Our History

For nearly a century, the Smolenski's have been providing caring support for families in their times of need. Our spacious and serene home has been a haven to many, and over the years we've built a reputation for the quality of our services and the distinguished manner in which our funerals are conducted.


John and Joseph Smolenski were born in Poland  ca. 1880. Their parents, along with John and Joseph, emigrated to the United States shortly thereafter and settled in Greenpoint (Brooklyn) New York. Many Polish immigrants settled there as well.


In approximately 1917, John opened the Smolenski Funeral Home in Greenpoint at the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Freeman Street. At the time it was established there was a large and growing Polish community. They needed a Polish speaking Funeral Director so Uncle John became one of them and opened a Funeral Home. It was sold in 1956 after John died.


Meanwhile, John's younger brother, Joseph Anthony Smolenski, first opened a Funeral Home in East New York in Brooklyn. Preferring a more bucolic life for himself and his family he moved out to the country to Hempstead, Long Island, New York. He opened the Hempstead Funeral Home circa 1932. It was sold to the Senko family in 1959 and remains there on Front Street to this day.


Joseph Richard Smolenski, the son of Joseph Anthony Smolenski, opened the New Hyde Park Funeral Home in 1956. It was on the site of the Oszapinski Home and Nursery. It started out as a two room funeral home attached to the family home. On the other side of the street to the rear, North 9th Place was the growing section for the Nursery. It contained 3 large greenhouses as well as open land to grow on. Some of this land was purchased for a Parking lot for the Funeral Home. At the time, Floral Park and New Hyde Park had large Polish populations. The Smolenski name was well known, so the ethnic draw was a natural. Business started out well and picked up speed as New Hyde Park grew. In fact, at times it was necessary to take over the family home, which was attached, to allow for viewing.


The New Hyde Park Funeral design for renovation was for it to emulate a home. The term Funeral Parlor first came about when the funeral in the home was common as it was in the 1950’s. Eventually families decided this was too much of a burden so they began to use our home for the funeral bringing about the term Funeral Home. Joseph R Smolenski, Sr. owned and managed it for many years until he turned over the reins to his son, Joseph R Smolenski, Jr. in 1994.  New Hyde Park Funeral Home was sold in 2019 to the McBride family.


Next generation, Joseph R. Smolenski, III, attended NCSU and after graduation settled in Raleigh. This provided fuel for thought.  It led to the creation of the Renaissance Funeral Home which opened in 2003 on the site of the defunct Williams Funeral Service / North Raleigh Funeral Home. The site is now under the management of Joseph R. Smolenski, III.