Albuquerque’s historic French Funeral and Cremation business sold to executive employees


We learned last week that Albuquerque, New Mexico, based French Funerals & Cremation was sold.  The company, founded in 1907 by Chester French, and operated by descendants for the past 115 years, elected to keep the company private and sold to long-time French company executives Tom Antram and Alice Brousseau according to this article in the Albuquerque Journal.


Antram began work at the company in 1993 and became President and CEO in 2010.  He is a native of New Mexico.  Brousseau has served as a Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer before becoming an owner.


As you can see from their website, French Funerals & Cremations operate from four locations in the Greater Albuquerque area.


Funeral Director Daily take:  With four locations, the company history, and the number of services that French Funerals & Cremations conducts each year there is no doubt that this company would have been in the sights of the public funeral home companies as well as the largest regional operators.  It’s always interesting to know what the back-story of a sale was. . . . in this case it may simply be to reward honorable long-term employees with the right to own.


There is also more for funeral home owners to learn from this transaction than the transaction itself.  I don’t know Tom Antram, but his entrance into funeral service, as told in the article, is a message to all of us that our next great employee may be right next to us and we don’t know it.


According to the linked article, Antram moved into an apartment at one of the French locations as a college student.  He was studying to become a sports broadcaster.  Between learning the basics of the funeral business at this time, he was encouraged by owner Chet French to pursue a future in the death care profession.  Antram changed his life’s ambition and joined the funeral business, studying mortuary science in Dallas.


According to the article, here’s what Antram says of that decision today, “Once I discovered how things were done in the funeral business … I knew that this was my calling.”


In this day and age when we seem to always be looking for good young funeral directors, maybe that story will prompt some of us to look at the young people who are around us and encourage them to think about a career in funeral service.


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1 Comment

  1. Tom Antram on January 20, 2023 at 10:12 am

    Thank you for sharing news of our recent transition of ownership. If you’d ever like to chat and explore how we successfully made this transition work, please let me know. I’d be happy to jump on a call.

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