The rich history of Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home begins with William C. “Bill” Smith. After gaining experience working with P.J. Hursen Funeral Homes, Bill opened his own funeral home on Armitage in the Kelvin Park/Craign area. He soon moved to 2500 N. Cicero Ave, where his three sons, Bill, Larry, and Bob joined him in the business. Bill continued the business at that location until his passing.
Bob Smith Sr. continued in his father’s footsteps working with him until expanding the family owned business by purchasing Corcoran Funeral Home, located at 6150 N. Cicero Ave. In order to better serve the Chicagoland area families, Bob purchased Lain-Hursen funeral home located at 5501 N. Ashland Ave. He owned and operated both Cicero and Ashland Ave locations while grooming his son for the business.
Bob Smith Jr., joined the family firm in 1980, becoming the third generation providing funeral service to Chicago families. Together Bob Sr. and Jr. continued expanding the family business in 1985 by purchasing Birren and Son funeral home located at 6125 N. Clark St. and merged Lain-Hursen into this location. The following year they constructed a new Smith-Corcoran funeral home at 185 E Northwest Highway in Palatine.
The family funeral home continued to thrive with the Smith’s care and compassion and the active role Bob Sr. and Jr. played in both funeral service and community organizations. In 1991 Bob Sr. was named president of the National Funeral Directors Association, after first serving as president of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association in 1972 and Funeral Directors Association of Greater Chicago in 1963.
By 2000, the Smiths looked to expand their service to families in the northern suburbs. The former William H. Scott Funeral home on Waukegan Rd. in Glenview was purchased, remodeled and renamed to become the third Smith-Corcoran funeral home. In 2005, the Smith family consolidated the Chicago locations to the Cicero Ave. chapel.