R. Steenson & Son was founded in 1905 by the late Robert Steenson who had been a manager in the undertaking company Silas E. Weir & Co. in Cookstown for some twenty-five years. The first motor hearse was purchased after the First World War, a Crossley Motor Tender, as used by the Royal Irish Constabulary. Robert Steenson (left) is shown conducting a funeral in Church Street, Cookstown, ca. 1930.
The late Thomas J. Steenson, son of Robert entered the business in 1924. Robin Steenson is shown opposite pictured with his father, Thomas, shortly after joining the business in 1960. Robin took full control in 1965 when his father retired.
Robin was the first of the family to become a Member of the British Institute of Embalmers (B.I.E.) in 1981 and gained his Diploma in Funeral Directing in 1982. He was a chairman of the B.I.E. and was also a Northern Ireland (N.I.) area National Council Representative on the B.I.E. as well as N.I. Area President of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD).
The firm moved to spacious new premises in Loy Street, Cookstown in 1990. The extensive premises include a funeral home/chapel of rest, viewing rooms, coffin selection room, embalming room, car park and cloakrooms. Visitors can also view a wide range of memorials and wreaths. The private car park provides parking for over thirty vehicles and there is public car parking for over two hundred cars close by. The interior decor was designed by Robin's wife Gillian who is also a partner in the business.
Robin’s son Bryan joined the business in 1989 and assumed full control following Robin’s untimely death in 2012.