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In the late 1930’s a young man from an immigrant family would take vegetables to market from a farm in St. Francis to the Third Ward in Milwaukee by horse and cart. The route was Kinnickinnic Avenue and each day on the route, he would pass by a well established funeral home in Bay View. One day on his return trip he stopped in the funeral home and asked if they had any part time evening work available. He was hired to maintain the funeral home’s extensive automotive fleet. That young man was Norbert R. Witkowiak. . . . as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Norbert (everyone called him “Norbie”) Witkowiak worked at the funeral home in Bay View until entering the U.S. Army at the start of WWII. After being injured in the war, he was discharged and came back to Milwaukee and attended the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science. Upon graduation he applied for the position of “Chief of Staff of Embalming” and was selected from over 600 applicants nationwide. He re-entered the army and went to Europe as Chief of Staff eventually attaining the rank of Major. Upon returning from WWII, he married Dorothy O’Connell and went to work for Tadych Funeral Home on 5th and Mitchell. Following the untimely death of Willie Tadych, Norbert purchased the funeral home in 1949.
Norbert and Dorothy had two children, Carol and James and in 1988 James (“Jim”) Witkowiak purchased the funeral home from his father. Norbert passed away in February of 1995.
Today the funeral home proudly remains on West Historic Mitchell Street serving families of all races and creeds in the Greater Milwaukee area.
“We are proud to be a well established integral part of the business community and the neighborhood of Greater Historic Mitchell Street”