Kidder Funeral Home, here in beautiful Northfield, Massachusetts has been family owned and operated since it was founded in 1901. We are proud of our history and are devoted to providing our services during the always difficult time of losing a loved one.
George N. Kidder, founder, and his wife Minnie came to Northfield in 1901 from Wardsboro, Vt. In his youth he had worked as a sheep drover and a master carpenter. Before coming to Northfield he worked for Fenton and Hennessey funeral directors in Bellows Falls, Vermont.
George bought an existing funeral and furniture business from the Pillsbury family which was located in the Webster Block at 74 Main Street.
In 1903 he purchased the property next door and moved the business to our current location, One Parker Avenue. The house and barns of the present business location were built around 1908-1910. The barns were renovated to accommodate the new funeral rooms while the back was used to refinish furniture and make and sell mattresses, while the store sold appliances, white goods, etc.
George raised his nephew, David J. Quinn Sr., from about the age of one. David started helping his uncle with funerals at the early age of twelve. He assisted in setting up the furnishings needed at home funerals: lamps, rugs, chairs, etc. Soon David made his first funeral call with his uncle in the midst of a snowstorm. He did his first embalming at age 14. After completing high school he attended the New England Institute of Anatomy and Embalming. It was the same school his uncle had attended but then under a new name.
David became a partner in the business with his uncle in 1951.
David remembers that in the early years the town owned the hearse. It was used in funeral processions and drawn by a pair of dapple-grey horses. After the horses were retired Kidder Funeral Home furnished their own hearse. The family also ran the town ambulance service from 1953 until 1987. David was also a member of the Northfield Fire Department, where he held the position of Assistant Fire Chief.
George Kidder died in 1960, leaving David Quinn Sr. as the sole operator of the business.
David Quinn Jr. joined his father in the business in 1978. Prior to joining his father, he had worked as a funeral director in Keene, NH. He studied theology and economics at St. Michaels College in Vermont. He also earned his degree in embalming from the same school his father and George Kidder had attended. David Quinn Jr. is also a member of the Northfield Fire Department, where he, like his father, is the Assistant Fire Chief.
In 2001 we celebrated our 100th year of dedicated service. Our funeral home underwent a major renovation in celebration of this milestone in our history.
Michael Quinn, David Jr.'s son, is the third generation Quinn to join the family business. He graduated from the Hudson Valley Community College in New York. In 1997 he joined his father in the business. Michael officially became a partner along side his father in 2007. Michael also is a Lieutenant on the Northfield Fire Department.
During the years of funerals, ambulance service, the fire department, and the store, the Davidís were often gone and it fell upon Julia, David Sr.'s wife, to fill in at the store that had grown into a decorating supply business. She spent many hours in the store and became adept in the decorating business and at helping customers.
Today David Jr. and his son Michael continue to run the store in addition to the funeral home. Michael Quinn has become a proficient part of the paint and flooring side of their business.
We continue to offer complete at-need and pre-need funeral planning as we have for the last 106 years. Phones are answered 24 hours a day by our family. We do not use answering services; we are a family business, run exclusively by family.
Northfield's oldest business will continue on as it did when George M. Kidder founded it. It has become a place where the owners are part of the business community and a place where people find solace and friendship in their times of loss.