Ashton Funeral Home

Ashton History

The Ashton Legacy

The Ashton Funeral Home is one of the oldest, continuously operated, family-owned funeral homes in America. In business since 1847, over five generations of Ashtons have served the Easton community. We invite you to join us in exploring our history.


The Ashton Funeral Home is founded as an undertaker and coffin maker business at Pine and Bank Streets, Easton, Pennsylvania by William Keller. Frank Ashton, who works for Keller, marries Keller’s daughter and assumes responsibility for running the business.

Undertaking work is done from undertaker’s office; funerals are held either in a church or the family’s home. Embalming, if requested, is done in the homestead. The Ashton women are actively involved in the business as shroud makers, foreladies, assisting, etc.


The business of undertaking and undertaking supplies moves to a new office at 313 Bushkill Street, Easton.


1900 Ashton Invoice During this decade, E. Harris Ashton joins his brother Frank in the business. Frank retires and E. Harris Ashton is deceased. Walter H. Ashton (a third brother 21 years their junior) joins the family business. Walter purchases the horse-drawn hearse that remains with the family to the present.


1913-walter-ashton-from-bookWalter Ashton opens Easton’s first funeral parlor at 31 N. 4th Street.


Walter Ashton dies.


1847 Anna LicenseWalter’s widow, Anna Ashton, succeeds Walter as funeral director. She becomes one of the first female licensed funeral directors in Pennsylvania.

All of Walter and Anna Ashton’s children are active in funeral service:

  • Earl
  • Catherine
  • Fred Sr.
  • Frank
  • Walter Jr.
  • H. Scott


1935 Fred License1935 Fred and Jean

Fred Ashton Sr. becomes a licensed funeral director. He and his wife, Jean Melick Ashton, continue the business at 1346 Northampton Street, Easton.

1935 Fred Sr and Jean Ashton1935 Fred Sr and Jean Ashton


1948 Ashton Funeral HomeFred Ashton Sr. moves Ashton Funeral Home to its current location at 14th and Northampton Streets.

Fred Ashton Sr. and his wife Jean’s sons, Fred Jr. and Kline Sr., join the business as young men. Upon the death of Fred Ashton Sr., the brothers become partners in the funeral home.

1948 Newspaper Ad


Fred Ashton Jr. retires from the funeral home business; he serves two terms as mayor of Easton. Kline Ashton Sr. and his wife, Arlene Carcione Ashton, continue the business. Their three children, Debra, Kline Jr., and W. Scott, all become licensed funeral directors and continue serving actively in the family business.


2007 Newspaper ArticleAshton Funeral Home celebrates 160 years of service to the Easton community.


After nearly 70 years in the service of Ashton Funeral Home and the Easton community, R. Kline Ashton, Sr. passes away in January. He is succeeded by his children: R. Kline Ashton, Jr., Debra Jo Ashton-Chase and W. Scott Ashton, funeral directors. Arlene Ashton continues to serve the community in her retirement.


2011 Ashton Funeral Home LogoAshton Funeral home continues to communicate the rich heritage of their past while serving the community in a contemporary and relevant way.

  • Ashton family members currently serving their community:
  • Arlene Carcione Ashton
  • R. Kline Ashton, Jr.
  • Debra Jo Ashton-Chase
  • W. Scott Ashton