- 680 Archibald
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2J 0Y4
- (204) 253-5086
Coutu Family Funeral Home 1895 to Present
The Coutu family history in funeral service dates back to 1895 when Philippe Coutu Senior opened up the original Coutu Funeral Home across from the Norwood Hotel on Marion St.
Our original Coutu Funeral Home was a combination of a furniture store, funeral home and ambulance service for the St. Boniface area. The ambulance service had a contract with the Whitier Park Raceway for any injuries that occurred during races and events held there. As the funeral home portion of the business grew so did the need for a new location and Philippe eventually moved to 156 Marion Street, our address until 2003.
Philippe was very active in the community, and an avid sports fan. He started an old timers hockey league, as well as a little league baseball team, and a pee-wee professional hockey team. Philippe was such an avid hockey fan that he once had a taxi drive him, Father Levique, and Gerald St. Onge to Chicago to watch the Blackhawks play the Montreal Canadiens.
As the funeral home continued to grow, the Coutu children started to work in the family business as well, and in the 1930’s Philippe was joined by his son Philippe Jr. to help run the family business. Before working in the family business Philippe Jr. worked at Modern Dairies and then as a fireman. Upon joining the family business he was quick to learn the skills of a funeral director & embalmer while working alongside his father. As a second-generation funeral director, Philippe Jr. eventually went on to purchase the family business from his father in the 1940’s. He received a loan to buy the family business from the Coutu family lawyer, Mr. Max Kopstein.
After years of running a very successful funeral home in the St. Boniface area, Philippe Coutu Jr. began to expand his operations by purchasing several funeral homes in the Winnipeg area; Barker’s Funeral Home, McGee’s Funeral Home, Leatherdale Gardiner, Park Lawn & Park Lawn Memorial Gardens. As with the generation prior, Philippe Jr. was eventually joined by his children in the family business. Philippe Jr. was also very active in the community and was very generous when called upon for donations. He was also a very talented musician and could play the piano by ear. He often shared his musical talents at various fundraisers and charitable events.
Philippe Coutu Jr. had four children, but it was his son Edward Coutu who eventually bought the Company from his father in 1977. Before purchasing the family business, Edward Coutu was involved in Canadian Politics, serving as the Assistant to the Minister of Defense, the Honorable James Richardson. He also ran as a liberal candidate in the riding of Selkirk, and had a weekly column in the Lance called “An Inside Look”.
Upon purchasing the family business he continued to expand with the purchase of Mordue Brothers Funeral Home and initiated the construction of the Chapel of Eternal Memories Mausoleum at Waverly Memorial Gardens in the late 1970’s. He also purchased Garry Memorial Gardens in the 1990’s. This was the largest family owned funeral operation in Western Canada until the sale of the business in 1995 to the Lowen Group. After a five year no competition clause expired, Edward Senior bought a piece of land at 680 Archibald with an eye to recreating a family run business that would provide the style of service that has been the family’s signature for over 125 years.
In 2001, history repeated itself when Edward Senior was joined by his son, Edward Junior.