NEW BRITAIN - Unlike other funeral homes, Paul Shaker started his own funeral home and he is still running it.
“Most funeral homes are started by their grandfathers, they started in 1900 (or) 1920, passed it down to their son, then their grandson, but I was the one who started it,” said Shaker of his home. “That’s one thing I’m proud of,” he added.
He started working at funeral homes in 1984 when he got out of high school as a limo driver, parking lot attendant and maintenance helper, before attending college at New England Institute at Mount Ida in Newton, Massachusetts. He then worked as a freelance funeral director and embalmer in the Hartford county area before opening his own business in 1993.
The home at 764 Farmington Ave., offers all the traditional wake, funeral and cemetery services with help on selecting items for every part of the funeral, like the flowers and casket.
But the funeral home also helps with non-traditional services that a family wants as well. Shaker also does cremations, which he said comprises about 40 percent of the services these days, as compared to 10 percent when he first started in the business.
“We offer everything here,” said Shaker.
Shaker and his funeral home will help with prearrangements for funeral services through irrevocable and revocable trust arrangements and assists with insurance claims, social security benefits, veteran’s benefits and more.
“There’s a lot of personal service here, we have a lot of help at funerals,” said Shaker on what makes his home different from others in the area, in addition to the fact that he started it on his own.
Two people will be at the doors to help guide guests and answer questions, as two will also be in the parking lots for wakes. “Their always being attended to,” said Shaker of families and guests at the home.
At the 4,000 square foot facility with parking for 80 cars in a funeral procession, Shaker has three full time and 12 part time workers to meet those needs at anytime. There are two chapels, a lobby with a fountain, a display room of caskets, urns and vaults, and two TVs available to display about 30 to 35 pictures.
“It’s one call when you call the funeral home,” said Shaker. He said all the family needs to provide is a recent photo of, and the clothing for the deceased, the family would like to use, and the funeral home will take care of the rest.
Shaker and the home, known as the “Creator of Meaningful Memories,” can be reached at 860-229-9006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or email@example.com.