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Our History

The John R. Freed Funeral Home, Inc. started out as the Edwin F. Thies funeral home in 1937 in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. In 1939, Mr. Thies moved the funeral home from West Oak Lane to its present location on Easton Rd in Glenside. The property in Glenside was purchased from Mr. Irwin, who was also a funeral director. At the time of the purchase, Mr. Thies was the only funeral director in the area.


The building has undergone some major changes over the years. In 1953, the front section of the building was added. This included the front viewing room, the arrangement room, and the Clergy Room, which was originally used as an office. This addition also added stairs from the first floor down to the newly created Casket Selection Room. This selection room was the first one in a funeral home to have a lift installed to move a casket from the basement to the first floor via a trap door built in the floor of the front viewing room.


The second major addition in 1963 resulted in a third viewing room. This room was built on the north side of the building and was positioned next to the fireplace that was once used to both heat the building and to prepare meals. Today, the fireplace is still fully functional and is used when needed.
The last major addition occurred in 1994, when a two-car garage and the old preparation room were demolished and replaced with a new, state-of-the-art preparation room. This room was designed to exceed all OSHA requirements. Also added at this time was a wheelchair lift on the north side of the building and a wheelchair accessible restroom inside the building. This allows the funeral home to be fully compatible with all ADA requirements.


In addition to changes in the building, there have been changes in the ownership over the years. Mr. Thies operated the business on his own from 1937 until 1964 when he was joined by his son-in-law, John R. Freed. Mr. Thies and Mr. Freed operated the business together until 1970, when Mr. Freed purchased the business. He then operated it solely until his tragic and untimely death in 1977. At that time the business was turned over to his wife, Beverly L. Freed, who ran it very successfully until 1998. In January of that year, Beverly Freed sold the business to her son, John R. Freed, Jr., who continues to run it to this day.