The original Carlson Funeral Home was opened by Winrot “Vin” Carlson and his wife Florence. Vin Carlson had worked at George Smith’s Funeral Home. Following the death of George Smith, Vin Carlson continued employment with VanAken Funeral Home, the new owners, over the years from 1940 until June of 1947 when the Carlsons opened their own place of business at 400 Main Street. In November of that year, the Carlsons purchased the VanAken facility which is the current location.
In those days, the Community Ambulance Service was also provided by the staff of the Funeral Home. Two combination Hearse/Ambulances were maintained and numerous part time employees were employed as attendants. In the early 1950’s a second viewing room was added as the trend from home viewings shifted to the funeral home. In 1959 a new 3 car garage was added to the rear of the building. An arrangement office and casket selection rooms were relocated to the current location next to the funeral home.
In 1963 John Carlson, son of Vin and Florence, graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and joined the firm. John married Evelyn Pasierb in 1967. On January 1, 1969 a four-member family partnership was formed. Vin Carlson died in April of 1970. In 1986 John and Evelyn Carlson purchased the balance of the partnership from Florence. The business was incorporated and Carlson Funeral Home Inc. was established, with John acting as supervisor.
In 1973 the ambulance service provided by the Carlson Funeral Home had been discontinued and taken over by Brockway Area Ambulance Association. John served as an original board member and EMT for many years. By the early 1970’s, the trend for funerals had gone completely from residences to the funeral home and more space was needed. In 1973 a major building project was begun to double the size of the facilities.
This addition was opened in October of 1974, providing up to 4 viewing rooms, a modern preparation room, and large entry foyer. The arrangement office and casket selection room were again refurnished. From the 1970’s to the mid 90’s many funeral homes were being purchased by large funeral corporations. From its very beginning in 1947, the Carlson Funeral Home family has chosen to remain an independent, family owned funeral home serving Brockway and the surrounding area. That personal service still continues today for each family served.
In April of 1995, Eric Shugarts accepted employment with the Carlson family; and he and his wife Melissa moved to Brockway. In 2000, Eric purchased an interest in the funeral home. Eric and John continued to work together until 2004. On October 1, 2004 Eric and Melissa purchased the funeral home from John and Evelyn. The name was changed to Carlson-Shugarts Funeral Home Inc. and the Shugarts continue to operate the funeral home providing the same level of service as the Carlsons.