Jason Charamonte is continuing a decades long tradition in Peekskill in his capacity as owner and funeral director of the Joseph F, Nardone one Funeral Home.
Charamonte, who lives upstairs in the funeral home, said last week he took ownership of the funeral home in October 2017, purchasing it from the Pirro family.
“I have a 10 second commute to work,” he quipped.
The funeral home received its name from the Nardone family, who were the original owners until 1985.
The building was opened as a private home 127 years ago and it became a funeral home in 1949, Charamonte said.
Charamonte has been in the funeral business for two decades and the Nardone facility is the first funeral home he has owned. He recalled why he became interested in having a career in the funeral industry. “Morbid curiosity took the best of me,” he said. “One of my best friends passed away when I was younger in my teenage years. I went to the funeral home and asked a bunch of questions.”
Charamonte said he works with families of all faiths. “We try to take care of everyone,” he said.
It is typical for a family to hold the wake at his funeral home then go to the church and then to the cemetery, Charamonte noted. But he added he is open to whatever a family requests. “We can do it in a multitude of ways, depending on what the family desires and what their customs and beliefs are,” he said. Many funeral services have been held at his facility, Charamonte said.
The funeral home features one main chapel and a smaller overflow chapel, Charamonte said. “I tend to try to book one family here at a time just because it’s a small, intimate facility,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to have two families comingling with each other.”
Charamonte explained how he works with his clients. “You just try to put yourself in their shoes,” he said. “And just try to reflect on to them how you’d want to be treated”
“I try to treat everyone here as if they were my own family,” he said. “For everyone who sits across from this desk and makes arrangements with me I try to pretend that’s my mom or my brother.”
Charamonte said he has gotten used to emotionally dealing with his clients, but there are some situations when he is moved. “You still get your days where families touch you and you start to tear up as they are saying their eulogy,” he said. “You get that click with them. You get that closeness.”