BERLIN - February was a historic month for two local families. A long business history for the Porter family has ended but it has opened the doors to a new beginning for the Hansen family.
Porter’s Funeral Service Inc. recently changed hands and it’s now part of the Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home.
Porter’s Funeral Service was a fifth-generation family business and it was owned and operated by Christopher and Peggy Porter for the last 37 years. The official transfer of ownership took place Feb. 20.
“We didn’t have another generation to follow up so it’s bittersweet, but I feel very comfortable going with another family-owned funeral home,” Christopher Porter said.
Porter told The Herald he is facing health issues and he just wants to have an enjoyable retirement and spend time with his wife.
For Peggy Porter, not being in the business any more has brought quite some change, but she’s glad she’s getting a break, she said.
“It’s going to take a while to adjust because we are so used to serving families and meeting their needs that we don’t really know what we need,” she added. “It’s just nice to be able to have time just for the two of us.”
Selling the funeral home was a bit challenging for the Porter family; they wanted to make sure the new owner would keep a local feel to it.
“We have a lot of confidence in the family that we sold to,” Porter said. “We had many people who were interested in the funeral home, but we were intent in our purpose in keeping it with a purchaser who would have that family obligation. Because it’s much different to have a family own a business than it is a large corporation. It’s nice to know that there’s someone in your neighborhood who could be serving you, families serving families.”
Peter and Nancy Hansen and their son, Craig, owners of the Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home, paid $561,050 for the real estate transfer of Porter’s Funeral Service. In that location, they will continue to offer funeral and cremation services as well as pre-need counseling and prepaid funeral arrangements.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to serve the Berlin community with the acquisition of the Chamberlain Highway funeral home facility,” Peter Hansen said. “This location provides an opportunity to better serve families in the greater Berlin and Kensington communities. When a family experiences the loss of a loved one, they need a professional who is not only kind and compassionate, but also that has the knowledge and expertise to guide them through a difficult time. Our goal is to provide an unsurpassed level of professional care to those experiencing a loss. We want to meet and exceed the expectations of those we serve.”
Hansen said he is planning on changing the business name from Porter’s Funeral Service to Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home of Berlin/Porter’s. Hansen will also keep the funeral home in New Britain.
Porter’s Funeral Service has been in the hands of the Porter family since 1869. It was originally located on Main Street. It was a funeral home and furniture store called B.C. Porter’s, Inc.
In 1885, the company moved to its newly-constructed location at 222 Main St. In the early 1970s the Porter family covered the brick building by putting a façade over it which was removed by developers in May 2018. The funeral home moved from New Britain to Berlin in 1980.
“We are very grateful to the New Britain and Berlin community,” Porter said. “After all, the funeral home did start in New Britain 150 years ago.”
To learn more about Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home of Berlin, visit their website at .
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.