Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home is the only funeral home on Mount Desert Island. It has been owned and operated by five generations of Fernalds since 1860, and offers both cremation and burial funereal services.
“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the need of the community. The community wants a place that can service their families and we hope that we are providing them with that in a positive way,” says Lauri Fernald, current Funeral Director and co-owner. “Back then, people were furniture makers. They were used to doing everything out of their homes. There became a need to get those services out of people’s homes.”
Lauri is a fifth generation Fernald, and she is proud to operate her family’s business. Her father, Robert Fernald, co-owner, still works with the company from a “behind-the-scenes” perspective. Eric Schwitz joined the team as a Funeral Director in 2010 after falling in love with the friendly atmosphere of the island. “It’s an honor to serve the people that appreciate the service that we can provide for them,” he says.
MDI Hospital has been in Lauri’s life since the day she was born here in our Obstetrics Department. Ever since, Lauri’s experience with MDI Hospital has always been very positive, from visits to the emergency room to working professionally with hospital clinics. More recently, she has had high praise for Birch Bay Village, which she experienced while taking care of her 93-year old friend with dementia. “The staff was very caring and very good at communicating during that time period. They made it so my friend understood that everything they were doing was for her,” she explains.
Eric also shared a personal story about his grandmother being rushed to the hospital last summer. “MDI Hospital was the best experience I’ve ever had with a hospital. I felt like they really cared.” Eric also has had occasion to visit the hospital’s Community Dental Center in Southwest Harbor. “It was the best experience that I’ve ever had in my life with a dentist,” he says. Prior to moving to MDI, Eric had stopped going in for regular dental appointments because of the negativity he associated with the visits. “It is refreshing to get quality care right in your own hometown. This small town gives staff an opportunity to get to know the patients.”
Lauri sees Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home as being part of a community, just like MDI Hospital. “It’s nice to be able to serve a community that you live in, where you know the people,” she says. “You get to know the locals as well as the tourists. It’s nice when the Police and Fire Departments know the families personally during a service,” Eric adds.
Lauri joined MDI Hospital’s Business Friends Society because she believes it’s important for this island to have a hospital. “It’s a way for us to show our support for the Hospital. We wanted our business name alongside other businesses that are supportive as well.”