The story of Jerrett Funeral Homes begins in the mid-1930s, a very difficult time as the country was ravaged by the Great Depression while rumors of war filled the air. Jack Jerrett dreamed of a career that would allow him to serve people in a meaningful way and, for him, becoming a funeral director would fulfill those aspirations.
At the age of 18, he began his apprenticeship with the Speers Funeral Home on Dundas Street where he received his funeral director’s license. Within five years, Mr. Jerrett, at 23 years of age and with the help of many friends and family members including his future wife, became one of the youngest funeral directors to purchase his own chapel when he purchased the former Nash Funeral Home at 1141 St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto in 1939.
Although the funeral chapel was part of Mr. Jerrett’s dream, the business’ growth and success in the early years was very much a family effort. Mr. Jerrett’s parents, John and Alice, sold their home and trucking business in order to join him in the business. And Mr. Jerrett’s future wife, Frances Pauline Fritz, joined the firm following their marriage in 1939. In fact, she became one of the first licensed female funeral directors in 1942.
The business grew and prospered and in 1954, Mr. Jerrett purchased the former Bennett Funeral Home at 4661 Yonge Street in North York, then known as Willowdale. In 1965, the Scarborough Chapel at 660 Kennedy Road was opened on the site of a former mushroom plantation.
In 1967, tragedy struck. Piloting his own plane on approach to the Toronto International Airport, Mr. Jerrett was killed in a landing accident. His death came only a year after his father died and less than a year before his mother’s death. Long-time employee Bill Stephenson helped sustain the business through this difficult time, and Mr. Jerrett’s son John subsequently joined the business full-time in 1968.
The business continued to grow and in the fall of 1993, the new North York Chapel at 6191 Yonge Street was opened to replace the building in Willowdale and to better accommodate the needs of our diverse and expanding community.
In December of 1999, the Jerrett Funeral Homes was purchased by an affiliate of Service Corporation International. Today, we are an honoured Dignity Memorial® provider and as such, we offer exclusive benefits, including National Transferability of Prearranged Services, the Bereavement Travel Program, the 24-Hour Compassion Helpline® and access to an acclaimed grief management library. As North America’s largest provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services, the Dignity Memorial brand is your assurance of quality, value, caring service and exceptional customer satisfaction.