The Barrett family is truly at the heart of the history of the Barrett Funeral Home. Throughout the years, our family has maintained a standard of personal care and service that stems from the values within our own homes.
John J. Barrett, born in Ireland in 1888, immigrated to the United States at a young age, living on the West Side of Manhattan and later moving to the Bronx. As he grew older and entered the workforce, John became the head of the union of UNAPOC, United National Association of Post Office Clerks; one of his duties for UNAPOC included lobbying in Washington, D.C.
In these early years, John also worked as a blacksmith, shoeing horses for the horse-drawn hearses which were used at that time. An innovative and entrepreneurial man, John recognized an opportunity to start a business of his own, and he opened the John J. Barrett funeral home on the West Side of New York in 1932. The facility was moved in 1937 to its present location at 424 West 51st Street. John’s new business mainly provided funeral services and supplies, as wakes were customarily held in a family’s home prior to World War II. As customs began to change over time, and wakes began to take place in funeral homes, the John J. Barrett funeral home expanded its services and included visitation chapels.
Upon John’s death in 1947, his son, Thomas V. Barrett, joined the firm and the company name was changed to John J. Barrett & Son. In 1965, Tom purchased the Pell Funeral Home in Tenafly, NJ, renaming it the Barrett Funeral Home. He understood the value of continuously reinvesting in his growing business, and immediately began cosmetic renovations to the home. Work was begun to create a classic, comfortable and elegant facility. Years later, in the mid-1970′s, additional chapels were added to the funeral home — part of an addition that tripled the size of the facility. Tom owned and managed both the New York and New Jersey funeral homes until his son, Thomas V. Barrett, Jr., assumed the management of the New York funeral home in 1980, now sold.