Family owned and operated since 1928.
- Senko Funeral Home – Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- 213 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11211
- Hempstead Funeral Home – Long Island, New York
- 89 Peninsula Blvd. Hempstead, New York 11550
John Senko Funeral Homes was founded by John Senko Sr. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1928. Originally in a storefront, as most funerals took place in the home. Caskets were ordered and delivered directly to the apartment, whether on the first or top floor. Chairs, flowers, etc. were taken to the room where the viewing would take place, hence the name “Parlor”. Services involved the whole community from friends and family, to religious, fraternal and community groups. Most people were involved in local or national Fraternal or Benevolent Societies and Associations. Mr. Senko coordinated these group’s services so as to create a celebration of the many aspects of the life of the loved one.
Understanding the importance of his role in the services requested, he studied many faith’s and group’s traditions. His “families” came to understand that John could handle any request with sympathy and professionalism. As the business grew, he bought and rehabilitated a building at the corner of Bedford Avenue and North 5th Street. One of the first funeral businesses in the neighborhood, Senko Funeral Home became a locus for the Northside Williamsburg Community. Eventually the Senko’s handled a diverse group of funerals – assisting VIPs and religious hierarchy to the local blue collar family.
John Jr. became active in the profession as a young man, assisting with the set up and logistics of the services arranged by his father. After graduation from Mortuary School, he met and married Wanda M. Pawlik, also a licensed Funeral Director. As one of the few female Directors at that time, Wanda brought a new dimension to funeral service. Between the professionalism of her husband and her modern outlook, the business prospered and expanded to Long Island in the late 1950’s.
After the acquisition of the Hempstead Funeral Home, the Senkos understood the need to update an outmoded facility. Designing a funeral home with spacious chapels and corridors, custom artwork and carvings, the Senkos built the Hempstead Funeral Home in 1965. It quickly became the premier funeral home on Long Island. Nationally noted by Architecture publications as an innovative approach to a specialized building, the funeral home today still maintains a comfortable and relaxing homelike atmosphere for the families we serve.
With the changes in the 1970’s- cultural and traditional, and the migration of families to other parts of the country and world, the Senkos knew change must keep coming. Keith Senko the third generation of Funeral Director to join the family business brought in fresh ideas and approaches to the services offered. With an understanding that families are not always local, the Senkos focused on the increasing need to repatriate or return loved ones to their family’s ancestral homes for burial. Becoming proficient in the regulations and laws regarding transferring remains properly became an overriding concern for the family. Today, the Hempstead Funeral Home is one of the largest shipping and repatriation specialist on Long Island and New York City. The list of states and countries to which we have assisted families contains almost every locale… Maine to Florida to Alaska – Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, the West Indies, Central and South America, the Philippines, Uganda, Nigeria, Israel, Greece, etc. – the list is endless.
As the business grew a larger staff was necessary. The addition of Arthur J. Sonnick, whose family was long associated with the funeral profession from John Sr.’s era, added to the staff. Arthur is now the firm’s expert on PrePlanning, among his many duties. As time passed numerous dedicated employees have been added to the firm imbued with the understanding that we serve our families “NOT clients”. Keeping to a strict affordable policy, Senko Funeral Home and Hempstead Funeral Home garner the recommendations of many families as living up to their motto, “The best need not be expensive”.