Darien's only funeral home sold to Fairfield business, ending 127-year-old family ownership

Erica Cueto of Lesko & Polke, who recently acquired Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien, will be managing the day to day operations. The staff will remain the same.

Erica Cueto of Lesko & Polke, who recently acquired Lawrence Funeral Home in Darien, will be managing the day to day operations. The staff will remain the same.

Lesko & Polke

As to why Edward Lawrence Funeral Home’s Jed Lawrence decided it was time for a change, he gave the obvious explanation.

“I’ve been doing this since 1973,” he said, laughing. “Does that answer your question?”

The Edward B. Lawrence Undertaking Business began in New Canaan in 1893, begun by Jed Lawrence’s great grandfather. In 1931, Edward B. Lawrence’s son, Edward (Ted) Lawrence moved the business to Darien.

Eventually, the business was passed to Jed Lawrence’s father, Edward Green Lawrence. Jed began working in the family business in 1973.

As of Tuesday, Edward Lawrence Funeral Home was officially sold to Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, in Fairfield. This sale marks the end of the 127-year family ownership of Darien’s only funeral home, but the family legacy is one that the new owners can both understand and appreciate.

Kevin Lesko said his family has owned the funeral home since 1909, and the family of Michael Polke, Lesko’s partner, started their family business in 1890.

“I’ve known Jed for a number of years. I’m very aware of his business and its excellent reputation. Darien is a wonderful community and has a lot of similarities to Fairfield,” Lesko said.

“We have a lot of similarities in that we are also very old firms,” he said.

“These are our family businesses and we really believe in funeral care. We see the positive effect it has on families going through loss,” Lesko said.

He added that the staff at Lawrence Funeral Home, LLC, as it will now be called, is excellent.

“We are excited to have them continue,” he said.

Lawrence will still be at the funeral home on a part time basis. Lesko said he will continue to serve and consult at the Darien location. Lesko’s longtime associate, Erika Cueto, is a partner in the purchase, which he said was very exciting.

Cueto will be overseeing the day to day operations at Lawrence, and Lesko said he intends to be there from time to time as well.

Lawrence, a lifelong Darien resident and Darien High Class of ‘68 grad, said he is ready for a bit of a “less demanding” lifestyle as a semi-retiree.

Though he is taking a quieter work schedule, it is unlikely his life will be much less busy. He is an elder and member of Noroton Presbyterian Church, Kiwanis Club of Darien, Darien Chamber of Commerce, and the Noroton Fire Department. He also coached Darien Little League and the Darien Junior Football League. He and his wife Debbie have two adult children.

Lesko said he sees the addition of Lawrence as offering more flexibility and capacity for families’ needs. He said that many Connecticut residents move throughout the state, so both the Lesko & Polke Fairfield location and the Darien location of Lawrence can provide families who move or have relatives nearer to either facility a choice. This is especially true given the funeral homes are over 100 years old, so they have serviced many generations of families.

“It is a wonderful blend for our funeral homes to be together,” Lesko said.

“We’re just scratching the surface of the possibilities of this partnership,” he said.

To learn more about the history and business of Lesko & Polke, visit https://leskopolkefuneralhome.com/46/Pre-Planning.html.

For more on Lawrence visit:https://www.lawrencefuneralhome.com/