Old Funeral Homes


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Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Kchi ()
Date: October 29, 2010 09:22AM

Many of the older neighborhoods due to the fact that people did not own cars, relied on local funeral homes. These funeral homes were usually built close to particular churches. Some of them are still in business but moved to larger locations where they could accomodate parking lots and larger chapels and be closer to cemetaries, many just disappeared in history.

In The Bucktown neighborhood there were:

Knakiewicz and Winiarski on Dickens near All Saints Polish National Cathedral.

Wojciechowski,Kamka and Poklenkowski on Webster and Schielka on Leavitt near St. Hedwig

Sadowski,Wysocki on Hermitage and Gogolinski on Cortland near St Mary Of The Angels.

Does anybody have this information they wish to share or identify funeral homes they remember from their old neighborhoods?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2010 03:16PM by Kchi.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Steve B. ()
Date: October 29, 2010 12:14PM

In the Back of the Yards neighborhood, we had Eudikis Funeral Home on 46th and Hermitage (serving Lithuanians - Holy Cross Church), and Wolniak Funeral Home on 46th and Wolcott (serving Polish - Sacred Heart Church). They are both gone, at least from those locations.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: captain54 ()
Date: October 29, 2010 12:52PM

Steve B. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In the Back of the Yards neighborhood, we had
> Eudikis Funeral Home on 46th and Hermitage
> (serving Lithuanians - Holy Cross Church), and
> Wolniak Funeral Home on 46th and Wolcott (serving
> Polish - Sacred Heart Church). They are both
> gone, at least from those locations.

As a kid growing up, I probably went to two dozen wakes with my parents at John Patka Funeral Home @ 1258 W 51st, in the shadow of St. John of God Church..Ironically, the Patka building is now Chicago Commons, and a facility for adult day care.

There was a thread a while ago about an Italian Funeral Home @ Grand and Marshfield that some folks helped dig up info about. Its now a gift shop for a school for the mentally disabled.

Also, there's the former Abbey Funeral Home @ 3905 N Lincoln, which is now a high end Irish Bistro, renovated by the guy that owns Murphy's Bleachers..I've always been intrigued by that place and I'm pretty sure it was empty for quite a while.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/29/2010 12:53PM by captain54.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Berwyn Frank ()
Date: October 29, 2010 09:59PM

Kchi, most funeral homes in older neighborhoods were owned by ethnics that were usually what the majority of the neighborhood was. With so many diffetent ethnic traditions you would go to the funeral director that knew "their own people."

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: bwalsh ()
Date: October 29, 2010 11:53PM

Kenny Brothers, opened in 1898, were originally located on Halsted. It's where the majority of my family were waked through or from. They moved to 95th St in Evergreen Park and are still there under the same name, though no longer family owned.
Wolniak is now located on S. Pulaski Rd.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: shoreline ()
Date: October 30, 2010 10:29AM

The Maloney and Weinstein Funeral homes on the 1300 block of Devon reflect the former ethnic make up of the Edgewater/ Rogers Park area. Both remain family owned businesses.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: davey7 ()
Date: November 01, 2010 05:19PM

I thought Weinstein was part of a big conglomerate now.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Moctezuma ()
Date: November 07, 2010 01:55AM

there is a funeral home near 18th pl. and ashland
caled "Funerales Cordero"
its a funny thing... its located next to a new restaurant....
there used to be a funeral house on 18th and paulina.
its now a bank. I wonder if it gets haunted at night, if your into that sort of thing.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: StrayKitten ()
Date: November 08, 2010 09:33AM

A little off the subject, but when did it become popular for wakes to be held in funeral homes instead of in the person's home? What were some customs in the early part of the century involving mourning and funerals?

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: bwalsh ()
Date: November 08, 2010 07:28PM

Although I wasn't here yet, my grandmother's wake was held in their house here in Englewood and she died in Nov 1951.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: fleurblue ()
Date: November 16, 2010 07:57PM

I've heard that when people began using undertakers for wakes the facility started to be called a "parlor" because it reminded people of home.

Then the real parlor at home began to be referred to as the "living room" to make the distinction and remove any memory of wakes.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: ChicagoDog ()
Date: December 14, 2010 10:31PM

I grew up in the area of Belmont and Central. In the 40's and 50's; there was Kopec's on Roscoe about 5200 West, just down the street from St. Ladislaus Church.
I remember going to wakes in homes in the 40's in this neighborhood, several uncles and my grandfather in his home at 5000 Cornelia. The Undertaker would come in and prepare the dead right in the home. No shielding of the children from the reality of life (and death) in those days.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: tseals ()
Date: December 17, 2010 11:16PM

I rememeber the funeral home & creamatorium (sp?) on Wilson near hermitige (sp?), by the old Ravenswood YMCA. The 'Y' is gone and I believe that the funeral home is now a residential home. It's on the Northside of Wilson just east of hermetige

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: abingdon ()
Date: January 02, 2011 12:30PM

tseals Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I rememeber the funeral home & creamatorium (sp?)
> on Wilson near hermitige (sp?), by the old
> Ravenswood YMCA. The 'Y' is gone and I believe
> that the funeral home is now a residential home.
> It's on the Northside of Wilson just east of
> hermetige

Interesting - which building? My dad lives in that area and I can't picture it. On Wilson between Hermitage and Paulina is the Abbott house and an apartment building.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: tomcat630 ()
Date: January 03, 2011 12:38AM

There's two long time closed FH's in North Side, one on Broadway nw of Foster, and one on Suothport at SW corner of Addison. Still for sale and empty, most of the families moved out, and the yuppies don't patronize them...yet.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Dan Hogan ()
Date: February 14, 2011 12:50AM

there's a funeral home turned bar at the corner of 26th and wentworth in chinatown/bridgeport. definitely worth checking out!

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: operafan ()
Date: March 04, 2011 09:59PM

well there are a few i remember.
Curley's on 79th street near saint sabinas and edgar's was also near there. blake/lamb was on 79th and loomis.
michael colettas on 79th street.
sheehy's on 82nd ashland.
many of these were located near irish bars.
also on the west side on madison ,west of cicero,south side of madison was toomey's.
there was a place called keenan's on cicero near van buren. kelly's tavern was near by.
does anyone remember a "williams" on the west side?
there were some in austin on division but the names escape me.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: tim62b ()
Date: May 07, 2011 08:24PM

I grew up in Austin: the only funeral home that i'm aware of that was just west of Cicero on the south side of the street was Conboy's, which also operated a bowling alley next door.Conboy's later moved to North Avenue a couple blocks west of Austin. Other west side funeral homes i remember were gibbons, originally located on madison street in St. Mel's parish, later moving to Oak Park and Irving around Austin; Hursen's on madison, just east of Austin; Collins at 5300 W. North; Rago's on North around Menard;Columbian on north avenue; Salerno's on north, just west of Mobile.The only funeral homes on Division in Austin were Ahlgrim's, at Division & Waller, and a guy named Bill O'Hara ran one at Division & Mason,when he wasn't working as a precint captain. Also, there was one on the South side of Chicago, east of central called DeStefano's.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Brule Laker ()
Date: May 07, 2011 09:47PM

Piser was on Broadway, just north of Foster. My father's funeral was there in 1973. Weinstein is owned by a conglomerate; most of the Jewish funeral homes are.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: jak378 ()
Date: May 24, 2011 05:00PM

Two more from the Back of the Yards: Kerrigans in the 5500 block of Ashland, and Kruse in the 5600 block of Ashland. Both big players in the St. Basil trade.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: tomcat630 ()
Date: May 29, 2011 09:30PM

The FH on the west side Broadway, just north of Foster, has been closed nearly 7 some years, and still for sale.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: TrumpetBlaster ()
Date: September 27, 2011 11:49PM

What can anyone tell me about the former Granata Funeral Chapels on 900 S. Sacramento Blvd (now a church) and 1702 W. 69th St.? Someone very dear to me was buried from one of these chapels, but I don't remember the locale as I didn't attend.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2011 11:53PM by TrumpetBlaster.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: tonyfromchicago ()
Date: September 28, 2011 12:40AM

Near St. Joseph's were Kozera's (1718 W. 48th), Boldyga's (48th & Hermitage), and Broda's (51st & Wood). Used to "ditch mass" and shoot the breeze with Chuck the paper boy in front of Boldyga's on Sunday mornings. Was good friends with the Kozera son - when there were no bodies waked, we'd use one of the parlors to jam on guitars, playing Hendrix, Cream, Blue Cheer...(ca 1969).

None in operation now, of course.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: jak378 ()
Date: September 29, 2011 01:11PM

At one time in the Brainerd neighborhood, on 87th St. there were 2 funeral homes a few blocks apart. One was named Ketcham and the other name was Kellam. Kellam was later the alderman from the 18th Ward.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Diogenes9561 ()
Date: October 02, 2011 07:53PM

I grew up in North Center, St. Benedict's parish. IIRC, being an altar boy who served at funerals in the parish, most seemed to be from either Burkhardt's just the other side of Leavitt St. from the church or Grein, located on the north side of Irving Park Road about a block east of Leavitt. There was Herdegen's on Lincoln and Mee And Ramme further west on Irving but with a German parish, it was usually a neighborhood German funeral home which handled things.
Cooney's was on Southport near Addison but, being Irish, they did most of their business with St. Andrew's which was Irish, too.
I've been in Florida now for 27 years and have been back only occasionally; I know Burkhardt's is gone but the fate others are unknown to me.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: rgrazian ()
Date: October 15, 2011 10:38PM

Does anyone remember one at the corner of Chicago Ave and Springfield Ave? I think it was called Paullela's?

Ron Grazian
graz99@prodigy.net

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: WayOutWardell ()
Date: October 15, 2011 11:20PM

Diogenes9561 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I grew up in North Center, St. Benedict's parish.
> IIRC, being an altar boy who served at funerals in
> the parish, most seemed to be from either
> Burkhardt's just the other side of Leavitt St.
> from the church or Grein, located on the north
> side of Irving Park Road about a block east of
> Leavitt. There was Herdegen's on Lincoln and Mee
> And Ramme further west on Irving but with a German
> parish, it was usually a neighborhood German
> funeral home which handled things.
> Cooney's was on Southport near Addison but, being
> Irish, they did most of their business with St.
> Andrew's which was Irish, too.
> I've been in Florida now for 27 years and have
> been back only occasionally; I know Burkhardt's is
> gone but the fate others are unknown to me.

The Cooneys closed the Southport funeral home (which is now a market/cafe) and took over Mee & Ramme over on Irving. Herdegen's and Grein are both still around.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Dunning1 ()
Date: December 12, 2011 02:13PM

Our family'f funeral home of choice was Ellgas Funeral Home on Armitage Avenue just west of Pulaski. The owner, Matt Ellgass, was a good friend of my father, and most of my father's family lived near St. Philomena's Church in that area. I believe Matt Ellgass married into the Wold family, and that the funeral home was originally Wold & Wold, which was one of the oldest businesses in Chicago according to some of my old Chicago Daily News almanacs. Mr. Ellgas passed away years ago, and after a few years under a different owner, I believe the home is now a church.

Later on, as my family moved northwest, funerals were handled at Ridgemoor Chapels on Irving Park Road. Again, one of the owners lived on the corner of Normandy and Byron and was a friend of my dad's. I believe his name was Mr. Mueller. He passed away, and the funerals of both of my parents were handled by the new owners who did a wonderful job. I had to go over to the post office one day and was shocked to see that the old chapel was gone, and taken over as a parking lot by the Post Office. I also understand that the funeral director who had taken the place over passed away, and the business moved out and joined the new Rago Brothers facility on Irving Park Road in Irving Park cemetery.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: coops4 ()
Date: December 12, 2011 07:27PM

If that funeral home was on the southwest corner of Chicago Ave. and Springfield, it is no longer active. I recall it being active to about 8 years ago, but under a different name. I have no other information other than the building is there but no longer is a funeral home.

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Re: Old Funeral Homes
Posted by: Janicemarie ()
Date: December 12, 2011 08:09PM

Ewalds on Southport. Anyone heard of that of one ?

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