The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has launched a special awards program to honor businesses for their excellence and their contributions to the community.
The awards are considered highly prestigious, and State Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Edward Palleschi conducts an impressive ceremony to personally honor the recipient on behalf of Gov. Charlie Baker.
Palleschi visited the Carafa Family Funeral Home in Chelsea to present the Certificate of Appreciation to William R. Carafa Jr. and his daughter, Amy Carafa Almas.
There was pride, there was laughter, and even some tears of joy during the ceremony. Mr. Carafa told some witty stories during his acceptance speech, but the most heartwarming moment came when his daughter took the podium and spoke about how much the family appreciated her dad, William “Bill” Carafa Jr.
“He’s the rock of our family, really,” said Amy, her voice steeped in the sheer emotion of the moment. “And now that I’m a parent of my own, I can see what it is to work and provide for your family. Not only did he work at the funeral home, he worked 35 years at the post office to provide for us.”
One of the First Businesses in the State to Receive the Award
“It’s a great pleasure to be here today with your family and your wife, Linda, of 50 years,” Palleschi told Mr. Carafa at the outset of his remarks.
Palleschi said through the awards program the Commonwealth of Massachusetts wanted to promote businesses and basically say, “Thank you for the great job you do for your consumers and the work you do in the community. You’re really the gold standard of what we aim for with our licensees.”
Palleschi lauded the Carafa’s efforts in the community as “spectacular.” The Carafa family has been an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and local clubs, and their generosity to organizations and causes is noteworthy.
“This is a true family business and that’s just a wonderful thing,” said Palleschi. “But the longevity of the business, being around more than 120 years – that’s just incredibly impressive, and that really is the American story.”
Bill Carafa Delivers his Remarks
After speaking proudly about the family’s history of beginning and operating the funeral home, Carafa talked about his entrance into the industry.
“I got drafted into the military and after my stint in Vietnam where I was wounded twice, I got out of the service,” he said. “I took advantage of the GI Bill and somehow I did graduate from BU. Following that, I went to school at the New England Institute in Kenmore Square. I got a license and here we’ve been ever since , and I was licensed by the state in 1975.”
In a nice gesture of family pride, Mr. Carafa asked his daughter, “Would you like to say anything in appreciation of this certificate of appreciation?”
A graduate of Northeastern University, Amy Carafa Almas said she while she was working for the state, she went to school and became a licensed funeral director.
Amy said she’s learned a lot from her father, not only as a parent, but in his career.
“He’s been a great model and I can carry on this family business when you finally get to retire,” said Amy.
Edward Palleschi said, “I wasn’t prepared for this emotion, but I love it, it’s great. It’s so clear what a powerful thing the family business is.”
And what a great, highly respected business the Carafa Family Funeral Home has been for more than a century in the City of Chelsea.