SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Located at 2456 Plainfield Avenue, the South Plainfield Funeral Home offers a full range of services, including everything from a quiet family gathering to ceremonies for all religious faiths.
The community’s oldest funeral home, the South Plainfield Funeral Home was founded by James W. Conroy in October 1949 and has remained a staple in the community for the past 65 years. During its first few years, the business operated out of three small rooms in front of the original house and by the 1960s an expansion and addition of a chapel were completed in an effort to accommodate the growing community. When Conroy passed away in 1973 his wife Loretta took over, serving at the helm until 1983 when the family business was passed along to her daughter and son-in-law Roberta and Bobby Hunter.
In 2004, Wellington Funeral Service purchased the business and, soon after, an extensive interior and exterior renovation project ensued. The inside was completely remodeled to give the home a fresher appearance and new main floor bathrooms were installed. Outside, the building also received a facelift with new vinyl siding and blue awnings. It was during this time, also, that the ‘South Plainfield Funeral Home’ was added to the existing ‘James W. Conroy’ name.
“People still refer to us as Conroy and that’s okay. The name is our tradition, that is why we still have it on our sign,” said Michael Castoral, who has served as manager of the South Plainfield Funeral Home since 2011.
The South Plainfield Funeral Home, which is wheelchair accessible, offers traditional burials, memorial services, graveside services and immediate cremations and is ready to assist families from every walk of life in every way possible to create a unique and meaningful service. “Everyone’s grief is different; no two people are going to grieve the same, just as no two funerals will be quite the same,” said Castoral. “We are very detailed oriented and try to make every funeral unique to the person.”
The funeral home offers pre-planning of funerals as well as life insurance and veteran’s administration paperwork filing, Medicaid approval assistance and an array of special and complimentary touches including, but not limited, to DVD tributes and a Living Memorial Tree Planting program. Additionally, an on-site bereavement support group is also offered and during the holidays, holds an annual holiday memorial service that is open to all those who lost a loved one during the year.
In addition to being a supporter of local organizations and events – Castoral and his wife served as Mr. and Mrs. Claus at this year’s Labor Day Parade and he is involved with the South Plainfield Small Business Association, is the President of the Tri County Chamber of Commerce and is the Vice President of the Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary – the South Plainfield Funeral Home prides itself on providing ‘compassionate care at affordable prices.’ “We do everything we can to make our services as affordable as possible, but this in no way means our services or facility are substandard,” said Castoral.
The first in his family to pursue a career in funeral services, Castoral doesn’t see his position at the home as a job, but rather a calling, one he chose in an effort to help others avoid the ‘poorly handled funerals’ he personally experienced. “I have experienced loss from every side – from knowing it was coming over a couple of years to someone being taken immediately in a car accident. There are times when people are sitting with me, that I can put myself in their position; and can bring empathy and compassion,” he said, adding, “Again; I consider it a calling – like a nurse, doctor or member of the clergy.”
And, because Castoral and his wife live upstairs full time, families who select the South Plainfield Funeral Home can always reach someone during their time of need and also rest assured that their loved ones are “never left alone.”
For more information on the South Plainfield Funeral Home, contact Michael Castoral, manager, at (908) 756-2800 or visit South Plainfield Funeral Home.
Editor’s Note: South Plainfield Funeral Home is an advertiser in The Alternative Press (TAP into Edison) as well as in South Plainfield, Scotch Plains, and Fanwood.