Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home's history began in the 1880's. At that time, the funeral custom in this area was to have the visitation and funeral for the deceased at their home, followed by burial at a local cemetery. A gentleman by the name of Walter Dennett opened W.I. Dennett Furnishing Undertaker, to accommodate the local funeral customs. He provided horse-drawn hearses and carriages for families in need, along with caskets, flower stands, door wreaths, and folding chairs. This business was operated out of a storefront near where MacArthur Library in Biddeford is now. He also undertook the burden of making funeral arrangements for families and handling the remains of the deceased.
As time passed, many people found it more comfortable to have the visitation and funeral of the deceased in another location besides their own home. In 1929, Walter Dennett purchased a large home at 365 Main St. in Saco, dedicated to hold visitations and funerals. By having a funeral home, families could rely on Walter Dennett, and his employee, Clarence “Ted” Craig, to handle and coordinate all aspects of the funeral arrangements.
Ted Craig eventually purchased the funeral home and business from Mr. Dennett, and operated Dennett & Craig Funeral Home for many years. In the mid 1930's, Earl Clark began working at Dennett & Craig. After years of dedicated service, Mr. Clark purchased the building and business. Up until 1952, the funeral home also operated an ambulance service that covered much of York County and a part of Cumberland County.
In 1958, after completing mortuary school, Robert D. Pate began his career in funeral service. After working at a funeral home in Rockland, ME and operating a hearse & embalming business for many years, he purchased Dennett & Craig Funeral Home from the aging Earl Clark in 1965.
In October of 1977, John S. Black started his apprenticeship with Dennett, Craig and Pate. John completed his time a year later and in October of 1978, John moved on to work for and opened his own Funeral Home in Sanford and a second in Springvale.
In the 1980's, Shumway-Gross Funeral Service, on Spring St. in Saco merged with Dennett & Craig Funeral Home. The newly merged business, Dennett, Craig & Gross Funeral Home, operated out of the 365 Main St. location. In 1985, after seeing the need for a funeral home to cover the Buxton, Hollis, Limington, Gorham, and Waterboro areas, Robert Pate and Gary Gross opened a funeral home at 13 Portland Road in Buxton.
After completing college and mortuary school in 1987, Robert's son, James T. Pate began his career in funeral service. At this time, the funeral home name was changed to Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home. In 2001, Chad E. Poitras began his career as a licensed funeral director and became a partner in Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home in 2005.
The caring staff at Dennett, Craig & Pate has maintained the same level of compassion and commitment to the people in the communities we serve as Walter Dennett did over 130 years ago.
Dedicated, Caring Professionals
Here to help you when you need it most.