A new owner could soon take over at Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley, which has been shuttered since Massachusetts inspectors in May found at least six bodies in various stages of decomposition.
Francis O’Brien owns funeral homes in West Springfield and Wilbraham. O’Brien says he’s in negotiations with the lawyer representing the Ryder family, including Will Ryder – the most recent funeral director there.
“The Ryder family had for years served the town of South Hadley with distinction, and Will’s problems withstanding, we our buying the building,” O’Brien says. “We are opening up South Hadley’s funeral home and we’re going to bring our own family and our own reputation and our good work to the town of South Hadley.”
O’Brien says he is not sure if other funeral directors have formally bid for the property.
A call to the Ryders’ lawyer was not returned, but he told the Springfield Republican newspaper that Will Ryder’s health concerns led to the funeral home’s problems. Ryder this week voluntarily gave up his license to the state.