Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC was founded in 1850 and has proudly provided funeral and cremation services to the Washington D.C. area for more than 160 years.
Over the years, there have been presidents, vice presidents, Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, military leaders and foreign dignitaries who were honored at Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC. Originally located in the 1700 block of Pennsylvania Ave., it is believed to be the oldest funeral establishment still operating in the D.C. area.
- Event Space
- Multicultural Funerals
A historic and notable D.C. funeral home
After residing down the block from the White House for 112 years, Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC moved to its present location in the distinguished Friendship Heights neighborhood in D.C.’s Northwest Quadrant. The beautiful 3-story brick Georgian structure was newly built in 1962. Renovations and refurbishing were completed in 2003 and will be upgraded again in 2018.
Located only 2 blocks from the Maryland border, Joseph Gawler’s Sons provides a full array of funeral and cremation services for families in nearby Virginia and Maryland—as well as D.C. residents. Close to a Metro stop and boasting off-street parking for 50 vehicles, the home strives to provide convenience for visitors.
Because of our rich history of serving influential and nationally known figures, Joseph Gawler’s Sons is also a destination that receives frequent requests for tours of the facility. Funeral directors from around the country often stop by when they are in the greater D.C. area.
Chapel and state rooms
The spacious chapel with illuminated windows is only one of the breathtaking spaces in which you can hold services. There are several state rooms, including the Eisenhower Room. This largest state room features paneling replicated from Camp David at Mamie Eisenhower’s suggestion. The chapel, Eisenhower Room and other state rooms are suitable for large or intimate services. Our funeral home also offers a private family suite, a peaceful haven for respite and reflection.
Personalized and customized funeral services
The elegant and spacious facilities at Joseph Gawler's Sons, LLC make our funeral home a dignified place to hold a D.C. area memorial service. The exceptional services and attention to detail provided by the dedicated staff are second-to-none. Services are customizable across all faiths, walks of life and style preferences.
While traditional services are certainly still observed, Joseph Gawler’s Sons prides itself in personalizing each funeral or memorial service to the life being honored. Our chapel features a restored pipe organ, which sounds delicate or powerful depending on the tune. One of our expert funeral arrangers can also assist in securing a violinist, string quartet or singer at your family’s request.
The team members at Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC will work closely with you to ensure your loved one’s life is celebrated like no other. Whether it’s helping you pen the obituary, choose flowers, find a special way to display personal effects or represent the interests of your loved one, our caring associates will attentively listen and help you plan a service that represents your loved one’s unique life.
Service beyond expectation
Whether you use only our arranging services or our beautiful facilities as well, our courteous staff strives to help families focus on what’s important—honoring a loved one. Offering service beyond expectation is always the goal in providing funeral services or planning ahead. Choosing to work with the staff at Joseph Gawler’s Sons allows you to focus on grieving, sharing and healing with friends and family. It also can provide the customized, ideal service in honor of your loved one.
Much like the city it serves, Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC has a rich, proud and long legacy. Our funeral home was originally founded by Joseph Gawler, a D.C. cabinet maker by trade. He hung his “cabinet maker” shingle on a small frame house along cobblestone streets and soon learned that cabinet makers were frequently asked to make coffins. Gawler fashioned a burial case, modeled after a European design, and added “undertaker” to his sign. Our funeral home still houses the original patent model made for the patent office in 1869, complete with original tags including date and patent number.
He moved his location to the opposite side of the street prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, with the original building becoming the headquarters for Gen. Winfield Scott, top general in the Union Army at the time. Joseph Gawler’s Sons remained at its Pennsylvania address for more than 100 years before moving to its current location in Friendship Heights.
A growing legacy
As Gawler’s work increased in making burial cases, he added more services to his offerings, details that had previously been handled by a deceased individual's friends or family. As business grew, he ceased the cabinet-making portion of his business and became one of the first full-time funeral directors in Washington, D.C. Joseph Gawler passed away in 1910, 60 years after founding of his business. Joseph Gawler’s Sons legacy continued, operating as a family-owned business for 4 generations before becoming part of the Dignity Memorial® family of providers.
Synonymous with tradition in the nation’s capital, our funeral home is proud to have served families in the greater D.C. area from all walks of life. As a hallmark of the trade, our services can be provided with the utmost privacy and discretion in making no mention of services being conducted or through a grand send-off. The choice is yours.
Joseph Gawler was very much a part of his community. We are proud to continue the legacy of community involvement through a variety of activities throughout the year. Joseph Gawler’s Sons participates in a golf tournament for Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, sponsors events at Brookdale of Potomac Senior Living Solutions and works with Montgomery Hospice of Rockville, MD in their activities. Additionally, Joseph Gawler’s Sons supports many local churches in their fund-raising activities.