Cultural Heritage Tours

A project of the ETHNIC HERITAGE CENTER

Wooster Square Tour

Longobardi’s Funeral Home

514 Chapel Street

Longobardi’s Funeral Home, c. 1950s. Courtesy Longobardi family.

Domenico (Dominick) Longobardi, the founder and owner of the Longobardi Funeral Home was born in Castellammare di Stabia, Italy in 1892. He became an undertaker in the early 1900s. He originally lived on Greene St. and maintained a barn there with four horses that were used to pull the hearses used for transporting caskets when people held wakes in their homes. He married Giuseppina (Josephine) Laudano of Amalfi in 1918. They had four children, Filomena (Phyllis), Salvatore, Luigi (Louis) and Frances. Dominick purchased the building on the corner of Chapel and Chestnut St in 1911 where he was able to offer his clientele the option of a wake using a funeral parlor. With motorized hearses he no longer needed the horses or the barn.

Salvatore Longobardi graduated from embalming school in 1933 and worked with Dominick for several years, subsequently opening his own funeral home in East Haven in 1939. Louis, who had driven the hearse since he was fifteen years old, came on board after serving in World War II and being discharged from the Army in 1948. He attended embalming school in New York while working at the funeral home. Dominick’s daughter Phyllis served as secretary/treasurer. They were very involved in the community and Louis was instrumental in the building and funding of the arch on Wooster St. Dominick was one of the original founders of the St. Catello Italian Society. When the society was disbanded years later, Louis and Phyllis were instrumental in resurrecting it. Dominick suffered a stroke in 1954 and never worked again. When Louis retired in the early 90s, the business ceased.

  • Text source courtesy Carol Longobardi-Fornier, Lois Carle and JoAnn Brennan.

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