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Fred H. McGrath & Son Celebrates Serving Westchester for 100 Years PDF Print Email


Contributed by Fred H. McGrath & Son

Dec. 19, 2018:  The McGrath family has been serving the families of lower Westchester for 100 years. In 1918, Fred H. McGrath was the owner of the Olphert Inn Tavern, but Prohibition was looming and so he sold the business and opened up Bronxville’s first and only funeral home. Fred wanted to ensure that all families in the local communities were able to provide a proper and fitting funeral for their loved ones.

Located in the heart of downtown Bronxville, Fred H. McGrath & Son is now a third-generation family-owned and operated business. Originally located at the corner of Park Place and Kraft Avenue, the business moved to the current site on Cedar Street in 1932. The home had belonged to the Kraft family, one of Bronxville’s founding families. Five years earlier, at Fred’s encouragement, the Kraft family had donated part of their property across the street for the construction of St. Joseph’s Church. That same year, Fred’s eldest son, Fred O., joined the business, followed shortly thereafter by his youngest son, Robert.

In 1954, an addition was completed on the Kraft home, providing three large chapel rooms to expand the space available for services. However, the wrap-around porch remains the signature of the funeral home, providing a pleasant space for gathering and relaxing before, during, and after the services.

Fred H. died in 1954, his son Fred O. in 1981, but the family, led by Robert, continued to work, making sure the family name and values were never lost. All three were active beyond the business as well. Fred H. was involved in local politics, the Knights of Columbus, and a variety of youth programs. He served as fire commissioner for the Town of Eastchester and was most notably known as the “unofficial” mayor of Bronxville.


Robert has served on various committees in Bronxville and Eastchester and served as an assistant coach and varsity football coach at Bronxville High School for over 25 years. He has been a member of the Bronxville Rotary Club since its inception and indeed the club has honored him with an annual award granted to a high school student for “service above self.” Robert’s wife, Bumpty, is a behind-the-scenes force at the funeral home, managing the office and operations.

Timothy McGrath, Robert’s youngest son, came on board in 1999. Prior to joining the business, Tim was a grammar and high school teacher in Bronxville and Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, serving as varsity basketball coach at both schools as well. Following the family tradition, Tim is involved throughout the local community. He is a past president of the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce and has been a board member on the St. Joseph’s parish council, the Bereavement Center of Westchester, The Bronxville School Foundation, The Community Fund, and the Rotary Club. In 2017, the Tuckahoe-Eastchester Lions Club recognized Tim as its Man of the Year for his commitment to the local community.

The McGrath family feels blessed to have a loyal and well-experienced staff. Don Cupertino joined the business in 1977, right out of college, and never left. He serves as manager of the firm and is additionally the highly successful girls' varsity soccer coach at Bronxville High School. James Celestino has been in service for over forty years and Eric Anderson for thirty. John Glackin joined the staff in 2003 after a long and distinguished career as an NYPD detective. “They are the backbone of the business,” said Robert. The McGrath family, over three generations and 100 years, has continued to keep Fred H.’s original mission alive, providing comfort and care to the community.

Pictured here: At top, the current staff of Fred H. McGrath & Son (L to R): James Celestino, Donald Cupertino, Robert W. McGrath, Timothy C. McGrath, John Glackin, and Eric Anderson; in text, the current site on Cedar Street, circa 1932.

Editor's note: Published with permission from Nomis Publications, Inc.

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 



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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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