Niagara Gazette

Opinion

September 9, 2013

HIGGS: Spotlight shines on Joey's, WIlliamson Funeral Home

Niagara Gazette — Let’s go back to our Niagara Beautification Spotlight awards during this summer and see whose hard work has paid off. Since I am working backward we will visit the Williamson Funeral Home next which received the July Spotlight Award.

Sitting in one of Niagara’s historic and stately, early buildings at 635 Main St. near the Main Post Office, Williamson’s has been the source of comfort for those who have lost a loved one for many years. Back in 1922 this was occupied by Marl C. Cobler, funeral director and professional embalmer. It was formerly The Leuppie Company. By 1940 Oscar Bell and Oscar Bell, Jr. owned and operated the Bell Funeral Home at this location and Myrtle Cobler moved across the park at the corner of Main and Pine to 640 Park Place and opened Cobler’s Funeral Home. Ownership at Bell’s included Luella Bell who was secretary — treasurer during the 1950s and later Thelma Bell took that position in 1974.

Theodore and Gertrude Williamson purchased 635 Main St. in 1976 and the Williamson Funeral Home has been there ever since serving primarily the black community. Ted as he was known was very active in the community, serving on many local boards including the NFTA. Cobler’s remained across the way until the 1980s when Richard Coleman took over and opened the R.L. Coleman Funeral Home. That building at 640 Park Place is now the home of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins and Niagara University’s ReNU Niagara.

The Ted Williamson family included five children — Theodore, Jr., Michael, Tanya, Jean and Michelle. I found a Niagara Gazette article by Crystal Boling dated March 28, 1982, all about Theodore, Jr. and Michael — two of the city’s very eligible and so far confirmed bachelors. They lived in the spacious upstairs apartment at 635 Main and she described it as furnished in the “minimal style” as it was pretty sparse. “Just a couch in the living room”, according to Michael. Both boys are married with families now. He worked alongside his dad for many years and is now the licensed funeral director taking over the business following Ted’s death on June 24, 2010. His dad was the person really responsible for the landscaped front yard and the generally beautiful appearance of the building over the years according to Michael who was thrilled about the Spotlight and said his dad would be very proud.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page