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About Us

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Here's Our Story

When you call upon us, you can take comfort in knowing that you're calling a funeral home with a history of providing compassionate care and expert guidance to Kittitas County for over 100 years.  We invite you to read a bit about our history and see what sets us apart from all other funeral homes in Central Washington.

The Honeycutt Era


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John T. Honeycutt


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Elbert Honeycutt

It began just before the great flu epidemic of 1918-1919 when John T. Honeycutt and his wife Margaret came to Ellensburg to work for Mrs. Bridgeham shortly after her husband had been tragically killed.  They arrived from Tacoma where Mr. Honeycutt had been working for the Buckley-King Funeral Parlor since 1905.  Bridgeham's Funeral Parlor was located in a store just below the Masonic Temple on Sixth Avenue, occupied now by the Natural Foods Store.  

Until 1920 there were two funeral parlors in Ellensburg - Bridgeham's as well as Stelty's Parlor which was located under the IOOF Lodge on Pine Street, occupied now by Perma Colors Interiors.  John Honeycutt bought out Mrs. Bridgeham's interest in the funeral parlor in 1920 and acquired Mr. Stelty's parlor shortly thereafter.  He continued to operate both businesses out of the location on Sixth Avenue until 1929 when construction was started on the "Honeycutt Mortuary" at the corner of Third Avenue and Ruby Street, the facility that our funeral home operates out of to this day.

John T. Honeycutt, along with his sons Elbert and John H. Honeycutt, served Ellensburg until 1946 when they sold the business and building to George and Betty Evenson.

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Our funeral home, located at the corner of Third and Ruby, is the only funeral home in Kittitas County with onsite  sheltering and preparation facilities as well the home of the only licensed crematory in Kittitas County. 

When you call upon us, your loved one never leaves our direct care and supervision.  Everything is completed right here, on-site in the heart of Downtown Ellensburg.

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Evenson Funeral Home


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Evenson Funeral Home


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George & Betty Evenson

The history of Evenson Funeral Home began on October 28, 1946 when George and Betty Evenson purchased the business and building from the Honeycutt family.  Both from South Dakota, George and Betty had been working at the Hopkins Mortuary in Toppenish before attending the California College of Mortuary Science in Los Angeles. Betty was the first female in Washington state to be licensed as an embalmer after attending mortuary college.

The Evensons owned and operated the funeral home for 38 years.  From 1946 until 1968, Evenson Funeral Home also provided ambulance service for the citizens of lower Kittitas County stretching east to west from Vantage to Elk Heights and north to south from Blewitt Pass to Burbank Creek.  For many years, this was the largest ambulance territory in Washington.

From 1945 to 1959, George and Betty made significant improvements and renovations to the facility, including expansion of the lobby, installation of an electric organ and padded pews, as well as a workshop, carport, expanded garage and parking lot.

During their ownership of the funeral home, the Evensons lived on the second story of the building. Here they raised two children, Bryan and Kay.  

The Evensons were also active in many community organizations including the First Presbyterian Church, Rotary Club, the Ellensburg Rodeo and the Laughing Horse Theater.

George passed away in 2006 and Betty in 2013.  They are buried at the IOOF Cemetery on Brick Road outside of Ellensburg.

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George Evenson


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Bryan & Kay Evenson


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Evenson Funeral Home


Cotton Chapel


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Paul Cotton

D. Paul Cotton began his career as a funeral director working as an apprentice for Evenson Funeral Home while also attending classes at Central Washington State College.  He and his wife Peggy both graduated from the California College of Mortuary Science and were both licensed as funeral directors and embalmers. Upon their return to Ellensburg, Paul worked side by side with George Evenson for 32 years before purchasing the business and building in 1984.

In 1986, Paul bought Brown's Funeral Chapel in Cle Elum (now Cascade Funeral Home) and re-named both businesses Cotton Chapel.

Peggy passed away in 1977 and Paul married Frances Lawson in 1989.  He retired in 1990, selling to Christopher D. Steward & Edward Williams, both of whom worked for him for many years before assuming ownership.  After his retirement, Paul and Frances moved to Yakima where he resided until his death in 2016.  He is interred at Calvary Cemetery in Yakima.

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Paul Cotton


Steward & Williams


In 1990, Christopher D. Steward & Edward Williams purchased the Cotton Chapels (Ellensburg and Cle Elum) and re-named Ellensburg to Steward & Williams Funeral Directors and Cle Elum to Cascade Funeral Home.  Chris and Ed retired in 1998, selling to a corporate consolidator and for 19 years the funeral home was owned and operated by various corporations.  

That all changed in November 2017 when the funeral home returned to family ownership for the first time in 19 years, purchased by the Gaffney Group of Tacoma, a small family-owned group of funeral homes.  The company is owned and operated by Corey Gaffney, a fourth generation funeral director, and his wife Jennifer, who is also a licensed funeral director.

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© 2019 Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS