Since 1905, the D’Esopo family has offered the highest level of funeral, cremation and memorial services to the greater Hartford area. Building off our storied reputation of excellence and quality service, the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel in Wethersfield serves families in South Hartford, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Newington and the surrounding areas.
After residing in Hartford for decades, the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel moved to its present location in Wethersfield in 1978. Our chapel and arrangement center are both located on our 4-acre property, which backs up to rolling farmland. With a small stream and plenty of vegetation, our location is home to many birds, deer and other wildlife, creating a peaceful, calming atmosphere.
- Catered Receptions
- Funeral Celebrants
- Monument and Inscription Services
- Multicultural Funerals
Personalized services from funeral planning experts
What matters most to us is helping your family plan a service that celebrates the unique life of your loved one. We strive to accommodate personal touches that pay tribute to your loved one’s passions and lifestyle. Sometimes that means parking an uncle’s beloved Harley in our chapel, displaying bushels of fruits and vegetables from your grandmother’s prized garden or even sharing mom’s secret recipes as a keepsake for guests.
We require our staff members to hold a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) certification or obtain one within 3 years of hiring. This level of education helps us better serve our customers by personalizing funeral services and making sure we celebrate each life like no other.
Family Care Concierge
Our Family Care Concierge has a background in event planning and years of experience in bereavement services. After you make plans with a funeral director, the Family Care Concierge will help you decide on other details, including flowers, music, reception planning and more. If you need help displaying personal effects, writing an obituary or finding a unique way to represent the passions of your loved one, our Family Care Concierge can help. It’s important to us that you can plan a celebration that truly captures the unique life of your loved one.
Serving a diverse community
While we certainly excel at planning and facilitating traditional funeral services, our expert staff can also accommodate a variety of religious and cultural customs. We have held Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist funerals, as well as special ceremonies for veterans and nurses. The visitation rooms at the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel can accommodate virtually any type of service, from a casual memorial to a religious ceremony. Associates at the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel can offer funeral and memorial services in English, Spanish and Italian, as well as American Sign Language.
Honoring our veterans
We consider it a privilege to honor the life of men and women who have served our country. In order to honor your veteran with a deeply meaningful service, our funeral planning experts can help you complete applications for veterans benefits, coordinate documentation to request honors and work with national or state veterans cemeteries for burial.
We are honored to fly the service flag of your loved one’s branch at the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel and adorn our processional vehicles with appropriate flags and medallions. We have also traveled to Normandy and brought back sand from the Normandy beaches in order to give a special tribute to our World War II veterans. Many families choose to have Normandy sand buried with their loved ones or included with their remains as a token of their service.
A tribute to nurses
The D’Esopo family acknowledges that nurses often spend a lifetime serving patients and their families. We want to help honor their life’s work. Through the Nightingale Tribute Program, we can assist you in writing a special description of your loved one’s nursing background and unique life that can be shared during their funeral service. This program also includes a creative reading that can be shared at the service by a fellow nurse. After the reading, a white rose is placed with the nurse as a symbol of appreciation for their service.
Chapel and visitation rooms
An open foyer, replete with ornate rugs and beautiful antiques, ushers visitors into a sophisticated and welcoming space, while a working fireplace adds a warm ambiance for friends and family who gather. Four private visitation rooms comprise our spacious chapel and can be expanded to accommodate guests for virtually any size memorial service. Each visitation room is equipped with a separate sound system as well as video capabilities to show photos, videos or digital tributes. Ask our staff how we can help you personalize our chapel space for a loved one’s memorial.
Life Tribute Arrangement Center
For more than a century, the D’Esopo family has placed the highest value on hospitality and service to our customers. In keeping with that tradition, we opened the Life Tribute Arrangement Center in 2005, the same year of our 100th anniversary.
Sitting separately from our funeral chapel, our Life Tribute Arrangement Center offers an accommodating and peaceful environment for families to focus on planning a beautiful memorial for a loved one without being distracted by activity at the funeral chapel. The calming foyer welcomes family members with an inviting atmosphere and lovely decor, including Italian marble statues that have been in our family for many generations.
With several meeting rooms, we have plenty of space for you to make arrangements.
Commitment to our community
At D’Esopo Funeral Chapel, we make it a priority to give back to the community where we live and work. We participate in several activities in Wethersfield and the surrounding areas throughout the year. For Veteran’s Day, D’Esopo purchases flags to decorate the town and honor our men and women in uniform.
We partner with other organizations to provide food donations during Thanksgiving and toys for families of servicemembers during the holiday season. We also provide a holiday support program for clients and community members who are grieving a loss. Additionally, the D’Esopo organization has published Barklay and Eve, a series of children’s books that help families explain different types of loss to children. We distribute these books to customers as needed and donate them within the community as appropriate.
One of the first 3 Italian families to immigrate to Hartford, Grazia and Donato D'Esopo came to America to realize a better life for their growing family. Joseph D’Esopo, founder of the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel and one of the family’s 11 boys, was 5 years old at the time of his arrival in the U.S. He was an enterprising young boy who was not afraid of hard work. He originally became a building contractor, constructing notable structures, among them a Jewish temple, which still stands today and is now known as the Charter Oak Cultural Center on Charter Oak Ave. In the early 1900’s, a work-related injury caused him to change his profession from carpenter to coffin maker — a change that marked the beginning of a family legacy.
In 1905, Joseph D’Esopo and his wife, Mary Pellettieri D'Esopo, founded the D'Esopo Mortuary Home on Temple Street to serve the large Italian population in the Hartford area. Joseph earned a reputation for compassion and excellence by serving customers in a respectful, soft-spoken manner — sometimes carrying out his services on a handshake — and working hard to provide services for families from all walks of life.
In the late 1920s, he foresaw changes in the industry — fewer funerals were being held in homes, as customers wanted to hold visitations in separate locations. To adapt to the changing times, he opened a larger facility in 1928 that could accommodate both visitations and funeral services. The location on Wethersfield Ave. offered special services such as motorized vehicles when horses and buggies were still common. As early as 1931, Joseph’s wife, Mary, became one of only a few women known to have a funeral director's license.
Together, the D’Esopos focused on offering quality service while staying ahead of trends in the industry. Their commitment allowed the business to remain successful until both Joseph and Mary passed away and left the family business to their sons. Following in their father’s footsteps, Daniel, George and Mike D’Esopo offered the same level of compassionate, excellent service.
Expanding the D’Esopo legacy
By the 1970s, the D’Esopo name was so highly regarded that the family had to expand the business. In 1973, the East Hartford Memorial Chapel opened followed by the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel in 1978. Today, Joseph’s grandchildren continue to operate both locations to serve the greater Hartford community. In 2016, the D’Esopo organization joined the Dignity Memorial® network of providers. By celebrating each life like no other, the same principles of integrity, ethics, quality and service remain the core of how we care for each family. With a long tradition of excellence, we are eager to make the next service the most meaningful one yet.
Awards and Recognition
After more than a century in business, the D’Esopo family has a reputation that speaks for itself. Each year since 2000, the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel is proud to have been awarded the coveted Pursuit of Excellence Award from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). In 2010, we were inducted into the NFDA's Hall of Excellence, a distinction bestowed on less than 1 percent of all funeral homes nationally.