Serving Minnesota Before Minnesota

Logo courtesy of Washburn-McReavy
Logo courtesy of Washburn-McReavy

Logo courtesy of Washburn-McReavy

Washburn-McReavy provides funeral, cremation, and other services to Minnesota families.

Since 1857, William P. Washburn started what was called Washburn Undertakers, a funeral home, cemetery, and furniture store. Opening one year before Minnesota became a state, Washburn Undertakers truly became apart of the fabric of the Bold North. After being renamed Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels in 1931, the business continues as proof that only a family really understands what a family needs in a time of grief.

“The business was renamed due to my great-grandfather’s involvement in the business. His name was Donald R. McReavy. My great grandfather died in 1949, and the business was handed off to my grandfather, William L. McReavy when he was 17. He, along with his mother—my great-grandmother—ran the business until he graduated from the University of Minnesota. It has been 161 years, and we are now in our fifth generation with three generations currently working for the company,” says Funeral Director Brett McReavy.

McReavy says their business still offers funeral and cremation services, and they now assist with cemetery needs as they own and operate four cemeteries around the Minneapolis metro.

“We also own and operate our own cremation centers so we can help serve everyone, whether they wish to be buried in a casket or cremated. We also provide aftercare services where we provide families with different grief materials, newsletters, and local resources related to grief,” he says.

Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels has extended far outside of the Twin Cities, and they now have 16 funeral homes as far north as Coon Rapids and as south as Bloomington. Their cemeteries are located in North Minneapolis, Bloomington, Northeast Minneapolis, and Crystal.

Outside of their physical buildings, McReavy says their newsletter has been especially helpful for family members and friends after the funeral service is over.

“Our newsletter is named Circle of Friends, and the families we have helped have found our newsletter to be very helpful and comforting,” he says.

McReavy says they are able to accommodate families very quickly after a death has occurred, which helps families feel supported in a time of need. As long as everyone else involved—families, churches, cemeteries—is okay with the timeframe, they will be there to help day or night, rain or shine, he adds.

Though everyone deals with grief in different, unique ways, Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels are equipped and prepared to support all clients in any way they might need. McReavy says he believes the most important thing to do in a time of grief is to allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you need to feel.

“Although I am not a counselor or grief expert, I am a firm believer that it is healthy to cry and allow yourself to grieve. Many people view crying as a sign of weakness, which is absolutely false. I also believe that it is important to express yourself and talk about your feelings with someone, whether that be a friend, counselor, or even your funeral director,” he says. “Talking about your feelings, your memories, etc. is important in the grieving process. I also suggest asking your funeral director for grief materials or suggestions. There are many groups and different resources available to you.”

McReavy and the rest of the staff at Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels want their clients to know that they are here to help and provide support in any way they can. From providing materials or newsletters to listening to talking about the grief process, staff of Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels are sincerely working in support of those in grieving.

For more information about Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels and their services, visit their website at or call 612-377-2203.

Lavender Magazine

5100 Eden Ave, Suite 107 • Edina, MN 55436 • 612.436.4660

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