Our Story

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Chester T. French, Founder

Chester T. French moved to New Mexico from Tennessee in 1904, in hopes that the arid climate would help cure his brother’s tuberculosis. His brother succumbed to his disease, but Chester fell in love with the beautiful city and its people, and dedicated himself to helping families in their times of need. He opened French Mortuary in 1907 in downtown Albuquerque at the corner of 5th and Central. Twenty-two years later, he established the first perpetual care cemetery in New Mexico, Sunset Memorial Park, a non-profit 501c(13) facility.

Today, French Funerals & Cremations is the largest and oldest family-owned funeral company in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. Along with five locations to better serve our communities, French Funerals provides a full-service continuum of care through Sunset Memorial Park, the Cremation Society of New Mexico, and Best Friends Pet Cremation Services.

It is our legacy and our calling to continue to serve families during one of the most difficult milestones in life, and to help them honor their loved ones with dignity, compassion, and a deep respect for their needs and unique pathways through grief.

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Chester T. French in front of original location at 5th and Central Ave., c. 1907

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Mr. French with his Sunday School class at First United Methodist Church, where he taught for over 40 years.

French Family of Companies Owners

Chester French Stewart - Chairman Emeritus, grandson of Chester T. French

D.F. "Duffy" Swan - Chairman

Tom E. Antram - President and CEO

Robert H. Stewart - grandson of Chester T. French

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