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.
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.