Edward E. Lynch, the founder of our funeral home, was born in Woburn in 1855.
In 1871 he went to work as an assistant to Lawrence Reed, owner of one of the
more prominent funeral homes in Woburn at the time, located a few doors south
of the current location.
After working for Mr. Reed for nine years, learning the business thoroughly,
he associated himself with a partner in 1887, under the firm name of McLaughlin
& Lynch, and engaged in the undertaking business for himself. This partnership
continued for eighteen months when he sold his interest to Mr. McLaughlin and
prepared to "go West." The earnest solicitations of friends, however,
prevailed and instead of starting westward he remained in Woburn and again engaged
in business for himself, this time alone, under his own name, at the current
location of 263 Main Street.
Mr. Lynch was first married, in 1880, to Julia E. Cantillon, who was born in
Ireland. Edward and Julia Lynch raised Edward J. Cantillon, Sr. who, along with
his siblings, lost their parents at an early age.
Following Julia's death in 1906, Edward married Nellie Cantillon. When Edward
Lynch died in 1938, "Nell" became licensed as a funeral director and,
along with her brother, Edward J. Cantillon, Sr., and his brother-in-law, Leo
McDermott, operated the business with the assistance of Edward's sons, Edward
Jr. (Ned), Richard (Dick), and William (Gus). Ned attended New England School
of Anatomy and Embalming, becoming licensed as a funeral director and embalmer
When Ned returned from the war, he worked along with his father and his Aunt
Nell until Edward Sr. died. Ned purchased the business from his aunt in 1950,
and went into business as "Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home". Ned built
the addition, which is the current funeral home, in 1956. Prior to that time,
many wakes were held in family homes, often for two or three full days, but
modern times necessitated a central location for services to be held.
Thirty years later, in 1980, Ned's son, Edward III, completed his studies at
New England Institute and became a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He
assisted his father on a part-time basis while he taught in the Woburn Public
Schools, and in 1985 went into the business full-time. Jean, Ned's daughter,
who was a guidance counselor in the Woburn Schools, completed her studies at
New England Institute in 1993 and she too became a licensed funeral director
and embalmer. When Ned passed away in 1998, Ed and Jean became co-owners of
the funeral home.