Hood River's first funeral home originated in the early
1900's and was the Sam Bartmess Mortuary. It was located at 6th and State St.,
(now Hershner & Bell Realty). Undertaker Sam Bartmess, keeping up with
change, had switched from a horse-drawn funeral coach to a motorized hearse
when the times called for it.
Bartmess sold the mortuary to his son-in-law Bill
Marshall. The mortuary became Rude-Marshall between 1930 and 1935 and at that
time was owned and operated by George Beechler until 1942.
Just east of the old Beechler Mortuary is the Ezra L
Smith home which he built in 1886 for his family. The Smith home is one of Hood
River's oldest homes still standing. In 1886 it stood for a long time as the
"only large house in town." Mr. Smith had a powerful voice in state
politics, in Oregon agricultural development, in Hood River city
administration, banking, etc., and to his home came many farmers and
businessmen seeking his advice.
After Ezra Smith's death in 1921 C.C. Anderson purchased
the property and house for his new mortuary in 1928. Instead of tearing down
the beautiful home, Mr. Anderson renovated it and a chapel was added. Mr.
Anderson sold his mortuary to Arch and Edith Johnson in 1939.
In 1942 Roy and Tressa Edwards came back to Hood River
and bought the Beechler Mortuary directly across from the Anderson Funeral
Home. When Mr. Johnson was ready to retire in 1942, he sold the Anderson
Funeral Home to the Edwards.
At that time they closed the Beechler Mortuary and the
building became the first Nazarene church in Hood River. The Edwards remodeled
the Anderson Funeral Home even more, adding refinements to both the mortuary
and to the living quarters. Their love for the old house was evident throughout
and onto the well cared for lawn and shrubs surrounding the funeral home.
Besides running the mortuary, the Edwards also had an ambulance service and Roy
was the County Coroner for 22 years.
In November of 1967 the Edwards had the grand opening
of the new Anderson Funeral Home on 14th and Belmont Rd. The new building was
built to solve the acute parking problem and also to provide the county with
Roy and Tressa Edwards retired in 1967 and sold their
business to their daughters and son-inÂ-laws, Ray and Doris Cotner and Leila
and Ira Hudson. They were partners until 1976 when the Cotner's purchased the
Hudson's interest. The Cotner's owned and operated the new facility until their
retirement on July 5, 1982 when Frank and Sheryl Akin purchased the funeral
home. Until that time the mortuary had been owned by the same family members
for forty years.
On July 1, 2007, the Akin’s 25 years to the
day from when they purchased Anderson’s transferred Anderson’s to their
successor and friends Jack & Debbi Trumbull who have been serving
families in funeral service since 1991.
Debbi is a school teacher and their two children, Lauren and Caleb, attend May Street Elementary.
Trumbull’s moved from Southern Idaho but have family ties to the Hood River
Valley; Jack’s grandfather was the agent for the Union Pacific Railroad for
many years and his mother, aunts & uncles all grew up in the Hood River