Vernon Family Funeral Homes honors and continues a long tradition of locally, family-owned funeral homes in Champaign County.
In 2003, Dave and Tammy Vernon founded Vernon Family Funeral Homes. In that year they purchased from Don and Dessie McDonald the Freshwater-McDonald Funeral Home in North Lewisburg (now the Freshwater, McDonald & Vernon Funeral Home) and the Skillman-McDonald Funeral Home in Mechanicsburg (now the Skillman, McDonald & Vernon Funeral Home). Two years later, they purchased the former Littleton & Rue Funeral Home in Urbana to establish their third location, Vernon Funeral Home.
The funeral homes in North Lewisburg and Mechanicsburg have long histories of serving their communities. The North Lewisburg funeral home dates back to 1856, while the Mechanicsburg funeral home was established in the early 1900s.
D.S. Spain, founder of the North Lewisburg funeral home, operated the mortuary until 1896, when he sold it to George L. Freeman. When Mr. Freeman retired, his son, M. Floyd Freeman, took over, operating the funeral home until 1944, when he sold it to James M. Freshwater.
When Mr. Freshwater died in 1971, his widow, Kathleen Freshwater, called on Don McDonald, who operated the funeral home for 14 years before purchasing it.
The Mechanicsburg funeral home originally was named Davis & Byers Furniture and Undertaking. In 1938, owners Tom Davis and Ed Byers discontinued the furniture business to concentrate solely on funeral service. Donald Skillman bought the funeral home in 1957, moving it to its current location, and sold it 30 years later to Don McDonald.
At Vernon Family Funeral Homes we are privileged to continue this rich heritage of service.