Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dolby Funeral Chapel expands with acquisition of Blais & Hay Funeral Home of Westbrook by Walter Lunt

New name to be Dolby-Blais & Segee

Dolby Funeral Chapel owners, Eric and Kristin Segee, have announced the acquisition of the Blais & Hay Funeral Home of Westbrook. The purchase, which was completed on August 30, occurred less than one year after the Segee’s bought the Dolby Funeral Chapels in both Windham and Gorham through an in-house sale from long-time owner Tim Dolby. The Segee’s had been employed there for about three years.
The new institution will be named Dolby-Blais & Segee and “will reflect the continuing legacy of these family-owned and operated homes,” says Eric Segee. New signs will appear on the grounds of all three chapels by mid to late October.

Kristin Segee noted that former owners of both the Windham and Westbrook locations continue to be involved in the day-to-day operations and during various funeral services.
“They provide a level of comfort for people that know them. And it helps assure the same level of service and quality,” she said.

Blais & Hay, located at 35 Church Street off William Clark Drive, formed from a merger in 2001.

“Our families will be in good hands for many years to come, “said James Blais, commenting on the sale. “We are excited that the standard of care we have been providing for years to families in our (Westbrook) community will continue under the strong leadership of Eric and Kristin and their extremely competent and caring staff.”

Both the Blais and the Hays families had passed down their respective businesses to sons.
In an interview with the Windham Eagle in January 2017, Eric Segee observed that both the owners and patrons of funeral parlors “want to avoid acquisitions by big corporations.”

Eric projects the addition of the Westbrook chapel will increase by over 150 the number of families served by the larger institution. He said eight new part-time employees have been added as result of the Blais acquisition. Segee’s say minor changes are anticipated for both the Windham and Westbrook locations. New carpeting, large TV screens and an updated audio-visual system will be added to the Blais chapel. The technology improvements are designed to accommodate slide presentations and musical options for families who wish to design personalized tributes to the deceased. Eric noted that a small building addition is anticipated at the Windham chapel.

The Dolby Funeral Chapel was established in 1946 by Robert Dolby, Tim Dolby’s father, who bought the business from John Nichols. Nichols was the last of three generations dating to the 1860s. Until recently, funeral directors in Windham have been members of just two families: Nichols and Dolbys. The Windham Eagle will trace this fascinating history in the next segment of our “Then & Now” series next month.

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