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Whitehorse Pioneer Biographies, 1900-1965


    This page contains a wide variety of biographies and death notices related to people buried at the Pioneer Cemetery in Whitehorse. The cemetery, which closed in 1965, was called the 6th Avenue Cemetery until 1975. The information on this page has been copied primarily from Whitehorse newspapers.




ADAMS, J. (1856-1938)

Whitehorse Star, July 8, 1938:

    A familiar figure has been removed from our midst in the person of J. Adams who has resided in the Yukon for many years and who passed away in the local hospital on Saturday.
    The late Mr. Adams was well-known throughout the Territory. He arrived in Victoria, B. C. from Scotland in 1882 and for a few years was employed on the steamer "City of Kingston" plying between the capital city and Tacoma. On coming north in 1899 he worked for a time on the steamer "Australian", at that time operating between Bennett and Miles Canyon. For many years he was pantryman on several of the B. Y. N. boats and for a time was also cook at the local police barracks in the days when a large contingent of police was stationed in Whitehorse. For some years he also operated the roadhouse at Takheena which he purcashed from Mr. W. A. Puckett and also another one located close to Yukon Crossing.
    During his long residenue in the Yukon the late Mr. Adams is understood to have accimilated two fortunes both of which were lost - the one in a hotel venture in Vancouver and the other in a restaurant business in Victoria.
    The late Mr. Adams was about 82 years at age at the time of his death. The funeral service was held Monday at Christ Church, the Rev. G. A. Cross officiating. Many local residents attended in order to pay their last respects to the departed.




ADAMSON, Thomas (1889-1956)

Whitehorse Star, August 23, 1956:
Tom The Banker Dies
    Familiar to many local residents as "Tom the Banker," Thomas Adamson died in hospital on Saturday, August 18, after a brief illness. Mr. Adamson was at one time manager of a branch of the Royal Bank in Manitoba, and has been living in the Yukon for a number of years. He leaves a sister, Mrs. Hay, in Vancouver and a daughter in the United States. Funeral arrangements are being cared for by W. G. Morris.




ARP, Henry (1865-1941)

Whitehorse Star, October 24, 1941:
HENRY ARP SUCCUMBS WHILST ABOARD KENO EN ROUTE UP RIVER
    Mr. Henry Arp, a resident of Whitehorse for many years, passed away at 9 a.m. on October 12th aboard the steamer "Keno" en route up river from Dawson to this port. He was 75 years of age.
    Born in Germany the deceased went to the United States first settling in Iowa and later in California. It was from the latter State that he came north about 1900. One of the original subscribers for a membership ticket issued years ago in connection with the operation of the local General Hospital, he never availed himself of its benefit and, we understand, was the only one who maintained such ticket up the time of his demise.
    Upon the arrival of the Keno in port last Friday afternoon a burial service was held with the Rev. L. G. Chappell officiating and the remains interred in the local cemetery. We are informed that several local residents were named beneficiaries in his will, the executors of the estate being Messrs. Harry Berry and Gunner Wallen.




AUSTON, Marion (1920-1954)
AUSTON, Wilfred (1951-1954)

Whitehorse Star, April 9, 1954:
Second Fire Victim Dies From Burns
    Mrs. Marion Auston, age 34, who was seriously burned in a fire that destroyed her home March 11, died in Whitehorse General Hospital last Tuesday, April 6.
    Wilfred, her three-year-old son, died from burns the day following the fire, and her five-year-old daughter Louise was injured.
    Mrs. Auston was born at Fort Selkirk, Y.T., and leaves her husband Robert, two daughters, and her mother Julia living in Whitehorse.




BANKS, Hugh (1897-1953)

Whitehorse Star, March 13, 1953:
Hugh Banks Dies After Fall
    Hugh Banks, age 60, operator of the Cracker Creek Inn, died in the Whitehorse General Hospital last Saturday afternoon. Death was said to be from head injuries received in a fall.
    According to information received by The Star, Banks was released from the RCMP Guardhouse last Thursday after serving ten months of a one-year sentence for being in possession of stolen Army goods.
    Following his release, Banks and his family were visiting Mr. and Mrs. Ted Pinchin. When they were leaving Mr. Banks is said to have gone ahead and must have tripped and fallen down the stairs, for he came back complaining of a sore arm. He was put to bed and appeared unconscious the following morning, so was rushed to the hospital. He died Saturday.




BASINGER, Florence E. (1896-1956)

Whitehorse Star, January 3, 1957:
Basinger
    Mrs. Archie Basinger, 60, of Haines Junction died in Whitehorse December 4. She had lived in the Yukon about two years prior to her death. She is survived by six children and 18 grandchildren. Included amongst those surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Norm Bastien at Haines Junction and Mrs. Karman at Mile 48, Haines Road.




BAYERS, Kenneth Thomas (1922-1950)

Whitehorse Star, April 28, 1950:
Tragedy at the Border. Young Man Shoots Self Before Police Arrive
    Along the Alaska Highway near the Border, Kenneth Thomas Bayers, 28, shot himself to death in the early hours of Monday, April 24. He arrived in the Yukon some time ago from Vancouver and_recently had been in the employ of a prospecting party in the White River district but at the time of the tragedy he was unemployed. A bottle of rum was his undoing. Whilst under the influence of liquor he turned against the hand that had fed him and ran counter to the law. The police were notified but before their arrival Bayers committed suicide presumably whilst in a state of despondency. We are informed he had a prison record. The remains are being buried in Whitehorse.




BLACK, Mark Anthony "Tony" (1957-1957)

Whitehorse Star, December 5, 1957:
Obituary
BLACK - Mark Anthony "Tony"
    Beloved and infant son of LAC and Mrs. T. H. Black. Passed away suddenly at the Military Hospital Saturday, November 23, 1957. Funeral service was held 2:30 pm Monday, November 24, 1957 at Christ Church Cathedral, conducted by RCAF Padre Hedley-Smith, assisted by Rector Previtt. Both church and cemetery services were largely attended by the many friends of the sad and bereaved parents.
    Tony was born on November 15, 1957.



BLACK, Martha Louise (1866-1957)

Separate page




BROWN, James R. (1848-1900)

Separate page




BROWN, John Douglas (1955-1955)

"Johnny" Brown, the son of Whitehorse dog catcher Douglas Allen Brown and his wife Jean Norma Brown, was born on December 1st, 1955. A twin girl, Joanne, was also born. Johnny died after 5 days, on December 5th - he was buried in the 6th Avenue Cemetery, but the location has been lost.




CARUSO, Ralph (1925-1952)

Born: 1925, Died August 11, 1952

    This is a sad story of a senseless act of violence which left one man dead. Ralph Caruso worked for the White Pass & Yukon Route railway. To help make ends meet, he took a second job as a part time driver for Inn Cabs. On the evening of August 11th Ralph was dispatched to pick up a fare on 4th Avenue. Joseph Mahnsten (alias Joe Brent and Joe Armstrong) and Glenn Smith (alias Lloyd Olsen) got into Ralph's cab. Glenn told Ralph to drive them to Prince George, British Columbia, several hundred miles south of Whitehorse. When Ralph refused, a quarrel ensured and according to the testimony given at the trial by Joseph, Glenn shot and killed Ralph.
    According to Joseph, Glenn was very drunk and earlier that evening had caused trouble in the Regina Hotel cocktail lounge and had also shot off his gun in the Whitehorse Inn. Glenn was convicted of Ralph's murder and was sentenced to hang on July 10. Joseph received three months for accessory to the crime. Both men were army deserters.




CASSVANT, George (1853-1921)

The Weekly Star, April 1, 1921:

    George Cassvant, after a lingering illness from cancer of the stomach, died in the Whitehorse General hospital at an early hour Wednesday morning.
    He was 67 years of age, unmarried so far as kmown, and a native of Quebec. Came to the Yukon with the rush of gold-seekers in '98, engaged in prospecting, mining and various other occupations until last fall when he came to this place. Soon after his arrival in Whitehorse he became porter and handy-man at the Commercial hotel, which position he held until a couple of months ago, when ill health forced him into the hospital which he was doomed never to leave alive. He was of a very reticent disposition and claimed to have no relatives living.
    The funeral will take place from the Catholic church on Sunday afternoon at two o'clock. Father S. E. Gallant will be here from Skagway to conduct the service.
    A patient, unfortunate soul; a graduate of the University of Difficulty, and quite content to go down to the grave uncomplaining.




DICKSON, Clarence Russell (1922-1950)

Whitehorse Star, October 20, 1950:

    A Whitehorse man, Clarence Dickson, was fatally wounded in a shooting affray early Saturday evening, October 14th.
    The shooting took place at the residence of Charles Caddy in "Whisky Flats". Reports state that Mr. Dickson was shot as he approached the home of Caddy. The shot is reported to have been fired from inside the house and it passed through a door striking Dickson, who died that evening in the General Hospital.
    Dickson is survived by his father and mother and two brothers in this city and a brother in Vancouver.
    Charles Caddy is being held in the custody of the police on a murder charge pending investigation.




DRAINE, Catherine (1870-1902)

The Weekly Star, August 9, 1902:
    Died.
    At the Whitehorse General Hospital on Tuesday, Aug. 5th, at 9 o'clock p. m., Mrs. Catherine Draine, a native of Rensselear, Ind., U.S. A., aged 32 years.
    Mrs. Draine for some time previous to her death had been a resident of Dawson but the 1st of March last was taken sick and in the early part of July reached Whitehorse on her way outside for medical treatment. After getting here, however, she was unable to continue her journey and was taken to the hospital where she remained until her death. Her parents are dead, but she leaves two brothers and six sisters to mourn her loss. One sister, Mrs. Jas. Hume, and one brother are residents of Whitehorse, the other brother is in Dawson aud five sisters live near the old home in Indiana.
    The funeral took place from the Presbyterian Church at 10 o'clock a. m., Thursday Aug. 7th, and was largely attended.




FERGUSON, Peter (1915-1965)

Whitehorse Star, August 23, 1965:
    Two well-known residents died this morning in Whitehorse General Hospital.
    Peter Ferguson, 50, had been ill for several months. Assistant to the general manager of White Pass and Yukon Route, he had been in Yukon for six years. He was president of the local unit of the Canadian Cancer Society.
    He is survived by his wife Frances and one son, Keir, a brother, Hugh, in West Vancouver and a sister, Mrs. H.W Ellis of Vancouver, who is in Whitehorse at present. Funeral services will be held Monday for Mr. Ferguson.
    Death also claimed Lionel Harold Dennison, long time resident of Whitehorse.




GAMBLE, Mrs. (?-1909)

The Weekly Star, December 10, 1909:
    Body Buried Here
    The remains of Mrs. Gamble, wife of Samuel Gamble, who died last summer on Burwash creek where they were engaged in mining, were brought to town Saturday evening by Mr. Gamble and Richard Fullerton. The trip in from Burwash was made by dog team. The remains were laid to rest in the Whitehorse cemetery Tuesday afternoon, appropriate services being conducted by Rev A. Roos of the Presbyterian church.




GIBSON, Andrew Harold (1882-1957)

Separate page




GRANT, Robert Wilmur (1916-1945)

Whitehorse Star, December 28, 1945:
Navy Veteran Dies Suddenly at Carmacks, Funeral Sunday
    Robert Wilmur Grant, aged 29 years, passed away suddenly at Carmacks on December 29, 1945. He was recently discharged from the Royal Canadian Navy. He is survived by his widow, parents and two brothers, Gordon and Claude, to whom sincerest sympathy is extended.
    Funeral services will be held at Christ Church (The Old Log Church) Sunday p.m. The remains will lie in state from noon Sunday until the time of the service.




GRANT, William Watkins (1880-1952)

Whitehorse Star, September 5, 1952:
Whitehorse Oldtimer Found Dead In Cabin
    Watkins William Grant, 72, was found dead in his cabin at Third and Wood last Monday.
    "Bill," as he was known in town, had been a resident of Whitehorse for the past 50 years. His brother "Sandy" was burned to death last winter when his cabin was destroyed by fire.
    Funeral services were conducted today, burial taking place in Whitehorse cemetery.




GREY, Lula Belle "Lou" (Palmer) (1900-1950)

Separate page




HAYDEN, Edward Raymond (1933-1953)

Whitehorse Star, August 28, 1953:

    Edward Raymond Haydon, age 20, drowned at
Takhini Hot Springs Thursday evening.
    Haydon, in company with several other youths, had gone to the Springs swimming and evidently returned to the water to swim alone.
    When his friends called to him, he did not answer and was found drowned.




HERRINGTON, Russell Thomas (1949-1953)

Born in 1949, died on April 1, 1953

    The bodies of Russell Herrington and David Magnusson were recovered from the cold waters of the Alsek River at Mile 1016 last Thursday. The children, sons of civilian personnel working for the Canadian Army at Mile 1016, evidently wandered away from their home and managed to get through a fence that had been erected to keep them from the river. They were reported missing about 11:00 a.m. on April 1st. Russell Herrington was found about 1:30 that afternoon and David Magnusson at 1:00 p.m. on April 2nd. A search party from Whitehorse went to Mile 1016 to join other parties from Canyon Creek Creek, Destruction Bay, and Haines Road to assist in the search, but the second boy was found soon after their arrival.




JIM, Thomas (1920-1961)

The Whitehorse Star, Monday, October 30, 1961
Dies From Gunshot
    Thomas Jim, 41, died Wednesday night from a gun shot. RCMP said the death wound apparently was self-inflicted. The shooting occurred in Whiskey Flats about 8 p.m. Dr. J. D. Munroe acted as coroner. Police said no inquest would be held.
    Mr. Jim is survived by a wife and six children,




KISH, John (1907-1961)

The Whitehorse Star, October 26, 1961:
    John Kish Dies Here
    John Kish, who was becoming a Whitehorse "character", died here on Wednesday [October 18]. The fifty-four-year-old resident was the small man seen about town in what appeared to be a bank messenger's uniform.
    He came here during the spring but had not been employed. Mr. Kish moved North from Toronto where he was a building superintendent on College Street. He is survived by a brother, Nicholas, in Delhi, Ontario.
    Mr. Kish died of a heart attack in a Hawkins Street boarding house [101 Hawkins Street].




LaROSE, Alphonse (1870-1908)
LaROSE, Eugene (1883-1908)

Separate page




McCARNEY, Edward (1920-1954)

Whitehorse Star, May 7, 1954:

    Edward McCarney, Business Agent and Maintenance Engineer of the Yukon Telephone Co., in Whitehorse, was found dead in the living quarters at the rear of the company's office last Monday afternoon.
    According in an employee of the company. Mr. Dick Irving, Mr. McCarney had worked all night Sunday through to Monday and when Irving arrived at work at 8 a.m., Monday morning, McCarney was sleeping. Irving woke him up at 10 a.m. and McCarney is reported to have exclaimed, "I am just about going crazy. I worked all night." Irving then left McClarney to attend to his duties.
    Later that afternoon, Irving was doing some work in another part of the City and phoned in to McCarney on a test call, he could not get an answer in the office, so returned to find out why. This was approximately 3:30 p.m.
    When Irving entered the living quarters of the telephone office, he said he saw McCarney slumped in a large chair near the window and thought he was asleep. When he came up close, he saw blood covered the side of the chair and a .22 automatic rifle leaning on the armrest. Two empty .22 shells were lying on the floor. McCarney had what appeared to be a bullet hole immediately above the right ear.
    Irving immediately called a doctor, but it was too late to save the man.
    Ed McCarney came to Whitehorse last year as Resident Maintenance Engineer for the company. Some of his past experience had included the building of the present exchange at the factory before it was sold to the Yukon Telephone Company.




McKAY, Edwin Myers (1927-1956)

Whitehorse Star, July 19, 1956:

    Edwin Meyers McKay, foreman with the Prodor Construction Company Limited, drowned at Takhini Hot springs in the early hours of July 18.
    Mr. McKay came here two years ago from Alberta. He is survived by his wife and three-year-old son Billy, a brother Morris all living in Whitehorse. His mother Mrs. Johanna McKay lives at Teslin and he is also survived by another brother and sister.
    No inquest will be made on the death, Funeral arrangements are being. made by Wallden Funeral Home.
    Services will be held July 21.




MAGNUSSON, David William (1949-1953)

Born in 1949, died on April 1, 1953

    The bodies of Russell Herrington and David Magnusson were recovered from the cold waters of the Alsek River at Mile 1016 last Thursday. The children, sons of civilian personnel working for the Canadian Army at Mile 1016, evidently wandered away from their home and managed to get through a fence that had been erected to keep them from the river. They were reported missing about 11:00 a.m. on April 1st. Russell Herrington was found about 1:30 that afternoon and David Magnusson at 1:00 p.m. on April 2nd. A search party from Whitehorse went to Mile 1016 to join other parties from Canyon Creek Creek, Destruction Bay, and Haines Road to assist in the search, but the second boy was found soon after their arrival.




MILLER, John James (1867-1920)

The Weekly Star, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory - Friday, November 12, 1920
John Miller Dead
    John Miller, a pioneer resident of the Yukon, died Wednesday morning at the Whitehorse General hospital. Valvular heart trouble was the cause of his death. He was brought here from Carmacks by auto last Friday, and had been confined to the hospital since that time.
    Deceased was a native of St. Mary's, Ontario, and came north as a deckhand on one of the river boats which were brought to St. Michael in 1898. After mining two years in Dawson, he started prospecting, having been a participant in all the stampedes in the Yukon since 1900.




MORRISON, Joseph Chauncy (1894-1945)

Separate page




MURPHY, Warren T. (1885-1950)

Whitehorse Star, February 3, 1950:
Funeral Services Late Warren T. Murphy Held Sacred Heart Church
    Funeral services for the late Warren T. Murphy held at Sacred Heart Church, were conducted by his brother Rev. M. E. Murphy. O M I of Edmonton. Alta., assisted by His Excellency Bishop Coudert and local priests.
    Born in New Brunswick 65 years ago, deceased had been in the Yukon for the past six years. Previously he had been well-known as a salesman in Edmonton. During 1943-1944 he was empoyed by the U. S. Army at Canol and later with the Sullivan Co. during the removal of the pipe-line. Later he was caretake at the local public school. He was a veteran of the First Great War and a past president of the Whitehorse Branch of the Canadian Legion (BESL).
    A large number of local veterans and friends of the deceased attended the church service, a silent tribute to the high regard in which the late Mr. Murphy was held in this community.
    At the graveside, after the conclusion of the burial service, president W M. Emery of the local Legion took charge on behalf of the Legion and accompanied by other comrades concluded the ceremony by dropping their poppies on the bier as it lay in the grave.




MURRAY, Norman (1883-1960)

Whitehorse Star, August 25, 1960:
    A Masonic funeral was held today at 2 p.m. for the late Norman Murray. He died Saturday night at Whitehorse General Hospital after a short illness.
    Born in Scotland, Mr. Murray was 76 years old. He would have celebrated his 77th birthday next month. A retired ship builder, Mr. Murray lived in the Yukon for 42 years. His wife predeceased him.




PALLISTER, Jean Ann (1949-1955)

Died on November 15, 1955.

    Jean, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John E. Pallister, was on her way to school when she slipped under an army school bus. The driver was freed of any blame regarding her death (the first to occur involving a school bus).




PETERSON, Elmer Raymond (1891-1952)

Whitehorse Star, August 8, 1952:
Whitehorse Man Kills Himself.
    Elmer Raymond Peterson, 59 years of age, took his own life last Monday, August 4, when he pointed a 25-20 rifle at his breast and fired a bullet into his left breast. He then fired a second bullet into his mouth, killing himself.
    Peterson, known as "Shaky," came to the Yukon in 1944 from Pouce Coupe, B.C. He was divorced from his wife some time ago. There are 12 children surviving him. Burial took place in Whitehorse Cemetery.




ROSENBAUGH, baby (1918-1918)

The Weekly Star, February 1, 1918:
Babe Dies
    A little girl was born Saturday night in the Whitehorse General hospital to Mr. and Mrs. John Rosenberg of Carmacks. The innocent lived only five hours after birth.




SMITH, Brian Morris (1905-1950)

Whitehorse Star, October 13, 1950:
Hotel Manager Dies
    Brian Morris Smith, manager of the Whitehorse Inn, died suddenly on Thanksgiving Day, October 9th.
    Mr. Smith, a quiet dapper man of 45, was born in Winnipeg on Oct. 31, 1905. He was buried in the Legion Plot of the Whitehorse Cemetery on Wednesday, Oct. 11. His only known relative is a brother who attended the funeral.




STARK, Charles Daniel "Danny" (1951-1960)

Whitehorse Star, October 6, 1960:

    A tragic traffic accident yesterday took the life of a nine-year-old boy, Charles Daniel Stark. The son of local residents Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Stark, the boy died in Whitehorse General Hospital shortly after the accident.
    The police reported Danny was at the middle of the intersection of Second Avenue and Hawkins Street, going west on his bicycle, when he was in a collision with a car driven by John Horn. Mr. Horn was travelling south and apparently attempted to pass a truck driven by Leo Scarff.
    The boy was thrown off his bicycle over the hood of the car and fell beneath the rear wheels of the truck. A doctor happened to be at the scene of the accident soon after it happened and the boy was taken to the hospital immediately. He died a short time later from injuries received. Police are continuing their investigation and an ingest will be held tomorrow.
    Besides his parents, Danny is survived by three sisters, Arleen, Patricia and Barbara.




SWITZER, William Irwin (?-1953)

Whitehorse Star, July 31, 1953:
    A body, identified as that of Irwin Switzer who drowned in Marsh Lake July 1, was recovered from the lake Wednesday, July 29.
    A party of tourists travelling the highway spotted the partially submerged body about Mile 888 and notified the RCMP Town Detachment, Whitehorse.
    The body was brought to town and identified.




TWIST, Vincent Harry (1907-1961)

The Whitehorse Star, April 23, 1959:
    Rites For Vincent Twist
    The Old Log Church was crowded April 13 when friends of the late Vincent Twist attended to pay their last respects. Mr. Twist, who was 36 years old, died suddenly April 9 in Whitehorse General Hospital. He is survived by his father, Mr. O. Twist, now residing at Deer Lake Nursing Home in Vancouver.
    Trained as a dental mechanic, the late Mr. Twist worked for 10 years as a heavy duty equipment operator. He came to the Yukon six years ago, spending the past four years in Whitehorse. He was also well known in the Dawson area where he was working last summer.
    Members of local Elks and Eagles Lodges were pall bearers and interment took place in the Legion plot of Whitehorse cemetery. Mr. Twist was an active member of the Legion, as well as the Elks and Eagles lodges here.
    The Rey. A. L. Privett officiated at fina] rites in Christ Church Cathedral, while funeral arrangements were in the care of W. J. Morris.




WALLACE, Lila (1879-1903)

    On May 17th, 1903, Lila Wallace and Bud Harkin,owner of the Windsor Hotel, were running the Whitehorse Rapids in a Peterborough canoe being handled by Gene LaRose. The canoe swamped, and Wallace and Harkin were both drowned. Five years later, Gene and his brother Al LaRose were drowned in the same rapids when their canoe swamped. Wallace was buried in what is now called the Pioneer Cemetery in Whitehorse, while Harkin's body was shipped to Marshfield, Wisconsin, for burial in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery.




WEAVER, F. L. (1933-1906)

The Weekly Star, June 22, 1906:
F. L. Weaver Meets Death in B. Y. N. Shipyards, Whitehorse
    While at work on one of the big dredges being constructed at the B. Y. N. shipyards F. L. Weaver, a carpenter, was instantly killed Tuesday forenoon by some heavy timbers falling upon him.
    After an official investigation conducted by Inspector Demers, R. W. M. P., the remains were interred in the Whitehorse cemetery, Rev. H. A. Cody conducting the exercises at the hospital and grave.
    F. L. Weaver was probably between 60 and 65 years of age. He was a native of New York state and a veteran of the Civil war. He came to Yukon from Butte, Montana, 27 years ago by way of St. Micheal and was a pioneer among pioneers. He was never married and nothing is known of his relatives.




WHELAN, Mamie (1902-1902)

The Weekly Star, September 27, 1902:

    Died - In Whitehorse, Sunday, Sept. 21st, infant daughter of Capt. and Mrs. Thos. Whelan. Funeral took place Monday at 11 o'clock.




WILSON, John Carl (1944-1956)

Whitehorse Star, January 19, 1956:
Rites For Youth
    Funeral services for 12-year-old John Carl Wilson, who died here suddenly, were held this afternoon at the Old Log Church. The young boy died as the result of a bullet wound in his head which occurred when a gun he was handling went off. He died early Sunday morning. No inquest was held.
    He is the son of Mrs. Gil Jorgensen of 707 Jarvis Street. Mr. William Morris was in charge of funeral arrangements.