HISTORY


History

THE OVERTON FUNERAL HOME – AN ISLIP LANDMARK

THE OVERTON FAMILY HAS BEEN SERVING THE FAMILIES OF ISLIP AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS SINCE 1923.

The Overton Funeral Home was founded in 1923 by Arthur “Doc” Overton in a house on Main Street across from Monell Avenue (now the site of Starbucks). Soon after, "Doc" moved his business to the John King House at 140 Main Street (near the lumber yard), where it remained for six years. In 1934, the present venue was established on the estate of contractor Charles Vivian at 172 Main Street. The house itself originally was one of two on the Atwood Property near the former H.G. Timmerman Estate (just north of Havemeyer’s Bayberry Point) on Ocean Avenue built around 1881, before it was moved across the creek to its current location. The living room served two purposes: as a chapel and as a family retreat. The family, needless to say, became quite skilled in furniture moving. 

In 1953, reflecting growing service to the community, the building was altered with living quarters being moved to the second floor and three permanent chapels being established on the ground floor. Ten years later a wing was added, providing two additional large chapels and office space. Now five chapels are available to serve the families of Islip Township and the surrounding areas. The home-like atmosphere, informal furniture arrangement, tasteful lighting and decor all combine to produce a pleasing ambiance. The funeral home is also well-known widely for the beauty of its grounds. Changes in the seasons can be identified by observing the profusion of flowers and shrubs skillfully and generously placed around the building and walks. In addition, seasonal flowers adorn the hallways.
A FAMILY BUSINESS
The Overton Funeral Home is a family operation. Arthur, the founder and a native of Patchogue, and Cornelia, born in West Sayville, were married in 1920 and three years later took Islip to their hearts. Many recall Art's exuberance and friendly humor as he moved about the hamlet. Being on Main Street was important to Art, and continues to be important to the Overton Family - the "Main Street" philosophy emphasizes personal involvement within the community and the ready accessibility of the owners and staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Arthur and Cornelia had 3 children – Joyce, Shirley and Wayne. Shirley, a lifelong resident of Islip, and Fred Voss, raised in Bay Shore, married in 1949. In 1960, Fred began his career in funeral service, and in 1968 became manager until his retirement in 1986. Shirley, who passed away in 1994, was secretary and treasurer. Joyce, who died in 2008, has a son, Kent, who joined the business in 1975 and served as a funeral director until 1988, when he moved to Florida. Wayne, a former school administrator, became manager upon Fred’s retirement. Fred passed away in 1998. Wayne’s wife, Lois, a nurse and special education teacher, joined the firm in 1986 as a licensed funeral director. Lois retired in May 2003, and Wayne followed suit in December of the same year. 

Shirley’s daughter, Nancy Buehler, joined the firm in 1983 and is responsible for accounting, bookkeeping, and correspondence. Nancy’s son, Eric, joined the family business fulltime in September 2001 and took over as manager when Wayne retired. Michael Folks, a funeral director originally from Sayville, joined our staff in 1996 and has over thirty years of experience in the funeral business. Sean Ward, a licensed funeral director originally from Bohemia who now resides in Blue Point, joined us in 2016 and is responsible for the firm's embalming and preparation work. Rounding out our professional staff is Robert Smith, a lifelong resident who joined the firm in 1970 and retired from full time directing in 2016, though he continues to assist with preparation duties in a part-time capacity. Together they extend sincere concern and compassion for all who come to them. They talk with pride about serving "our families.”
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