Michael DeMarco Sr. began his funeral business in 1921 after being discharged from the U.S. Army, where he honorably served both in the artillery and as a barber. He first opened at 30 Jefferson St. across from the family’s barber shop in the Stockade neighborhood of Schenectady.
One year later he realized he needed to move his business to Hamilton Hill on the corner of Schenectady St. and Strong St. Michael eventually talked four of his five brothers into joining with him in the business and they established the DeMarco Brothers Funeral Home with locations in Albany, Mechanicville, Endicott and Binghamton, NY. Each brother became an independent owner of their branch.
Michael, Jr., along with his lifelong friend, Carmen Saglimbeni, began working for his dad when he was only twelve. He then went on to graduate from Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse. Later he joined the Army National Guard
and worked as a medic for many years. He and Francis Stone also ran the local ice cream shop, Little Bo-Peeps Ice Cream Corner, on Strong St. and Hulett St, where they would get up at 2 AM to make custard for the day.
Francis Stone also served in the Army. He later married Gloria DeMarco in 1945 and went on to become a licensed funeral director.
In the late 1940’s,Mike Sr. bought an old farmhouse (a former schoolhouse) on Helderberg Ave. in Rotterdam. That’s where he, along with his son Michael, Jr. and son in law, Francis, added a large chapel to the existing farmhouse for Francis. The chapel is still in use today.
Old videos show Mike and Fran with hammer and nails in hand, physically building the new Stone Funeral Home, as Mike Sr. “supervised” construction. The new location opened in 1954. Francis Stone ran the Stone Funeral Home until 1961 when they combined the business and DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home was born.
In 1957, 29-year-old Michael DeMarco, Jr. married Janet Butler Rhodes, a young widow from Malone. To support his growing family,
Mike continued to pick up more work from other funeral homes and snow-plowed many places for years.
Upon the death of Michael Sr. in 1966, his son Mike Jr. became president and Francis Stone, Vice President. Michael continued to take care of his mother, Flora as she was unable to walk after undergoing unsuccessful back surgery when she was in her early 50s. She passed in 1968, the same year the Schenectady St. branch was closed.
Michael Jr., the visionary he was, always had dreams to expand. He bought a parcel of land in Glenville and together with his son, Michael (AKA Mickey) built and opened Glenville Funeral Home in 1986. Mickey still independently owns the Glenville Funeral Home today.
In 1988, Mike’s son-in-law, Larry Noyes, a landscaper by trade, joined the business. Larry received his funeral director license in 1992. Francis and his wife Gloria retired in 1989. Mike Sr.’s grandson, C. Michael Hyrny, moved back to Schenectady from California and eventually joined the family business. He was also licensed by NYS in 1992.
In 1993, Michael and Larry added another branch that opened at 5216 Western Turnpike, Guilderland (across from the Police Dept.) That same year, DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home acquired the 100 year old White-Van Buren Funeral Home in Delanson, after working with the Van-Buren family for many years.
When Michael A. DeMarco passed away December 12, 2011, his son-in-law Larry Noyes officially became president and owner of our privately owned business.
Mike Sr., Mike Jr. and Francis worked long and hard for many years.
There are times we would laugh at Mike Jr’s saving bent nails, or anything else that could be repurposed. As Larry has always said, if it wasn’t for their hard work, resourcefulness and ingenuity, we wouldn’t have the blessings we have today. For that, we are so very grateful.
Mrs. Michael (Janet) DeMarco, still resides at our Rotterdam location and helps out in the office of her beloved family business.
We are so blessed to carry forward this century-long tradition of dignity, respect and trust as we continue to serve New York’s Capital Region