Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Ever since we opened our gates we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are not a burial ground. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
Learn the legacy.
In 1949, LaVerne and Luella Bender established the Bender Funeral Home at 354 Canisteo Street in Hornell. Mr. Bender had been an instructor at the Simmons Institute of Mortuary Science in Syracuse and was well qualified to own and manage his own funeral home. He established a tradition of caring service that is carried on today at all of their funeral home locations.
In 1981, the business was acquired by the Brown & Powers Funeral Home of Canisteo, later changing the name to Bender-Brown & Powers Funeral Home. The Canisteo Funeral Home was established in 1963 by Gerald Brown, who after 50 years in funeral service, continues to work daily, serving the needs of the entire community. Since that time, the funeral home has grown and undergone several expansion and remodeling projects. Today, it is one of the most modern and convenient facilities in the area.
In 1985, the funeral home acquired ownership of the former Landon-Beaver Funeral Home of Hornell and incorporated that business into the Canisteo Street location. In 2006, they also acquired ownership of the Robertson Funeral Home, one of the area’s oldest established funeral firms, and merged that business into the Canisteo Street Location.
In 1999, the Brown & Powers Funeral Home expanded into Allegany County, and established a funeral home in Angelica, NY. This one story, ranch style home, is proud to serve all of Allegany County.
One of the area’s largest funeral firms, Brown & Powers continues to serve their families under the guidance of Gerald R. Brown, Chester A. Gosper IV, licensed funeral directors, in the same caring tradition established By LaVerne Bender in 1949
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
Gerald R. Brown is a native of Canisteo, New York and a 1959 graduate of Canisteo Central School. I am a graduate of the Simmons Institute of Funeral Service in Syracuse, New York. Following my residency in Rochester, New York, I established the Brown Funeral Home in Canisteo, New York, the first of our funeral homes, in 1963. In 1981, my business partner and I purchased the Bender Funeral Home in Hornell, New York, changing the names to Bender-Brown & Powers Funeral Home, Hornell, New York and the Brown & Powers Funeral Home in Canisteo, New York. Soon after, we merged the former Landon-Beaver Funeral Home of Hornell into our Canisteo Street location in Hornell.
In 1997, Chester A. Gosper IV joined our staff, and we established the Brown & Powers Funeral Home in Angelica, New York, Chet’s hometown. Our reputation for exceptional service soon became well known and as our business grew, we were able to merge the former Robertson Funeral Home Inc, into our Canisteo Street location in Hornell.
In 2008, Adam E. Dubois joined our staff, and together with other part time help, we now operate all four funeral homes in Steuben and Allegany Counties.
I had the privilege to attend the Fountain National Academy of Embalming Skills in Springfield , Missouri and completed the course in 2007. In 2008, I was honored to receive the “Distinguished Service Award”, presented by the Simmons Institute of Funeral Service in “Recognition of Unselfish Dedication and Commitment to the Community of Funeral Service.”
But in over 50 years of service to the funeral profession, no honor has been so great as that given to me by the thousands of area families who have called upon us to serve them in one of the most stressful times in their lives. My commitment to these families will continue long after my time in funeral service has passed, by the wonderfully dedicated people I have been able to work alongside of.
Chester A. Gosper IV born to Chester A. Gosper III of West Almond, and Trudy Weaver of Belfast on December 21, 1971. Graduated from the former Angelica Central School “Class of 1990”, attending Alfred State College for accounting, and later graduating from Simmons Institute of Funeral Service with an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science.
I was previously employed at the American House & Hotel in Angelica, the Six-S Restaurant, the Belvidere Restaurant, and Maple City Savings Bank in Hornell, before deciding to become a Funeral director. Since 1997 I, have worked for Brown & Powers Funeral Homes, expanding to Angelica in 1999, and also designing and selling monuments in all 3 locations.
My hobbies include, walking with my two dogs “Cooper” and “Lola”, listening to many different kinds of music, camping, family, and car shows. I have always been interested in automobiles, especially liking 70’s luxury cars. My passions are family, and enjoying life to the fullest.
My latest inspirations are my nephew Grant Russell Preston, and Shea Elsey Preston. To see our family grow through their eyes is so inspiring.
I, look forward to many years in the funeral business. If you are truly happy in what your doing, I believe it shows. My career is very rewarding, and I truly enjoy trying to help people through a very difficult time in their lives.
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