Yorktown resident Joseph Giordano Jr. said last week he is a fourth-generation funeral director. His great-grandfather, Ralph, started the Giordano family business in 1923 in the Bronx.
Giordano is continuing his family’s legacy by taking ownership of the E.O. Curry Funeral Home in Peekskill earlier this month.
Giordano, 35, has been a funeral director since the age of 20.
Though E.O. Curry is the first funeral home Giordano has owned, he previously managed his family’s business, the Ralph Giordano Funeral Home in the Bronx, for about five years.
Giordano said he took the funeral director position at E.O. Curry with the intention of eventually purchasing the business from Edward O. Curry, who decided to leave the business.
Though Giordano has to deal with customers experiencing one of the most difficult periods of their lives, he said that is part of the reason he has stayed in the funeral home industry.
“That’s what keeps me coming back being able to help somebody during the hardest part in their life,” he said. “You’re only three or four days here with us at the funeral home. And to make that process as easy as possible for them is what keeps me coming back every day because when I get that thank you note or card or whatever they may send the next week saying I’m so happy you helped us through the grieving process, you made my mother or father or whoever the loved one was look beautiful, that’s what makes me wake up and be enthusiastic about being a funeral director.”
Giordano explained why he wanted to own a funeral home. “Family businesses are always tough to work for,” he said., adding he also did not like the daily commute to the Bronx from Yorktown, particularly with he and his wife, Danielle, having an eight-month-old daughter., Vivviana. His current commute to work is 10 minutes, Giordano said.
Giordano said he also went into the funeral home business because he wanted to follow in his family’s footsteps. Several members of the Giordano family have been funeral directors including his father, Joe Sr., Giordano said. “That’s what drew me to the business,” he said.
He said there are some downsides to the funeral home business, such as long hours and getting calls at the middle of the night from clients. But Giordano said he is satisfied with his career choice.
“What was the best part about it was that I knew that it was a tradition and my great-grandfather did it,” Giordano said. “I can only hope to keep their traditions going for the next 50 years.”
The E.O. Curry Funeral Home is located at 313 N James St, in Peekskill. For more information, call 914-737-0083 or visit http://www.eocurryfuneralhome.com.