A Lot Has Changed in 100 Years and So Have We
Through more than a century of service this family focused funeral home has been paying respect to the past and the traditions that were built through four generations.
To this day they are dedicated to creating new and innovative services for the families who have entrusted them with honouring the lives of the ones they love. Joseph William Connelly immigrated, from Minnesota to Alberta’s Riviere Qui Bare area in 1904 with his wife, Isabelle.
On February 26, 1908, he established the first incorporated funeral company in Alberta. It was first situated at 212 McDougall Avenue (now 100th Street), just across from the old main post office.
Joseph opened Connelly-McKinley Funeral Home with the vision of offering grieving members of his community the comforts and caring of family in their time of need.
Connelly-McKinley secured the phone number that more than 100 years later, is still in use by the company as 422-2222.
In 1910 the funeral home relocated around the corner to 136 Rice Street (now 101A Avenue) and then, three years later, moved again to the corner of Howard Avenue (100A Street) and Elizabeth Avenue.
Connelly and McKinley were innovators, and their firm was the first funeral home west of the Great Lakes to use an automobile for its hearse and ambulance. The business was also one of the first in Canada to use pressure embalming, and Connelly’s wife Isabelle became the first female embalmer in the province of Alberta.
They raised their children to be active in the business too. Son, William James began driving the firm’s ambulance at age 12, with special permission from the police. Three of William’s children were later to become partners in the firm.
In June 1926, Connelly bought and remodeled a residence on 109th Street just north of 100th Avenue. The main floor was converted for use as a funeral parlour while the upper floor served as his family’s residence.
During the 1930’s the Connelly family bought out the shares owned by James McKinley, and in 1941 the premises were entirely rebuilt and then enlarged and remodeled in 1954. The location served the company until 1981, when the modern Floral Chapels opened at 10011 114th Street, and the long-serving location was torn down.
His eldest son, Bill, worked with him, joined in later years by younger brother, Thomas. Several Generations and more than a century later, Connelly-McKinley funeral home and crematorium continues their tradition.
The third generation saw Bill Sr.’s sons, Bill Jr, Terry and Gerry continue with the family tradition. The fourth generation, Gerry’s son, Cameron, (current President) started in 2011 carrying on the family tradition.
Today, the family now owns and operates three funeral homes in the Edmonton area: the Downtown Chapel, whose present location opened in 1980; St. Albert Chapel, which opened in 1982; and our newest location, the Edmonton South Chapel, which opened in 2001.
All of the funeral homes were designed by J. Stuart Todd, an internationally renowned architect specializing in funeral homes, with interior design by Tom Freeman of Freeman and Associates, a design firm that also specializes in funeral homes.
The Connelly Family also owns and operates two crematoriums, one of which is on the Edmonton South Property, that offers a beautiful setting for families that wish a final farewell at the crematorium.
The downtown location was renovated in 2017 to accommodate for today’s unique and modern services.
Serving Families in the Edmonton and Surrounding Areas Since 1908.
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