Funeral Homes on the Big Screen
Much of the film My Girl, which will be the feature piece at a movie night in Polson Park on September 2, hosted by the Vernon Museum and the Polson Artisan Night Market, is set in a Pennsylvania funeral home; 11-year-old protagonist Vada is the daughter of a funeral director.
William George Winter
William George Winter, a funeral director born in Birmingham, England, came to Vernon in 1936, when he was 63-years-old. He had previously operated a funeral parlor in Drumheller, but responded to a callout from Vernon City Council for someone to direct ambulance services in the area.
As well as taking on this task, William opened a funeral home on 31st Street, just across from the Campbell Brothers’ joint mercantile and undertaking business. By then, the Campbell Brothers had been attending to the community’s funeral needs for almost 40 years, but William was not daunted by this competition.
Winter and Winter ➜ Winter and Campbell
William ran the Winter and Winter funeral parlor with his daughter Ivy until 1943, when he decided to join forces with Douglas Campbell to form Campbell and Winter Ltd. Together, the new merger was able to design and build a brand new facility on 28th Street, where the Vernon Funeral Home is located today.
William Winter used to say that embalming was a lost art with ancient roots. He practiced his art until 1953, when he passed away at the age 79.
If you are interested in learning more about the Winter Family, we invite you to listen to this oral history interview with Arlene (Kermode) Smith, William Winter’s granddaughter, which is part of our archival collection.
To explore more of Vernon’s history, check out our other blog posts!
Gwyneth Evans, Research and Communications Coordinator