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History

History

Donnellan Family Funeral Services was founded September 29, 1913 by Edward Joseph Donnellan, Sr. The business was located at 92nd and Commercial Avenue in South Chicago. Edward Donnellan, Sr. began the firm in a response to his desire to serve the community and fulfill his religious convictions. Edward had been a seminarian.

From the firm's beginnings, the Donnellan family has been dedicated to the mission of providing families with the highest quality funeral services while treating families with sensitivity and compassion. All associates of the firm continue to understand that Donnellan's primary focus is to treat all whom they serve with dignity and respect.

The initial operation of the business was in a store front setting, as families conducted visitations in their homes. Following moves to several locations in South Chicago, Edward located the business in South Shore in 1926, as population shifts dictated. The move to South Shore also marked the construction of Donnellan Funeral Home at 77th and Jeffery Boulevard.

The building housed several funeral chapels as well as apartments for associates and their families. The facility was air-conditioned. This innovation encouraged families to make the transition from home to chapel visitations.

The Donnellan Family believed that the funeral home facilities should reflect a comfortable, home-like setting where families and friends could gather. Chapels were, and continue to be, designed to reflect this belief.

During World War II, the Army and Navy contracted with the Donnellan Family to serve as the funeral directors for Chicago. This distinction, and the countless positive personal experiences of the families served, caused the business to grow and expand in both size and reputation. Edward Sr. expanded the facilities in the South Shore in 1948 after his two sons, Edward, Jr. and Richard, expressed an interest in joining the family business.

Following a plant relocation survey, in 1956 the Donnellan Family decided to build their second funeral home at 105th and Western Avenue in Beverly. This additional location accommodated the growing number of families who were moving to the southern and western corridors of the city.

In the sixties, dramatic population shifts were occuring in the South Shore community that had been the home of the business for half a century. In 1965, the Donnellan Family expanded their operations to the northern suburbs, following an acquisition of Alten-Lindsay Funeral Homes on Ridge Road in Wilmette and Maple Avenue in Evanston. In 1966, they sold their Beverly operations to IFS of Des Moines, Iowa. The proceeds from this sale allowed the Donnellan family to construct their current facility on Skokie Boulevard in Skokie. The South Shore facility was sold to Cage Funeral Homes at this time.

In 1973, the Donnellan Family acquired Fitzgerald-Franklin Funeral Home on Maple Avenue in Evanston. With this acquistion, the Wilmette and Evanston operations were consolidated into one facility.

In 1976, Edward, Jr.'s son, Joseph followed the tradition of his father and grandfather and joined the business.

In 2003, Edward, Jr.'s daughter, Grace joined the family business as well.

In 2011, Joseph's daughter, Kathryn joined the business.

The Donnellan Family celebrated their 100th year as a family owned and operated business in 2013. The founding principles that were the goals of the business in 1913 continue to be practiced today:

  • Treating all people with dignity and respect
  • Honoring individual and local customs
  • Operating an ethically based professional business
  • Providing funeral services and facilities with consistent quality
  • Selecting and developing associates to deliver our services

 



Donnellan Family Funeral Services develops and enhances services to meet the special needs of all families. As the industry has changed, Donnellan Family Funeral Services maintains being on the forefront of new approaches and technologies.



Edward Joseph Donnellan, Sr.

Edward Joseph Donnellan, Sr.

Edward Joseph Donnellan, Jr.

Edward Joseph Donnellan, Jr.

Richard Patrick Donnellan

Richard Patrick Donnellan

Joseph Greeley Donnellan

Joseph Greeley Donnellan

Grace Donnellan Martinsen

Grace Donnellan Martinsen

Kathryn Daly Donnellan

Kathryn Daly Donnellan

               

Donnellan Family Funeral Services | (847) 675-1990
Toll-Free: (888) 261-4879
10045 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077-1026


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