Prior to beginning a career in the funeral home business, George M. Holt was the private chauffeur of General Pershing during World War I in France.  After the Armistice, he became  the driver of a four-cylinder hearse in March of 1921 for the Purdy Funeral Home.  In 1927 he went to an embalming school for six weeks; eventually becoming the owner of the Purdy business. 


            The business was established in 1852 by Heman R. McKenzie selling furniture and providing undertaking service.   In 1879 it became the Abrams & Purdy Funeral Home (William Abrams and William T. Purdy) at 12 Main Street.  Mr. Abrams retired in 1883 and Mr. Purdy became the sole owner.  In 1904 his son, Heman M. Purdy, joined the firm and the name was changed to W. T. Purdy & Son.  The furniture business was discontinued in 1926. 


            In addition to joining the firm in partnership with his father, Heman M. Purdy was active in local government and civic affairs.  He was County Clerk in 1927; Haverstraw Town Supervisor from 1916-1925, served two terms as Haverstraw’s first Republican Chairman.  Mr. Purdy took part in the early negotiations for the Stony Point bridges; was instrumental in the Short Clove cut to New City and in the Haverstraw-Mt. Ivy Road.  He was secretary of the Provident Building and Loan Association of Haverstraw, and president of the Peoples Bank of Haverstraw.


When Heman Purdy died in 1946, George M. Holt purchased the business.  The name became George M. Holt Funeral Home.


In 1976, Robert O. and Kathleen M. Stobo purchased the funeral home and kept the name

with the exception of adding Incorporated.   Kathleen M. Stobo Vandervoort has been the sole owner since 1988, now in her 26th year of business.


Under the two name changes, this is one of the oldest established service businesses, serving the community since 1854 – 148 years of continued funeral service to the community giving the care, respect and dignity the families deserve.


        Kathleen M. Stobo Vandervoort           


April, 2002