During the 1950s and 1960s Phaneuf Funeral Homes was conducting most of the funerals for Manchester's French Canadian population on the west side. They decided, in order to grow, they needed a presence on the east side and downtown areas of the city. Coincidentally, in 1968, Letendre Funeral Service, Manchester's largest funeral home at that time, came up for sale. John Phaneuf was now running the day-to-day operations of the funeral home and purchased Letendre, which consisted of a funeral home on Hanover Street, one on Belmont Street and the funeral home's office on Manchester Street. For the next 25 years the firm would be known as Phaneuf and Letendre Funeral Homes.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Phaneuf and Letendre grew to assist over 350 families a year. With the acquisition of Letendre Funeral Home a few years earlier, the firm not only handled services for much of the west side French Canadian population, but also Greek, Lebanese and Canadian residents living in the downtown area of the city. It was soon realized serving that many people, the small Hanover Street location was just not large enough, so plans were made to construct the first facility in Manchester as a stand-alone funeral home. Finally, in the fall of 1975, the brand new 10,000 square foot building on the corner of Hanover and Union Streets opened its doors. With its spacious viewing rooms, large lobby, ample parking and stylistic decor, this new facility provided Manchester families with a funeral home equipped to meet all of their needs. Indeed, today this funeral home is considered among the largest and finest in New England.
To meet the changing needs of the consumer, many of whom are now opting for in-house services, the firm added a second chapel. The "Hanover" Chapel has seating for over 100 guests and incorporates state-of-the-art features including audio and video taping services, a high end sound system and a large screen monitor for displaying family photos and videos. The room is appointed with hand crafted stained glass windows and custom made pews and also offers a large gathering area of over 1500 square feet. In addition to the chapel, a private family viewing area for cremation-orientated families was created. The firm spent over $100,000 updating the crematorium to include a closed circuit television security system and a family witnessed cremation area, making it the most up to date facility of its kind in the state. Finally, the merchandise area was expanded to over 2000 square feet and updated with a larger selection of caskets, vaults, flowers, urns, monuments and other items offered to families in their time of need.
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