It was far back in 1858, two years before Abraham Lincoln’s election to the Presidency, that the present William H. Clark Funeral Home was founded. Samuel B. Hoyt, an enterprising merchant, established a home furnishings store in old Katonah. In those days funeral directing commonly designated as “undertaking” often was conducted in conjunction with furniture business.
Mr. Hoyt was an aggressive and progressive business leader. He developed the finest services of which he was capable, securing also for the community the best value in furniture and furnishings. He was a man of high principles and soon gained for himself a reputation for absolute integrity and fair dealing.
William H. Clark joined the Hoyt firm in 1894 He served first as an assistant. Later, in 1899, he secured his embalmer’s license under state law, after a course of study at the Champion School of Embalming. In 1904 he received his funeral director’s license, which is now recorded as one of the earliest in the state. The firm of Clark and Avery was formed in 1902. This partnership continued until 1908 when it was dissolved.
From 1902 to 1904 Clark and Avery conducted the disinterment of all of the graves in the Katonah Cemetery in Old Katonah to several other cemeteries in the local area in conjunction with the move of Old Katonah to New Katonah.
In 1908 Mr. Clark joined the Hoyt Brothers Company and was placed in charge of the funeral directing department . Nine years later, due to changing conditions, the business was discontinued and Mr. Clark took over the funeral servicing division, which thereafter became known under the title of William H. Clark Funeral Director.
As the result of a steady growth in the needs of the community and in order that improved facilities would be available, the William H. Clark Funeral Home was built in1928 at its present location, 4 Woods Bridge Road, as a Sears-Roebuck pre-fabricated building.
Miss Emily S. Clark joined her father in the management of the business in 1935. She was one of the first women to be licensed as a funeral director in New York State. She died in 1984.
Clark Associates Funeral Home also provided ambulance service to the area from 1918-1952 and was under the supervision of Michael J. Dugan, service manager for many years.
John L. Dorsett , a licensed Funeral Director, became partner with Emily Clark, following the death of her father, and served as manager of the firm for over 40 years. He died in 1977.
Mr.John Foulkes started in 1949 and was partner in the Clark Funeral Home in Yorktown Heights, New York. He retired in the mid-1980’s.
Eugene Lanoway was president of the firm from 1974 until his death in 1994 . Today our staff of associates consist of six licensed funeral directors with combined experience of over 155 years. The remaining staff of associates are receptionist, secretarial and maintenance personnel.
Currently our Funeral Directors include: Daniel B. McManus, C.F.S.P., fourth generation Licensed Funeral Director and owner since 1994, Bruce E. Reisdorf, C.F.S.P., Licensed Manager who joined the firm in 1980, Ronald P. Ceraso, fourth generation Licensed Funeral Director who joined in 2009, Adner J. Montenegro-Lee, Funeral Director, who joined in 2009 and Joseph M. Mc Manus and Meg Dunn, C.F.S.P., both Licensed Funeral Directors, who serve in a part time capacity.