Edward B. Laughlin opened the original Laughlin Funeral Home at 1000 Castle Shannon Blvd. on December 8, 1913. Mr. Laughlin established the standard of service we have come to expect with the Laughlin name when in 1917 he served the community through the influenza epidemic.
In early 1922, his wooden structure furniture store-funeral home was destroyed by fire. Mr. Laughlin decided to rebuild a funeral home only business at 1008 Castle Shannon Blvd at a time when nearly all viewings were held at the home.
Looking to expand, Mr. Laughlin bought into the Tanner-Brown funeral home located at 3310 W. Liberty Avenue in Mt. Lebanon in 1924, and by the end of the year renamed the business Tanner-Laughlin Funeral Home. It wasn’t until the summer of 1926 that both funeral homes took on the name Edward B. Laughlin Funeral Home.
Noted for his community service, Mr. Laughlin will forever be remembered for act of kindness when in February of 1926, in a two week period, he assisted the families of 17 miners who were tragically killed in the Mollenauer mine #4 accident.
As the South Hills continued to grow in the 40’s and 50’s, so did business. Known for setting the standard in funeral service, Mr. Laughlin decided in 1942 to air-condition both facilities; a rare comfort in those days. As the business increased and as viewings began to be held almost exclusively at the funeral home, Mr. Laughlin needed to expand the size of his facilities with additions to the Mt. Lebanon facility in 1953 and 1958 and a complete refurbishment and expansion of the Castle Shannon facility in 1958.
Mr. Laughlin continued to operate the Laughlin Funeral home until his untimely death on December 1st 1963, seven days before he was to celebrate the business’s 50th Anniversary. After his death his son, Edward B Laughlin, Jr, and William C. Malone, who had been with the firm since 1958 carried on the traditions and ran the business until Ed Jr. and his mother, Rose Laughlin sold the funeral homes to Mr. Malone in June 1977. Dick Erny who joined Laughlin’s in 1966 was named supervisor of the Castle Shannon funeral home and Robert Gee who started with Laughlin’s in 1961 was named supervisor of the Mt. Lebanon Funeral Home. During the late 70’s and early 80’s new funeral directors were added to the staff. Pete Santore began with Laughlin’s full time in 1978, Mike Englert in 1981 and Kurt Warmbein in 1983. In February 1988 Mr. Malone retired and sold the funeral home to Pete Santore and Mike Englert. Dick Erny remained supervisor of the Castle Shannon funeral home and Kurt Warmbein was named supervisor of the Mt. Lebanon funeral home.
In 1997, realizing the changes facing the industry, Pete & Mike decided to partner with a company that could assist them in continuing the traditions and quality of service Laughlin’s was known for and decided to sell the business to Paul L. Henney, Jr. Then in 2000, Paul’s longtime associate and key employee, Edward F. Latkovic bought into the firm. Mike (Managing Director), Pete and Kurt , who remain with the firm to this day, along with the owners, have brought many different ideas to an already successful business and continue to honor the traditions and quality of service that the community has come to expect from the Laughlin name.
Over the years many people from Castle Shannon, Dormont, Mt. Lebanon and surrounding areas have worked in one capacity or another for Laughlin’s over nearly 96 years, many of whose names have not been mentioned above, but without whose hard work, long hours and commitment, this funeral home would never have survived.