Weller Funeral Home – New Haven, CT“Welcome to Weller Funeral Home.” Danny Klein Fourth generation funeral director at Weller Funeral Home
The History of our Funeral Home
In 1881 Danny Weller began serving the Jews in New Haven as the first Jewish Funeral Director in the State of Connecticut and perhaps one of the first in the country. It was a time of an influx of large numbers of Eastern European Jews who were fleeing from the Russian pogroms. Danny had a horse and buggy, worked out of his home, and was a legend in his day.
On the occasion of Danny’s death in 1923, his son Harry Weller assumed the mantle of responsibility from a converted residence at 425 George Street. An article from the “Corriere del Connecticut”, a newspaper published partly in Italian and partly in English, announcing Harry’s entry into the business in laudatory terms of his work, gave the following announcement:
“Harry Weller now renders reliable and conscientious service to the people of this section.His ability to confirm his actions to each individual situation, his efforts to help lesson the anguish and sorrow of those who mourn the beloved departed one and the deeper understanding which is the most necessary requirement of one engaged in his class of endeavor are deeply apparent at every funeral which he directs. From the minute he is called upon until the final duties are performed, not a single minute detail is overlooked, not the least semblance of confusion, but a systematic, smooth running service is rendered that bespeaks of the deep thought and interest in the work of this professional man.”
Between 1923 to 1978, Weller’s served the community from 425 George Street. While the facility was remodeled and enlarged several times, it was not until 1970, well after Harry’s daughter Sylvia and her son Danny Klein had joined Harry at the mortuary in the 1960’s that the original building was razed and a new facility was erected on the same site. At the age of 92, Harry passed away in 1975.
Important changes were to take place in the 1980’s. When the 1970 facility was built, practically all Jewish funerals in New Haven were held at the funeral home. Since 1980 however, over fifty percent of all our funeral are held at the cemetery itself. Some of the remainder are at various synagogues in the community. Only a relatively small percentage take place at the funeral chapel itself and have tended to be somewhat smaller in size than in earlier years. And while these statistics apply specifically to Weller’s, they are no doubt representative of the distribution of funerals in our region. Given the changing realities, Weller’s decided to make an important decision in 1987 in order better to meet the needs of the members of the Jewish community. In September 1987 Weller’s moved to its beautiful 125 seat facility located at 493 Whitney Avenue in New Haven.
The new chapel has a real sense of intimacy and warmth.