MacFadden Funeral Home was established in 1931 by the late James L. MacFadden. The original funeral home was located at 418 Knowlton Street in Belvidere. After two years, the current property where the funeral home is now located at 325 Hardwick Street, became available. At this new location, Mr. MacFadden had a vision of future expansions. Mr. MacFadden had operated the business until his retirement. At this time, his son-in-law, C. Robert Handelong along with his wife Germaine MacFadden Handelong operated the business until 1992. The building and business had been sold to Thomas J. Balka and his wife Deborah, the current owners, in 1992. Thomas is the licensed funeral director and manager of the funeral home and has been involved in funeral services since 1979. Deborah, his wife, a licensed nurse, has an active role in managing the business office.
"Have you not been impressed, when attending the funeral of a relative or friend, by the smoothness, precision and dignity with which everything has been conducted? Have you not noticed that the funeral cortege starts at exactly the appointed time, that each car is in exactly its proper place, that every detail in the home, the Church and the cemetery has been attended to, completely, silently and sympathetically?
If you have noticed these things – and who has not?- have you ever wondered how it has all come about? Have you ever thought of the years of study and experience, the hard work, the patience, and above all, the particular personal qualities which fit a Funeral Director for his sad duties? Have you ever observed the tender care he gives your loved ones, his efforts to make them appear natural – sometimes, after an accident a difficult task? Have you ever considered the risk he runs of contagion? Have you ever thought of the strain upon a Funeral Director? Sometimes one wonders if, his waking hours being so filled with sadness, he can ever smile. Surely it must be the sadness of others that makes him so kind, considerate, tender and sympathetic! How would you like, day in and day out to live through the sad scenes which the Funeral Director is forced to witness?
While it is to be hoped that your professional dealings with Funeral Directors may be very infrequent, is there not consolation in the thought that when the occasion does arise, your slightest wish will be carried out and that there will be someone, trained, experienced, dignified, sympathetic, to relieve you of all worry?"
The Funeral Director –H.R.Long,1941