Our History

Hope Memorial Chapel opened June 21, 1993. Our roots, however, originated with three funeral homes in Biddeford: Emond & Conroy Funeral Home (formerly F.X. Emond Funeral Home), Cosgrove Funeral Home, and Bolduc Funeral Home.

 

Before we had funeral homes as we see today, funeral service began with furniture makers, livery and stable services, and small parlors in family homes and apartments. But, as mills, shoe shops, and tanneries built their factories, the local community's population grew, and their need for more efficient and centralized funeral service followed suit.

 
Below is a timeline of the origins of Hope Memorial Chapel:
 

 approximately 1890 – Opening of Cosgrove Livery and Stable services. They would provide for the transportation needs of the family and the deceased with horse drawn carriages and casket coach/carriage.

           

 approximately 1901 – Emond Funeral Service opens to serve the Biddeford community at 32 Pool Street, providing caskets and furnishings, such as chairs and tables, needed for an at-home wake service. John Fedime Emond was the owner and operator.

 

 early 1900's – Cosgrove Livery and Stables enlarges its operations from providing horses and carriages to also providing caskets and furnishings for visitations. Cosgrove Funeral Home is formed.

 

 1912 – Frank X. Emond, son of John Fedime Emond, graduates from New England Institue, Boston. He is among the first to be schooled in funeral arts. Previously, there was no education requirement to practice funeral service, though an extended apprenticeship was required.

 

 1919 – John Fedime Emond passes away. Frank X. Emond continues the funeral home operations. His brother Napoleon joins the firm for a short time before moving to Waterville to begin his own funeral home.

 

 1935 – Frank X. Emond purchases 72 Pool St, a duplex half owned by his mother. He begins a series of renovations which included spacious rooms for visitations as well as a casket showroom and private work spaces for making funeral arrangements and a dedicated embalming room.

 

 1936 – An elevator was installed in the F.X. Emond Funeral Home, unheard of at the time, to better serve clients needs. This was approximately the first year when visitations are being held at a facility dedicated for serving the needs of the deceased and their families.

 

 early 1940's – John Paul Emond joins his father, Frank X. Emond. He worked nearly 20 years, interrupted only by his service during World War II.

 

 1947 – Following World War II, Raymond G. Bolduc begins his apprenticeship with F.X. Emond Funeral Home.

 

 1953 – Following his six year apprenticeship with F.X. Emond Funeral Home, Raymond G. Bolduc purchased the 291 Alfred Street property and converted it into a funeral home. Bolduc Funeral Home is established.

 

 1956 through 1978 – Bolduc Funeral Home undergoes many renovations to better serve the community. Renovations include a second story addition to the building, a 2 ½ car garage, a casket showroom, and, following the purchase of a neighboring house, a new parking lot.

 

 1958 – John Conroy, Sr. and his wife Gertrude Conroy, daughter of Frank X. Emond join F.X. Emond Funeral Home. Soon, the funeral home is named Emond & Conroy Funeral Home.

 

 1962 – Gertrude and John Conroy Sr. co-founded Conroy-Tully Funeral Home of Portland (now Conroy-Tully-Crawford Funeral Home)

 

 1971 – Marc R. Bolduc, after serving during Viet Nam, joins his father and brother, Norman, at R.G. Bolduc & Sons Funeral Home, helping with the day-to-day operations.

 

 1973 – John Conroy Jr., graduated of Holy Cross College, joins his parents, John and Gertrude Conroy Sr., at Emond & Conroy Funeral Home after completing his education at New England Institute, Boston. Previously, John Jr. had spent 7 years working in Worcester, MA, hospitals.

 

 1974 – Marc R. Bolduc completes his education and serves an apprenticeship with Hay & Peabody Funeral Home in Portland.

 

 1975 – Raymond G. Bolduc retires and Marc Bolduc takes over the management of R.G. Bolduc & Sons Funeral Home from his father. He contines to make improvements to the facility.

 

 1975 – Following the death of his father, John Conroy Jr. continues operating Emond & Conroy Funeral Home. He is a fourth-generation funeral director.

 

 1978 – John Conroy Jr. purchases the Cosgrove Funeral Home on 326 Elm Street. He continues to operate both funeral homes with the assistance of his mother, Gertrude Conroy

 

 1990's – John Conroy Jr. and Marc R. Bolduc discuss combining their funeral homes. By combining their staff, equipment, and efforts they will be better able to provide their community

 

 1993 – Hope Memorial Chapel, the combined efforts of Marc R. Bolduc and John Conroy, opens on its current location, 480 Elm Street. The R.G. Bolduc & Sons , Emond & Conroy and Cosgrove Funeral Homes close their doors to make way for Hope Memorial Chapel.

 

 1997 – Cathedral Pines Funeral Home is established on 156 Saco Avenue, Old Orchard Beach.