The American Dream

By: Brittany DeMarco-Furman
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Small, family owned funeral homes are dying— no pun intended.  Whether they are closing their doors completely or selling out to corporate America, this factual trend in the funeral industry is predominately because funeral home owners do not have an heir or another family firm ready to buy their funeral home. At one point or another, the funeral home owner gets tired, older, hopeless and in the end they may have to sell their souls to the devil.


As more funeral homes are taken over by corporate or conglomerate enterprises, the remaining family owned and operated funeral homes become the under dog, and I believe this goes for ALL of us small businesses. But, like every good movie, the under dog always has the biggest heart and if you love happily ever afters like me, the under dogs end up on top!


Don’t get me wrong, I hide AMAZON packages in the garage from my husband all the time. The world has gotten too busy and fast paced that you wouldn’t be able to keep up with a local-only lifestyle as in the previous millennium; especially when you are me and forget dish soap at the market and lazily prime next day ship it.


However, when it’s not something as simple as cleaning the dishes, I look to purchase experiences, products and services that are more special, like dining at a family restaurant that still uses the recipe their great grandmother started 105 years ago; going into a small fashion boutique for the latest fashion and the owner remembers your name and what style you like; visiting the local farmers market where everything is fresh and cultivated with uniqueness; hiring the local handyman, because he is genuine, kind and your kids are on the soccer team together. Recently, I saw a post on Facebook which I think describes what I’m trying to say best,  “when you support a small business you are supporting a dream”.


And to be blunt, small businesses just do it better. Why? Because it’s their name on the door and they are going to do everything and anything to exceed your expectations of the norm.


Back in 1921, my great grandfather alongside his brothers opened our family’s first funeral home in Schenectady NY, DeMarco Brothers Funeral Home. Throughout the years, many funeral homes across New York State have carried my family name on their doors;  beginning with my clever great-grandfather to my adored grandfather to my innovative father, and all the dedicated men and women who helped our family achieve 100 years in business.


Today, I continue my family blood line of funeral professionals at my father’s independently owned funeral home, Glenville Funeral Home; my father, Michael, didn’t name the home after our family (very rare in the funeral business) but instead, after the community we serve. Even though family businesses in present time have an endless list of hardships and challenges, I look back with admiration and appreciation for all that my ancestors sacrificed, overcame, learned and accomplished. Being the fourth generation and first female licensed funeral director in our family holds a lot of weight. Yet, with the support of my family, friends, co-workers, and the lessons passed on from generations before me, Glenville Funeral Home stands stronger for and with our community versus big box, corporate funeral homes. It’s time to Rocky Balboa our way into the next generation with heart and soul!


In honor of our family’s legacy and the community we have served for 100 years, everyone is invited to a FREE concert at the Glenville Funeral Home on September 19th to celebrate our family’s American dream. All fundraising proceeds will go towards the Capital Region Veterans Memorial — The Legacy Project. Without our veterans there would be no American Dream.

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