An immigrant from Germany, Frank Wilhelm Polke was first known in his Bridgeport community for his talent in cabinet-quality carpentry. Along with his son, Frank Michael Polke, they started the Frank Polke and Son Furniture Company. It was the late 1800s, and local funeral directors were contracting them to build fine-quality wood caskets. They soon recognized the growing need for funeral care within their community.
With the encouragement of their many friends, the Frank Polke and Son Undertakers were founded in 1890. The original location, next door to their home, was in the East End of Bridgeport. In 1911, the founder's daughter, Theresa Polke started with the firm. She was a bookkeeper and was responsible for various tasks throughout her 56 years of service.
In keeping with the needs of their client families, they moved to a location in the South End of Bridgeport. In 1938, the business was moved again to the heart of the West End of Bridgeport. A former rectory, it was a grand old home with ample parking for visitors. In 1969, the funeral home was extensively expanded to better serve the facility's needs.
Frank M. Polke's daughter, Rose Polke Stehle, would join the family business in the late 1930s as a secretary and funeral director. Two of her children, Frank S. Polke and Frances Stehle Dolny started with the firm in 1940. Rose's third child, Emil Stehle joined in 1958. The family's excellent reputation for funeral care spurred rapid business growth.
In 1975, Frank M. Polke, the son of Frank S. Polke joined the business. The great, great-grandson of the founder would later go on to own and operate the funeral home. There was a growing need for a new location so in 2005 a new business plan was created to merge with Kevin Lesko, Frank and Kevin worked together to create the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home. After the merger, all operations were centralized to a Fairfield Center location, and the West End facility was shut down. In 2019, the 6th generation of the Polke family, Stephanie Marie Polke joined her father to continue the business. For 18 years, the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home continued to serve families in the area with all of their funeral needs.
With the two having different business models of how to best serve their families, the Lesko & Polke franchise was dissolved in 2023. The Frank Polke & Son Funeral Home was then relocated to the present location of 39 South Benson Road in Fairfield.
The caring and experienced professionals at Frank Polke & Son Funeral Home are here to support you through this difficult time. We offer a range of personalized services to suit your family’s wishes and requirements. You can count on us to help you plan a personal, lasting tribute to your loved one. And we’ll carefully guide you through the many decisions that must be made during this challenging time.
You are welcome to call us at any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience. We also provide a wealth of information here on our website so you can learn more from the privacy of your own home.