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Our History

Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home was originally founded in 1860 by Jefferson Gilbert. He offered many additional services, such as coffin making, paper hanging, picture-framing and manufacturing of window shades. Gilbert sold the business in 1887 to Jonathan L. Moore, whose son John B. Moore later joined the firm. In 1898, Lewis H. Wilkinson joined the Moores, taking ownership in 1905. He became a prominent citizen of the city, being elected mayor in 1921-1922. Wilkinson moved the Moore Funeral Home across town in 1910. Then, again in 1921, he moved once again to another section of town. At the same time, he changed the name of the funeral home to Wilkinson's Funeral Home.

Dana S. "Ace" Beane joined the firm on September 15, 1926 after service in the Army during World War l. He took over ownership in 1947, together with his sons Donald and Roger in June, 1955 upon their return from World War II service. They then moved the business to its current location at 164 Pleasant Street in the mansion known as the Mayo home. Roger Beane worked for the funeral home until his retirement in 1982. Donald Beane was treasurer until his retirement in 1993.

Russell J. Beane, son of Donald Beane, joined the funeral home in 1974. He graduated from Laconia High School in 1967 and Keene State College in 1971. He also attended New England Institute and graduated in 1974. Two of his three sons have continued the tradition and are working full-time for the firm. Russell retired from the funeral home in 2019.

Craig S. Beane, the oldest son of Russell Beane, graduated from Canton College in Canton, New York in 1992 with an Associate Degree in mortuary science. He has worked full-time for the funeral home since 1993. He is the fourth generation in the Beane family to serve as president of the funeral home.

Curtis T. Beane, the youngest son of Russell Beane, oversees the daily operations at the Winnipesaukee River Crematorium, which was opened by the Beane family in 1998.

Cody J. Beane, son of Craig Beane, is the fifth generation Beane employed at the funeral home.

The 100-year-old Simoneau-Paquette Memorial Home in Laconia was purchased by the Beane Family in 2009. Four years later, Wilkinson-Beane began administering the funeral wishes from families that had arrangements at Dewhirst Funeral Home in Laconia, which closed.

603Cremations.com was established in 2020 to provide 603 families with affordable cremation options with online arrangements. This allows families to complete the entire process of the cremation online. We are available to take care of families throughout the state of New Hampshire. Owning a private crematory means that your loved one never leaves our care. You can be assured that they are well taken care of during each step of the cremation process.

Fred and Myriel Emmons founded Emmons Funeral Home in Bristol, NH in 1952. Forty one years later, their granddaughter, Cynthia M. Rogers became the managing owner and Funeral Director servicing the greater Bristol area. Late in December 2023, Wilkinson-Beane purchased Emmons Funeral Home. Cindy is now on staff at Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services / Emmons Funeral Home.

Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home, 603Cremations.com and Emmons Funeral Home have earned a reputation for being responsive, personal and caring, and economical. Families continue to trust us with their loved ones for over 164 years.

With our commitment to remain an independent, family owned and operated funeral home, you can be assured that we will continue to serve you for years to come.