State Funeral Homes Honored With National Awards For Excellence

Press release from Connecticut Funeral Directors Association:

Sept. 23, 2020

Nine (9) Connecticut funeral homes have earned 2020 Pursuit of Excellence Awards from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). All are members of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association (CFDA). The national award is presented by NFDA annually to firms that have demonstrated a commitment to raising the bar on funeral service excellence by adhering to strict ethical and professional standards and providing outstanding service to families and communities.

Only 141 funeral homes in the world are being recognized with a 2020 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award for innovative community service programs, dynamic public relations efforts and professional integrity.

The Connecticut recipients are:

  • B.C. Bailey Funeral Home in Wallingford;
  • Carmon Community Funeral Homes in Windsor**;
  • Carpino Funeral Home in Southbury;
  • D’Esopo East Hartford Memorial Chapel in East Hartford**;
  • D’Esopo Funeral Chapel in Wethersfield**;
  • Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Burritt Hill in New Britain**;
  • Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Newington Memorial in Newington**;
  • Howard K. Hill Funeral Services in New Haven; and
  • Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home in Stamford.

(**Previously inducted into the NFDA Hall of Excellence)

This year, Howard K. Hill Funeral Services of New Haven also was inducted into the NFDA Hall of Excellence, an honor bestowed upon NFDA-member funeral homes who receive their 10th Pursuit of Excellence Award. In addition, two longtime NFDA Hall of Excellence Awardees, D’Esopo East Hartford Memorial Chapel in East Hartford and D’Esopo Funeral Chapel in Wethersfield, were presented with their 20th Pursuit of Excellence Awards.

“This has been a challenging year for funeral homes,” said NFDA Director of Public Relations Jessica Koth, who manages the Pursuit of Excellence Award program. “The Pursuit of Excellence Work Group was very impressed with the quality of this year’s entries and all that funeral homes have been able to accomplish during the pandemic. The funeral homes that NFDA is recognizing with the Pursuit of Excellence Award have truly earned it this year.”

To earn an NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award, a funeral home must demonstrate proficiency in key areas of funeral service, including: compliance with state and federal regulations; staff participation in ongoing education and professional development; offering outstanding programs and resources to bereaved families; maintaining an active level of involvement in the community; active participation in and service to the funeral service profession; and promoting funeral home services through a variety of marketing, advertising and public relations programs. Participants are also required to adhere to a Pledge of Ethical Practices.

The 131-year-old Connecticut Funeral Directors Association is comprised of funeral directors at more than 220 funeral homes. Based in Wethersfield, Conn., the professional organization is committed to the promotion and advocacy of high ethical standards in funeral service. This includes the development and presentation of ongoing professional training opportunities for practitioners and educational programs for association members and the public. For more information about the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association or its holiday collection drive, call 860-721-0234 or 800-919-2332, or visit or Connecticut Funeral Directors Association.

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the U.S. and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. It offers funeral professionals comprehensive education resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

This press release was produced by Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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