By Kathy Blake

The family that owns Troy-based A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors, is commemorating 100 years of providing funeral services and comfort to families. The original location was established in Highland Park in 1917.

Now the firm has three locations, two in Troy and one in Royal Oak.

Terry Desmond, president of the family business, credits the firm’s success to his father’s founding principle which follows the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you want to be treated”.

“This statement defines the Desmond family culture,” Desmond said in a news release.

Desmond’s family members involved in the firm include his two daughters, Kathleen Desmond Barr and Margaret and son, Kevin as well as his brother John and his wife, Eileen. The firm has 41 employees in total.

“My father told me stories of how, during the early years, Mr. McInnes, the firm’s founder, would ride the streetcar line (an electric trolley) to a deceased’s home where families would receive callers over what many times was a two to three day period followed by a religious service, then burial,” Desmond said. “Today, traditions and families’ wishes are very diverse. Services are likely much shorter. What has not changed is the need to carefully consider the needs and wishes of the deceased’s family. And the need to help families deal with the grief that follows a loss.”

Funeral traditions have changed over the years. Today the firm offers a range of services including cremations, memorials and traditional funeral services. A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors also offers community outreach services including bereavement support groups and seminars for the bereaved and caregivers.

The locations are: A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, 2600 Crooks Road in Troy; Price Chapel, 3725 Rochester Road, Troy and A. J. Desmond & Sons, Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel, 32515 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak. For more information, visit or call 248-689-0700.