Our Story


The Morse Funeral Home is located in the Northern section of Chautauqua County, just minutes away from the Lake Erie Shore, in the Village of Brocton, New York. The Village is located approximately 50 miles west of Buffalo, New York and 50 miles east of Erie Pa. It is in close proximity to both SUNY at Fredonia, New York and the famous Chautauqua Institution located on the beautiful Chautauqua Lake by Mayville, N.Y.. Not only has the Morse Funeral Home served it's local community, but has served the communities of Portland, Lamberton, Stockton and other surrounding towns in the immediate area.

The Funeral Home was first opened in 1927 in a large white framed home on Highland Ave. in Brocton under the ownership of the newly licensed Funeral Director by the name of Theodore S. Morse. Ted, as he was affectionately known by everyone in the area had worked out of that home for approximately two years before purchasing the large Victorian Home across the street where it continues to operate to the present day. The home is well known historically for it's fine wood and ornate detail.  This unique home was constructed in 1903 by the area's well known builder, E.J. Bailey, as his personal residence. Mr. Bailey was best remembered for designing and building the County Courthouse in Mayville, New York. among other creative structures within the county.

Ted was a well respected and liked Funeral Director in the area, known for his friendliness, ease of manner and excellence of work with the families that he served.  At one time Ted provided Brocton and the surrounding communities with its only ambulance service. After twenty years of serving the community,  the ambulance, was donated by Ted  to the Brocton Fire Department.

Ted was married to the former Louise Sweatland, and together they successfully raised six children within the family home and business.  Ted passed away in 1994 at the age of 90.

Kenneth W. Merle purchased the Funeral Home from Ted Morse in 1968 and chose to continue to operate the business under its original name.  Ken was born and grew up in the small town of Attica, New York. After high school he ventured out to persue his dream of becoming a Funeral Director. He was a 1963 graduate of Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science of Syracuse, New York.  After obtaining his Funeral Directors licence he moved to Ossining, New York where he was employed at Leach and Thomas Funeral Home for approximately two and a half years. He then returned to the upstate area and worked for Hedges Memorial Chapel in Rochester, New York for a year an a half before coming to Brocton.  Coming from and growing up in a small town, Ken welcomed and embraced the opportunity to return to the small community setting of Brocton, New York.

Ken was married to the former Suzanne Eichorn and they also successfully raised six children in the Funeral Home and the community. Ken was extremely involved with the local activities and organizations  of the Brocton-Portland area and surrounding communities. He was very well respected and liked by all the people he served and those whose lives he came in contact with while working and living in Brocton. He will be best remembered for his outstanding work and attention to detail, and his caring manner when dealing with his families.   Ken faithfully served his community for over 44 years before he passed away in November of 2011 at the age of 68.

In December of 2011, Gerald W. Newman was appointed Licensed Manager to continue the operations of The Morse Funeral Home. Jerry and Ken have a long history together beginning  as graduates from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science. in 1963.  Jerry has worked together consistently with Ken over many years when the need for assistance  arose. Jerry is committed to providing the same professional and high quality service that has become the trademark of the Morse Funeral Home.   Lastly, since Ken's arrival in the Brocton area in 1968, there has been a working relationship between Ken and the Newman Funeral Home of Dunkirk, New York which is owned by Jerry's brother Daniel Newman.

 

Whether you have an immediate need for our services or you wish to begin pre-planning a funeral arrangement for you or someone you love, Call us We will be proud to serve you.