest businesses, purchased it and turned this magnificent property into a very distinguished funeral home. In 1928, after a short partnership with Mr. Burrows and his son, Mr. Oscar Campbell took over the business and it became known as the Campbell Funeral Home. Both Mr. Campbell and his wife operated the funeral home with much compassion and renowned dignity throughout the community.

Following the Second World War, in October of 1945, John G. Stephen purchased the funeral home and the name again changed, this time to the Stephen Funeral Home. Mr. William Alexander then joined the firm as a director. The two men jointly operated the funeral home, known as the Stephen-Alexander Funeral Home until 197 when Mr. Stephen retired. The funeral later became known as the Alexander Funeral Home. In 2002 Dan and Anne Houle purchased this historical home.


The Houles own and operate this family business and take great pride in the dignified services that they provide to the community, with the help and dedication of a caring staff, and warm, comforting facilities. Dan became a licensed funeral director in 1994. He was the manager of funeral homes in Exeter and Wiarton, and a funeral director in Owen Sound. Previous to funeral directing, Dan spent four years in the Canadian Armed Forces in the Airborne and had various jobs in new home construction. As a family, Dan and Anne have chosen to work together at the funeral home. Anne obtained her teaching certificate at the University of Toronto, and her Masters of Education at Brock University. As a couple, and individually, they are vested in their community and are both active in their various organizations. They have enjoyed bringing up their own family here in Chatham and feel privileged to serve the families of Chatham-Kent.

On November 13th, 2009, tragically, the funeral home was consumed by fire. After many months of planning, designing, and construction, the Houles completed construction of the new funeral home, Alexander & Houle Funeral Home, built on the original site of 245 Wellington West. Jorden and Cook Architect Ltd. assisted in designing a building that incorporated some of the historical features of their previous building. With the help and wonderful friendship of Ron Male and his family, they built a home that would be welcoming and comforting to its families.


Many people and businesses in the community of Chatham-Kent shared in their journey of building their new home. They shared their time, talents, enthusiasm and pride in the construction and completion of the new funeral home. The Houles could not be more proud and thankful of their efforts. Together they created a home built by, and for the community. Construction on the building began in early September 2010 and by the beginning of May 2011 what they had envisioned came to be.

Shortly after the fire Jim and Lisa Gilbert wrote an article entitled “Funeral Home Loss Akin To Death In Family”, explaining that “Summerlands” (a name given to the original home) can be explained as a place “where souls can pause, reflect, and then go on to their reincarnation”. It is the hope of the Houles that their new funeral home, their staff, and their own family, create a home that embodies the true essence of its previous families and its past funeral home owners. Their home has been created with much love and respect for each and all that pass through its doors.




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Alexander & Houle Funeral Home
Phone: (519) 352-2710
Fax: (519) 352-7372
245 Wellington St. W., Chatham, ON N7M 1J9

Funeral Establishment Operator-Class 1
License # 87


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