Our history begins in the early 1900s when William C. “Bill” Smith served as an apprentice at P.J. Hursen Funeral Homes. After gaining adequate experience, Bill opened his own firm on Armitage in the Kelvin Park/Craign area before later moving to North Cicero Avenue where he served families until his death.
Bill’s sons Bill, Larry and Bob all joined in the family business. Bob Smith Sr. continued in his father’s footsteps expanding the company by purchasing Corcoran Funeral Home at 6150 N. Cicero Ave and Lain-Hursen Funeral Home at 5501 N. Ashland Avenue.
Bob’s son, Bob Smith Jr., became a 3rd generation funeral director in the 1980s. He and his father purchased Birren and Son Funeral Home at 6215 N. Clark Street and merged Lain-Hursen with this location. A year later, Smith-Corcoran constructed a new location at 185 E Northwest Highway in Palatine.
In the 2000s, the Smiths expanded service to families in the northern suburbs by purchasing, remodeling and renaming the William H. Scott Funeral Home on Waukegan Rd. in Glenview. The Smith family consolidated the Chicago locations to the Cicero Avenue Chapel in 2005.
Focused on serving the community, Smith-Corcoran has excelled over the years. Both Bob Smith Sr. and Jr. are actively involved in service organizations; in 1991, Bob Sr. served as president of the National Funeral Directors Association. Previously, he served as president of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association in 1972 and Funeral Directors Association of Greater Chicago in 1963.