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Pettigrew heritage

Founder Fay Pettigrew was born outside Ft. Smith, Arkansas in 1917, the youngest in a family of 4 boys and 3 girls. While growing up in rural Arkansas there was no funeral home in the area. Fay's father was one of the men in the community who would make a coffin and help with burials when a death occurred. Sadly Fay's mother died when he was just 3 months old during the Influenza Epidemic of 1918. Everyone in the family was sick and consequently no one was able to attend his mother's funeral. The thought of this left a lasting impression on Fay, and along with the influence of his father, was one of the driving forces that took him into the funeral business.

When Fay moved to California to live with his brothers, two of them were working for Hollywood Casket Co. Through the efforts of his bothers Fay got his start in the casket business in 1938 working for Chapman Meighen. He began his journey in a lifetime dedicated to quality craftsmanship.

Fay moved to Sacramento in 1939 and soon after starting at Capitol City Casket Co. the owner passed away and the business was closed. Fay and two fellow employees took the opportunity to start their own company. During the next twenty years the business prospered and so did Fay and Althea - adding five children to their family. Eventually the partnership ended and Fay started "Pettigrew & Sons Casket Co." in 1960 so that he could continue with the tradition of providing quality and service that has been such an important part of his desire to serve each customer to the best of his abilities.

Pettigrew & Sons began operations in a 3,200 square foot building with Fay, his wife Althea, their oldest son Jim (now the shop foreman, painter and all around jack of all trades) and a handful of dedicated employees. It was a big step for a man and woman with five children and no guarantee of success. But with hard work and continuing with the principals that Fay had learned during his years in the casket business the company prospered.

In 1963 Pettigrew & Sons had a 12,000 sq. foot building built to accommodate the growing business and during that year daughter Barbara joined the business to work in the office. The company continued to grow by providing high quality products.

In 1972 youngest son Donald joined the business and soon began learning the woodworking skills that help make it possible for Pettigrew & Sons to continue to build custom wood caskets. In 1981 grandson Jeff joined the family to make it three generations working together to continue the lifetime skills taught by Fay. Today Jeff runs the clothroom and is responsible for quality control and is cross-trained in many phases of the business.

In 1988 Phase II was completed on our building giving Pettigrew & Sons over 25,000 sq. feet of building to work in. In 1998 granddaughter Dawn joined the company and works in the office to assist customers and through her experience working in the upholstery shop has the necessary knowledge to help with special orders.

There have been many changes in the funeral industry during the 42 years Pettigrew & Sons has been in business but one thing that has never changed is the Pettigrew Family belief in the Service and Product we provide. The Pettigrew Family will never look at a customer as a faceless number but as a loved one saying goodbye to a family member.

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