5 Questions: Patrick Halvey

By Brian PJ Cronin

On Nov. 11, the Halvey Funeral Home will move from 24 Willow St. in Beacon, its location since it was founded by John Halvey in 1933, to a riverfront location near Dia:Beacon. At the same time, Patrick Halvey, 30, will become the third generation of the family to run the business.

Patrick Halvey at the site of the Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey, which opens Nov. 11 (Photo by B. Cronin)

Did you want to take over the family business?
I grew up in the business, so I was always around it. I thought about a few other things, maybe becoming a teacher, but this fell into place.

Your job must be emotionally exhausting. How do you handle it?
When people come to see me, it’s a difficult time. But I’m here to help them through the process. It gives me a lot of satisfaction.

What is the best advice your father, Peter, gave you about the business?
He always says, “Some people can afford more than others, but everyone deserves a dignified funeral.”

The industry is moving away from residential funeral homes in neighborhoods to large, modern facilities. Why is that?
Changing demographics. A lot of people are less religious. They want to have a memorial or celebrate a life separate from a church.

You are a lifelong resident of Beacon. How has the city changed the most?
It’s growing, which is great. When I was younger, you couldn’t walk down Main Street like you can now, because most of it was boarded up.

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