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The O’Brien Funeral Home became a licensed funeral home in Grand Rapids in 1885 located in the downtown area, Grand Rapids’ first funeral home. P.H. O’Brien was the original owner. The establishment moved to its new location on Jefferson Ave. several years later. Bonnie O’Brien, son of P.H. O’Brien, and Joseph O’Brien, grandson of P.H. O’Brien, operated the business at the Jefferson location. In 1968, Joseph O’Brien built a new facility at the present location at Cascade and East Paris intersection, completing the first project in early 1969.
Joseph O’Brien died in August of 1969 and David Gerst, Sr. purchased the business in December of 1969 and the company became O’Brien-Gerst Funeral Home.
The Eggebeen Funeral Home was purchased by David Gerst, Sr. and operated on Eastern Ave. until the business was transferred to the Cascade Rd facility. The business now became O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home.
David Gerst, Jr. became a licensed funeral director in 1979 and Mark in 1981. The two sons of David Gerst, Sr. presently own and operate the funeral home.
The Roth-Gerst Funeral Home became a licensed funeral on Main Street, Lowell, MI in 1927. Wesley Roth was the first owner-operator.
The business was moved to its present location on Hudson St. Wesley Roth’s son, Jerald Roth became a licensed funeral director and operated the business with his father until Wes’ death.
Jerald Roth died in 1971 and David Gerst, Sr. purchased the business from the Roth family that same year. He operated the business with his sons David Gerst, Jr. and Mark Gerst both licensed funeral directors. David, Jr. became licensed in 1979 and Mark in 1981.
After their father, David Gerst, Sr. retired; the two sons have owned and operated the business.