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Lafrance-Lambert & Black Funeral Home has its origins in several undertaking parlors on the east side of town.

Lionel Lafrance came to Sanford from Canada in the mid-1920’s. His father and brother were funeral directors serving families in Danville, Quebec.

Mr. Lafrance entered into the undertaking business on High Street in Sanford with J. Olivier Sansoucy at the Lafrance and Sansoucy Funeral Home. At this time the competing undertaking firm of Gregoire and Bouffard Funeral Home was in operation on Winter Street. Mr. Bouffard and Mr. Lafrance forged a partnership some time between 1927 and 1932 and the Bouffard and Lafrance Funeral Home was established. Mr. Bouffard died unexpectedly in 1934, leaving the funeral home to Lionel Lafrance.

Lionel Lafrance built a new funeral home in 1938 at 29 Winter Street The beautiful brick building with ivy growing all around is the very funeral home that has been serving families in their time of need for over 65 years. He operated this new funeral home for only four years until his own untimely death. Mr. Lafrance and his wife, Fabiola, drowned in a boating accident on Bunganut Pond in 1942. Mr. Lafrance had also served as editor of a local French newspaper, La Justice. A copy of the front page of his newspaper, announcing their deaths is displayed in the arrangements office of the funeral home.

Mr. Lafrance’s father, Louis, came to Sanford and operated the funeral home after Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Lafrance’s deaths. Jeanne, a sister to Lionel, accompanied him; her role was to care for the three young boys orphaned by the deaths. Five years later the elder Mr. Lafrance and his daughter returned to Canada with Lionel and Fabiola’s sons. The funeral home was sold in 1947 to local dentist, Dr. Walter Ouellette.

Dr. Ouellette owned the funeral home for 14 years. J. Rene Boisvert was employed as the funeral director and embalmer. Dr. Ouellette sold the funeral home to Mr. Boisvert in 1961. The latter operated the funeral home under the name of Lafrance-Boisvert Funeral Home until 1980. In turn, he sold the establishment to a former employee, Normand R. Lambert. Norm had worked for Mr. Boisvert prior to being drafted to serve his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

Normand R. Lambert, a Biddeford native, and his wife, the former Linda S. Frappier of Dayton, operated the funeral home as LaFrance-Lambert Funeral Home for 24 years. They sold the business to employee, John S. Black and his wife, Lori in 2004. Norm retired in 2009.

John and Lori Black believe the Lafrance and Lambert names are an important part of the history of the funeral home. They are names that remind us all of the rich tradition of service that families have trusted for generations. John and Lori were honored to be able to add their name to the business and are committed to continue that level of trust and service.

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A special thank you to Gilles Auger who was instrumental in researching our funeral home’s history; his depth of knowledge and diligence in learning more is greatly appreciated.


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