365 Days of Grief & Healing
Our firm started serving the needs of the people in the Middletown area in a store front under the name of the Rockafellow Burial Company in 1899. In 1929, it purchased the former Galloway residence at eleven Orchard Street in downtown Middletown, and it became the Burnett Funeral Home. Lester J. Burnett, owner and operator, died in 1952, and the business was taken over by Leroy J. Applebee, who had worked for the funeral home since the early 1930s.
The name was then changed to the Applebee Funeral Home. Mr. Applebee retired in 1968, and the business was taken over by R. Barry McPhillips, who had served the firm for over a decade at that time. Together with his wife, Mary M. McPhillips, He changed the name to the Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home. The business was incorporated in 1976.
As the business grew, the facilities on Orchard Street became too small, and in 1981, the funeral home purchased the former Davidge Estate on Highland Avenue in Middletown. After a year of renovations, the funeral home was opened at the present location.
After 17 years of operation on Highland Avenue, Mr. McPhillips recognized that the business' facilities once again needed to be enlarged to meet the needs of the growing community. He began planning to convert the carriage house of the Highland Avenue site into a large funeral chapel. When R. Barry McPhillips died unexpectedly in July of 1998, Mary and her staff chose to carry on with Barry's intentions.
After a year of further renovations, the funeral home dedicated the R. Barry McPhillips Memorial Chapel. The Chapel was well received by the community, and allows the funeral home to continue to provide a comfortable atmosphere in a more spacious facility. In 1999, the firm proudly celebrated 100 years of service to the Middletown area. We are proud to uphold the Applebee-McPhillips' motto: Serving others as we would be served, as we feel strongly that the people we serve deserve the very best.