About Us

Recent Obituaries

History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home

The Houghtaling Brothers, Floyd, Sr. and Chauncey owned a combined furniture store and funeral home on Main Street in Canajoharie next to the Methodist Church . It was a small frame building. The furniture store was eventually sold to Conover's and the funeral home was moved up on West Hill.

The present funeral home building was used by the family as their home and as the funeral home. The front of the house was the funeral home and the family lived in the back using the back staircase. Stories were told of Grandma Houghtaling serving dinner at the big dining room table downstairs as families came in for funeral services.

Floyd, Jr. and Doris Houghtaling raised their family after the building was remodeled. The downstairs was the funeral home with the top two floors being their home.

William Smith came to Canajoharie to work with Floyd in 1975 and became a partner in Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home shortly after. Floyd and Bill remodeled the funeral home adding a chapel seating over 175 people in 1990. Beneath the chapel, we built state-of-the-art preparation rooms. Our commitment is to provide complete care for your loved ones on our premises.

The funeral home is handicapped accessible with gracious décor and spacious restrooms that are handicapped-accessible.

Gray-Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home

In 1986, Bill Smith, former owner of Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home, Inc. in Canajoharie, purchased part ownership of the Swartz Funeral Home on Center Street in Fort Plain. He became sole owner of the funeral home in 1991. He was later to use this facility to house the newly formed company known today as Gray-Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home.

The Gray Funeral Home had been a Fort Plain institution since 1894 when it was known as the Dwandler and Gray Funeral Home . It operated under different owners through the 102 years until the business was blended with Houghtaling Funeral home.

Our funeral home building on Center Street in Fort Plain dates back to the Erie Canal days. There have been many additions to the historical building over the years.

Additionally, the building is handicapped accessible with spacious handicapped restrooms. The chapel seats over 100 people. There is a parking lot for the convenience of family and friends.

Funeral Directors, Chris Hanley, Bill Smith, and Nicole Barber continue to provide their professional services to the communities of Fort Plain and Canajoharie, at both facilities.

Our Valued Staff

Christopher J. Hanley

Christopher J. Hanley, Owner and Funeral Director

“It is an honor to serve families that I have known my whole life.”

Chris is truly a “native son”, having been born and raised in the Fort Plain-Canajoharie Area. He is a graduate of Fort Plain Central School, Class of 1995 and Hudson Valley Community College .

Chris received his National Board Certification in 2000, and is a licensed funeral director and owner of Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home, Inc.of Canajoharie and Gray-Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home, of Fort Plain. Chris moved back to the area and started working for the funeral homes in 2000.

Chris is very active in the community. He is a former Boy Scout and was awarded the high honor of Eagle Scout as well as being elected to The Order of the Arrow. Chris is a member of the Fort Plain Masonic Lodge #433 serving as Master over the past several years. He is also a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Yahnundahsis Valley of Utica, The Hiram Union Chapter #53 Royal Arch Masons of Canajoharie, The Fort Renesselaer Club and the Canajoharie-Fort Plain Elks Club. Chris and his wife are also members of St. John and St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Canajoharie, where Chris serves on the church council. While he is still busy in the community, Chris makes sure to spend time with his Wife, Nerissa, who he married July 15th, 2012, in Isla Muejers, Mexico. Together they enjoy traveling, home renovations, spending time with friends and family and volunteering in the communities. Nerissa works as a Regional Vice President of a financial firm and is known to help Chris out at the funeral home when needed.

Chris' parents, Phil and Jo Ann Hanley, live in Fort Plain.

William James Smith

William James Smith, Funeral Director

“Serving the families in our community brings me deep satisfaction. I know our services are truly the best in the Central Mohawk Valley .”

Bill has over 35 years experience as a licensed funeral director of Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home, Inc. in Canajoharie , New York , and Gray-Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home in Fort Plain , New York .

Bill was raised in Albany , New York and graduated from Colonie Central High School . He then enlisted in the United States Air Force and served honorably during the Viet Nam War. Afterwards, he returned to the Albany area and graduated from Hudson Valley Community College with a degree in Mortuary Science. Bill earned National Board Certification shortly after graduation, and has served families like yours ever since.

Bill and Greta Smith moved to Canajoharie in 1975 and joined Floyd and Doris Houghtaling at Houghtaling Funeral Home. Bill became an owner of the funeral home soon after that and, in 1986; he purchased Swartz Funeral Home in Fort Plain.

Bill and Greta continue to serve families in their home communities as they have for well over 35 years.

Bill serves on the Board of Directors of Arkell Foundation, is a member of the Canajoharie-Palatine Chamber of Commerce and is supportive of many local charities. He is a life member of the Fort Plain Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Fort Renesselaer Club, and the Montgomery County Disaster Task Force. The funeral homes are members of New York Funeral Directors Association and National Funeral Directors Association.

Greta retired from Fort Plain Central School. In addition to serving families at the funeral home, she now teaches at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.

The Smiths raised their two daughters in this community. Kirsten is an Occupational Therapist Nathan Littauer Hospital and lives in Gloversville with her husband, Ron. Michelle lives and works in Connecticut with her husband, Collin.

Nicole M. Barber

Nicole M. Barber, Funeral Director

“I take great pride in being able to serve the families of my hometown.”
Nicole grew up in the Fort Plain area, attending and graduating from Fort Plain High School, Class of 2001. Following High School, Nicole went to college at SUNY Cortland. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Cortland in Psychology and Social Philosophy. Nicole then returned to the Fort Plain/Canajoharie area in 2007, taking on the Office Manager position at the funeral home. While working for the funeral home as office manager, she decided to enroll in the Mortuary Science program at Hudson Valley Community College, graduating with Honors in 2015. Nicole obtained her funeral director’s license in 2017.
Nicole is a member of the Canajoharie/Fort Plain Elks #2621. She and her husband, Charles live in Fort Plain and have 2 children that attend Fort Plain Schools.