Clarence W. Trainor
Clarence was born in the Town of Lewis in 1882, and grew up near West Leyden. He entered the Renouard Training School for Embalmers in New York City in 1906. After graduating he returned to West Leyden and established his undertaking business, serving the community in and around the village of West Leyden. In 1920 he and Mrs. Trainor bought a general store in the heart of West Leyden, which they operated in conjunction with their undertaking business until 1935. At that time they converted the space that the store had occupied into a funeral home, as their undertaking business was growing.
In 1938 they purchased a residence at 143 Schuyler Street, Boonville, which they converted to a funeral home. Since that time the Trainor Funeral Home has been operated at this location. At the beginning of his career, most people died at their home; and embalming, calling hours, and the funeral service were all conducted at the residence of the deceased. He was one of the first undertakers in Northern New York to establish a funeral home, which was to be used for all aforementioned aspects of the trade. He also witnessed the change in his profession from the horse and buggy to the automobile. Mr. Trainor died in 1978 at the age of 95.
Mildred Beyel Trainor
Millie was born in the Town of Ava in 1888. She and Clarence W. Trainor were married in 1915, and for five years thereafter they operated her family’s farm in the Town of Ava, before purchasing the general store in West Leyden. As the volume of their funeral business increased, Millie took steps to become a licensed undertaker and embalmer, and in 1924 Mrs. Trainor was one of the first women in New York State to be so licensed. She was an integral part of the operation of all facets of the funeral home, until her death in 1969 at the age of 81.
Wesley A. Trainor
Wesley was born in 1923, and grew up in West Leyden. After graduating from West Leyden Central School in 1942, Wesley entered Cornell University’s School of Agriculture at Ithaca, New York. Before finishing his first year at Cornell, he enlisted in the United States Army, but was permitted to stay in school until April of 1943. At that time he was sent to Fort Niagara for Basic Training. For the next year and a half he was part of the Army’s Specialized Training Program. When that program was abruptly closed he became a member of the infantry, and was sent to Hawaii and the South Pacific. He participated in the invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, as well as other campaigns. In December of 1945 he was discharged from the Army, and returned home to Boonville. During the summer of 1946 he attended the Simmons School of Embalming in Syracuse, New York. After graduating he was employed at the Trainor Funeral Home with his mother and father. In August of 1952 he married Glenyce Jones of Holland Patent.
Due to the transition from home funerals, to calling hours and funeral services at the funeral home, the 1950’s brought an increased use of the funeral home. With this increased use of the funeral home, Wesley could see that additional space was needed. In 1960 he decided to enlarge the funeral home by adding a room to the western side of the existing structure. In the 1980’s he could see that yet another addition was needed, and at that time he added a large chapel to the eastern side of the building. This chapel could be used as one large room for visitations and funeral services, or could be split into two smaller chapels. This 1980’s addition also added a new embalming room, new casket display room, and a wide entryway that was handicapped accessible. With the need for a larger facility came a need for additional parking space outside, and over the years the parking lot was enlarged.
Wesley and Glenyce Trainor were the parents of two children, a daughter Marilyn, and a son Carl W. Trainor, who now operates the business. Wesley was active in the operation of the funeral home until 1994; he died in 2001, at the age of 78.