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About

At Werst & LaBella Funeral Home, we have provided funeral and cremation services for the Glendale neighborhood of Queens, New York, since 1901. For more than 100 years, our commitment to families has remained unchanged and yet, our funeral home and cremation services have always responded to the changing needs of the Queens and Brooklyn community.

A Queens landmark

Front Exterior at Werst & LaBella Funeral HomeLocated at 71-41 Cooper Avenue, our funeral home is recognized as one of the oldest structures in Queens. Our one-of-a-kind mansion-style facility is situated on an acre and boasts a circular driveway. The building has undergone several major renovations and upgrades over the years, yet has maintained its original grandeur and history—including an underground well which provides water for our lawn sprinklers and air conditioning system.

We Honor Veterans level 4 badge We Honor Veterans

At Werst & LaBella Funeral Home, we understand the unique needs of America’s veterans and their families. As a Level Four Founding Community Partner with We Honor Veterans, we are honored to serve our nation’s heroes and take this responsibility seriously. We have taken steps to ensure our staff is knowledgeable of all the benefits available to military veterans and their families.

In addition, we host community events annually in honor of our veterans and work closely with local veterans organizations. With respect, integrity and dignity, we will walk you through the steps of creating a veteran’s memorial service that truly honors the life and sacrifice of your loved one.

A trusted provider

Whether you need a traditional funeral service or a customized celebration of life, we will listen to your needs and desires and will do everything we can to meet your expectations. We serve families of all faiths, backgrounds and religions and are proud to be a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers.

History

From farmhouse to private golf club

Established in 1901, the historic building where Werst & LaBella Funeral Home is located today was originally a large farmhouse. The farmhouse was built in the 1850s by John Siney on land purchased from his father-in-law, Nicholas Wyckoff. The Siney family owned and operated a stage coach line, which ran along Myrtle Avenue (then known as the Plank Road) in Glendale, Queens.

In 1886, the house was sold to Henry Meyer, a Brooklyn grocer. Soon after, Henry established his own tobacco business and within a few years, Henry’s “Ivanhoe Tobacco Co.” became a major industry in Glendale. In fact, Ivanhoe Park is named for Henry’s tobacco brand. Eventually, Henry became part of L&M (Liggett & Meyer) Cigarettes.

Henry sold the building 10 years later to Edward Bourcier for $8500. By 1906, the building was being used as a private golf club for Forest Park Golf Links, which opened that same year.

From golf club to speakeasy to funeral home

By 1924, it was being leased to the Glendale Square Club, a Masonic organization. It was around this time—in response to the introduction of Prohibition—that the building became known as a local speakeasy. Funeral home staff members recall stories from elderly neighbors who would reminiscence of patronizing the premises back then. After several raids, New York City Mayor LaGuardia had the illegal business shut down and put the property up for auction. The George Werst Funeral Home, which had been operating on Hart Street, in Brooklyn, purchased the building at that time.

The funeral home honors a Marine Corps hero

Chapel at Werst & LaBella Funeral Home In 1937, shortly after moving their undertaking firm to Glendale, George Werst conducted services for local resident, Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly. Sergeant Major Daly was one of the most decorated (enlisted) members of the United States Marine Corps. He was the recipient of 2 Medals of Honor, a Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross and more.

In 2004, the Marine Corps was able to trace Sergeant Major Daly’s relatives (he never married) using George Werst’s original records. Later that year, Daly was honored with a U.S. postage stamp and a statue in Great Neck, Long Island, New York, with his descendants present. Our staff was invited by the Marine Corps to the dedication of Daly’s monument.

Walsh-La Bella & Son history

James La Bella opened Walsh-La Bella & Son on 87th Street in Woodhaven in June 1959. His son, Peter, began working in the business in 1979. Peter became a licensed funeral director at 20 years old.

In 1986, Walsh-La Bella & Son expanded to a second funeral home. Peter served families at both the Cooper Avenue location in Glendale and the Woodhaven location until the latter closed in 2015. Peter and his team continued to serve the Woodhaven, Glendale and Ridgewood communities from 70-17 Cooper Avenue until 2018.

Continuing the Werst legacy

In 1991 and 2018 respectively, George Werst Funeral Home and Walsh-La Bella & Son became part of the Dignity Memorial Network® of funeral, cremation and cemetery providers. Now named Werst & LaBella Funeral Home, we continue our founding traditions of providing exceptional service and professionalism to the people of Glendale and Queens.

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100% SERVICE GUARANTEE

At Dignity Memorial, we take our promises seriously. That’s why we offer a 100% service guarantee. We strive to get every detail right the first time, every time. If for some reason we don’t and you’re dissatisfied with any aspect of your service, we will remedy it quickly and fully.

Learn about our Dignity Difference benefits.

Every Detail Remembered

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Remember the one you love

Honor the memory of your loved one with cemetery flower placement. You choose the flowers. You choose the months. We do the rest.

Learn More
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Unable to find an obituary?

Not finding what you are looking for? Search for your loved one's obituary across any of our other locations.

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Ratings & Reviews

Verified Customer Reviews

Since 2005, many of our customers have taken the time to tell us how we did each year via our Voice of the Customer program. Our star ratings and comments from families come directly from these surveys.

"The details were perfect every step of the way ...just perfect !!!"

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

April 2021

"I posted this on google reviews. Feel free to post all or part of it on ur website: I do not usually write reviews and this may be a little long, but if you and your loved ones are in need of funeral services, then I recommend that you take the time to read this and consider reaching out to Werst & LaBella Funeral Home for your needs. My family and I initially met with them a couple of months ago, when we set up a Pre-Plan for my parents. We met with Brandy, whom was extremely helpful and caring. At no time during the process did we feel any pressure and she allowed us to make our own decisions. Sadly, on April 15, 2021 my dad passed away and that's when we started working with Kirk. His staff picked up my dad's body soon after notifying them and they took great care of him. Kirk maintained regular contact with us, to ensure complete satisfaction, and he made himself available as many times as needed. He and his staff went above and beyond to ensure that my dad's going away services met and exceeded our expectations. Kirk even provided us with added services that we did not request, nor had to pay for; 'a gift from us.' It must also be noted that they took the time to make sure that our dad looked SHARP, just as he did when he was alive. We felt like they understood our pain and tried to make the process as easy as possible for us. Thank you Brandy, Kirk, Peter and the rest of the staff. We really appreciate your level of excellence and care."

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

April 2021

"Very dignified services in every aspect of the experience. Solid professionalism."

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

April 2021

"Excellent job done!"

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

April 2021

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