What has become a household name in Sudbury started from the most “humble beginnings.”
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Lougheed family in the Nickel City. For six decades, they have been contributing to the community on both a professional and personal level.
Gerry Lougheed Jr. said his parents Gerry Lougheed Sr. and Marguerite Lougheed packed their life savings and some borrowed cash into their Buick back in 1952 on the inspiration of an uncle.
“Quite by accident, they were having lunch one day with my maternal grandparents house, and my grandfather's uncle was funeral director from Ohio,” Gerry Jr. recalled. “He said 'If I was going to open up a funeral home, I'd open up in Sudbury.'”
So that's exactly what the young couple did.
“They rented the building at the corner of Eyre and Spruce Street,” said Gerry Jr. “They were everything to do with the business. They were the florists, the funeral directors, the maintenance people. They did everything.”
Since their modest start, the Lougheed enterprise has grown to include three funeral homes within the greater city limits, as well as three flower shops. A team of 92 players keeps the operation running smoothly, working in line with the family's vision.
“We have a magnificent staff who are very much the gold standard of service,” said Gerry Jr.
“Financial fairness and sincere service, people caring for people, (are what they used to) develop Lougheed's Limited. My parents vision was to provide the best possible service to help others,” Gerry Jr. said. “We try to service all people the best we can.”
Not only is that important for business, but it's important to what the family believes in. Gerry Jr. said growing up, he and his brother and business partner Geoffrey Lougheed were encouraged to give back to their communities.
“You can't just stay status quo,” Gerry Jr. said. “You have to look ahead to future challenges. We very much want to continue that gold standard of service to the community.”
After all, it's what the Gerry Sr. and the late Marguerite would expect.
“I don't think you ever rest on your laurels — that would very much disappoint my parents,” he said.
“When you get out of bed in the morning, you should spend more time on your purpose of living than your selection of clothing.”
The most recent contribution the Lougheed family made to the city is a park, located at the corner of Eyre and Albert Streets.
“It's where we all got our start 60 years ago,” Geoffrey said. A playground makes perfect sense for the space, as it is in line with what matters most to the Lougheeds.
“Family is all about community and a park is a place for the community and families to gather,” Gerry Jr. said. “Your family always came first.”
The park is slated to open in 2013.