James A Rutherford Funeral Home



At the end of 2017, the James A. Rutherford Funeral Home made a bold move – a departure from what some considered to be the norm. The old, dark and somewhat dingy funeral home on Albert Street was sold, and the business moved into two bright and spacious units across from the Canadian Legion at 804 Ontario Street, Stratford. The funeral home became Rutherford Cremation & Funeral Services having taken over the compassionate care that Heinbuck Funeral Home demonstrated for decades, before many knew who the Rutherford family is.

Before I came on board as manager, at the end of 2018, the first full year of operation as this new entity, I regret only one thing: that the foresight wasn't there to call it Rutherford Cremation, Aquamation & Funeral Services. That pretty much encompasses it all in terms of funeral options in the Ontario landscape.

And while all service options are indeed offered at Rutherford's, I must admit, the misconception of the funeral home as not providing the full range of services to the public anymore because of our move, was a little disconcerting at first – albeit, we've served many families now who know this to be untrue and have carried out their services in the funeral home.

No matter. Something else happened along the way these past years, and for this I am grateful. We became known to a large degree, as the funeral home that extends itself and provides service well before and beyond “funeral day." What do I mean by that? Well, being proactive, it's my belief that a funeral home should provide information that encompasses absolutely all aspects of service concerning death and dying to the public at large – and that the information should empower people to become more forthright in carrying out how they view their wishes, less afraid to ask their questions, bolder in their preparations and more understanding of the whole death journey. Hence, we've done Death & Dying pop-ups in the city of Stratford so people could walk into a neutral space and pick up printed information on dozens of topics, carried out speaking engagements in various venues throughout town and (as you probably know) provide regular information and thought-provoking articles in the Stratford Times and on Facebook.

To that end Rutherford Cremation & Funeral Services has gone out into the public arena to dispel myths and offer information on the types of wills one can prepare, probate and whether it's needed, how laws concerning those who are separated have changed, procedures when a death occurs, cemetery information, funeral options some are completely unaware of and support in grieving well after a funeral is complete – and we'll continue to do that.

The other thing that is no accident, is that we are always going to be a forward-thinking funeral home. The future of the planet and the future of funeral service should go hand in hand. As such we will continue to offer the eco-options as part of your decision making: bio-degradable urns, green caskets and green burials, aquamation, tree-planting, etc.

Friends, I must say, it has been such a privilege. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart – thank you for your encouraging cards, your kindness and open conversations, your reviews of our service and (for some of you) your friendship beyond the service we've provided.

And for James (the benefactor of the establishment) I thank you also for allowing me to run Rutherford Cremation & Funeral Services as I've always wished to run a funeral home – focusing on what it means to provide these services to the community.

A funeral home should empower people with information.

A funeral home is not a retail store – it's a service provider.

A funeral home should provide personal service in any way that benefits those who need it.




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