BERLIN — As Christopher Porter looked for a new owner for Porter’s Funeral Service, he wanted to ensure the fifth-generation family business he inherited retained its personal, local touch.
“When you have a family in your neighborhood serving your family...there’s more of a personal touch,” said Porter, who will now retire.
The new owners are Peter Hansen and his family, who operate Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home in New Britain and helped Porter run his business, at 111 Chamberlain Highway, for the last five years.
“I feel very confident in the type of work they’ve been doing for a number of years,” said Porter, who ran his business for 37 years and turns 69 in July.
To keep the Porter family legacy, the business will be renamed Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home of Berlin/Porter’s.
"We're well known for a high level of care," Peter Hansen said. "It's very rewarding. We feel it's our life calling to be able to help a family through their time of grief and need and loss.”
This year marks the 150th year since Bryan Churchill Porter purchased the funeral home’s original location in downtown New Britain, a three story building. It featured a furniture store on the first floor, the funeral home on the second and the Porter household on the third. The furniture business sold caskets for the funeral home.
Peggy Porter, who ran the funeral home alongside her husband, said it was a difficult decision to step away from the business, but they’re looking forward to enjoying themselves in a way they couldn’t when they had to be ready to comfort families at any hour.
“This is a very bittersweet time for us. We’re both getting on in years and it’s time to hopefully do something we weren’t able to do before,” she said.
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