Newark Memories

by Louis DePaul


My name is Lou DePaul, I lived on Palm Street in Vailsburg till I was about 12, then we moved to Belleville, but I still have vivid memories of the area.

My father's brother was the mailman in the area for a long time, everyone loved him, his name was Jerry.

We lived directly across the street from Raymond Funeral Center's rear driveway. Larry Raymond, the owner was good friends with my father and we spoke with him often. I remember riding bikes and driving down to his basement garage with my friends trying to spook each other, peeking into the garage windows, hoping to see something, lol, but we mostly just saw the hearse, ha ha. I used to sit on our front porch and watch as caskets got delivered from the casket company that used to be down on South Orange Ave, closer to the Parkway. They used to come on a flatbed truck, it had rails on the sides, but wasn't closed in like they are today. They were always covered with a moving tarp and I always wanted to go peek underneath. This is where my interest in the Funeral Industry started basically.

I remember calling Raymonds when I was in Belleville High School to try and get an internship, but one of the sons who lived on Sanford Ave, whose name I will not mention told me when Larry passed, he was the last funeral they had there and the two other brothers packed up and moved to Italy and opened a sweater manufacturing facility.

There were other funeral homes I remember in the area, down the block next to the firehouse on Sanford ave was Galante's, one of three of their locales, and across the street from Sacred Heart Church on Sanford was the Burns Funeral Home, and there was another on South Orange Ave across the street from the FoodTown.



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