Lafrance-Lambert & Black Funeral Home has its origins in several undertaking parlors on the east side of town.
Lionel Lafrance came to Sanford from Canada in the mid-1920’s. His father and brother were funeral directors serving families in Danville, Quebec.
Mr. Lafrance entered into the undertaking business on High Street in Sanford with J. Olivier Sansoucy at the Lafrance and Sansoucy Funeral Home. At this time the competing undertaking firm of Gregoire and Bouffard Funeral Home was in operation on Winter Street. Mr. Bouffard and Mr. Lafrance forged a partnership some time between 1927 and 1932 and the Bouffard and Lafrance Funeral Home was established. Mr. Bouffard died unexpectedly in 1934, leaving the funeral home to Lionel Lafrance.
Lionel Lafrance built a new funeral home in 1938 at 29 Winter Street The beautiful brick building with ivy growing all around is the very funeral home that has been serving families in their time of need for over 65 years. He operated this new funeral home for only four years until his own untimely death. Mr. Lafrance and his wife, Fabiola, drowned in a boating accident on Bunganut Pond in 1942. Mr. Lafrance had also served as editor of a local French newspaper, La Justice. A copy of the front page of his newspaper, announcing their deaths is displayed in the arrangements office of the funeral home.
Mr. Lafrance’s father, Louis, came to Sanford and operated the funeral home after Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Lafrance’s deaths. Jeanne, a sister to Lionel, accompanied him; her role was to care for the three young boys orphaned by the deaths. Five years later the elder Mr. Lafrance and his daughter returned to Canada with Lionel and Fabiola’s sons. The funeral home was sold in 1947 to local dentist, Dr. Walter Ouellette.
Dr. Ouellette owned the funeral home for 14 years. J. Rene Boisvert was employed as the funeral director and embalmer. Dr. Ouellette sold the funeral home to Mr. Boisvert in 1961. The latter operated the funeral home under the name of Lafrance-Boisvert Funeral Home until 1980. In turn, he sold the establishment to a former employee, Normand R. Lambert. Norm had worked for Mr. Boisvert prior to being drafted to serve his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.
Normand R. Lambert, a Biddeford native, and his wife, the former Linda S. Frappier of Dayton, operated the funeral home as LaFrance-Lambert Funeral Home for 24 years. They sold the business to employee, John S. Black and his wife, Lori in 2004. Norm retired in 2009.
John and Lori Black believe the Lafrance and Lambert names are an important part of the history of the funeral home. They are names that remind us all of the rich tradition of service that families have trusted for generations. John and Lori were honored to be able to add their name to the business and are committed to continue that level of trust and service.
In 2020, John and Lori decided to transition out of ownership, selecting Adam and Caitlin Walker, owners of Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Homes of Portland and South Portland, to oversee the continuation of excellent service to the families of Western York County.
The Blacks assembled a superior staff of funeral service professionals with over 100 years of combined experience. The Walker family is honored to retain these exceptional funeral directors. The families we serve can be assured the the level of personal care you're accustomed to will remain.
A special thank you to Gilles Auger who was instrumental in researching our funeral home’s history; his depth of knowledge and diligence in learning more is greatly appreciated.
Lionel and Fabiola Lafrance on their wedding day - October 7, 1929
Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Home is successor to several firms in western York County with roots back to the 1920’s.
Brown Funeral Home was located in Newfield, Maine. In 1955 Kenneth and Millicent Dockendorff purchased the Brown Funeral Home and located the business in a large older building on Washington Street in Limerick, naming it the Dockendorff Funeral Home. The funeral home business was moved to Sokokis Trail, also known as Route 5, in 1966. They owned and operated the funeral home until 1981 when they sold to John and Sandra Gagnon of Sanford.
The Sanford Memorial Home was constructed on Main Street in Sanford in 1960 by Joseph T. Gagnon. The first funeral director employed was Charles Gallant, a well known native of Sanford. Joseph Gagnon passed the business along to his son John R. Gagnon in 1964, who changed the name to Sanford Funeral Home. Although semi-retired, John is still available to serve those families who request him.
During the 1950s and 1960s both Dockendorff Funeral Home and Sanford Funeral Home offered ambulance service, a common practice of rural funeral homes. It was not unusual to see a combination vehicle, which served as both an ambulance and a hearse, transporting a nursing home patient to or from the hospital.
The L. H. Carll Funeral Home was established on Oak Street in Springvale in 1939. It was owned and operated by Lucene “Sammy” Carll. In 1948 Sammy Carll built a modern facility on Main Street in Springvale. The construction plans, open house announcement, and the open house program are on display in the funeral home study.
Sammy sold the funeral home in July of 1961 to Littleton, New Hampshire funeral director, James L. Heald and his wife Phyllis, who operated it as the Carll-Heald Funeral Home until 1976, when they changed the name to Heald Funeral Home.
The L. A. Hurd Funeral Home of Winter Street in Sanford began operations in the 1920’s. Luther A. Hurd owned and operated the funeral home until passing it along to his son, Paul D. Hurd. Paul Hurd eventually sold the funeral home to Earl Clark, who in turn sold it to James L. Heald in the late 1960’s. Jim operated this funeral home under the name of Hurd-Heald Funeral Home. In 1973 the north chapel was added to the Springvale funeral home and the Hurd-Heald Funeral Home was closed. The building is now owned by H. D. Goodall Hospital and is used as an office for a medical practice.
Jim Heald entered semi-retirement in 1982, turning the business over to his son David N. Heald. During his ownership, David, and his wife Eileen, opened the Family Center, next door to the funeral home. The Heald Family Center serves as a gathering place for families to use after services. It is also available to non-profit groups, as well as small family gatherings.
We lost our good friend Jim in 2009.
John Gagnon sold Dockendorff Funeral Home and Sanford Funeral Home in 1996 to Community Funeral Chapels, a sister company to Heald Funeral Home. The Dockendorff real estate was sold in 2003 and the business was assimilated and relocated to the Heald Funeral Home in Springvale. The Sanford Funeral Home real estate was sold to the Sanford News in 1998, and that funeral home business was also assimilated into Heald Funeral Home in Springvale.
John S. Black, an employee of Heald Funeral Home from 1984 to 1998, and his wife Lori, purchased the Heald Funeral Home and Family Center from David and Eileen in February of 2005. The Blacks, friends of Sammy Carll, returned his name, and added their own, renaming the funeral home Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Home. In 2020, John and Lori decided to transition out of ownership, selecting Adam and Caitlin Walker, owners of Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Homes of Portland and South Portland, to oversee the continuation of excellent service to the families of Western York County.
The Blacks assembled a superior staff of funeral service professionals with over 100 years of combined experience. The Walker family is honored to retain these exceptional funeral directors. The families we serve can be assured that the level of personal care you're accustomed to will remain.
The Walker Family