About Us | Daniel R. Smolarek
Funeral Home

History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know that we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

The Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home is a family business steeped in tradition. Its rich heritage reflects the value and vision of a respected family, well known for its commitment to excellence.

Its founder, Daniel R. Smolarek, graduated first in his class from the Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, in 1959. Classmates, professors and the general public all took early note of the tireless dedication and passion young Daniel possessed in providing families with outstanding funeral service.

The Smolarek family funeral tradition began in 1960 when Dan, along with wife Pat, opened their first funeral home on historic Broadway at the Cheektowaga-Buffalo City Line. From this accessible location, they were able to conveniently serve families in Buffalo, Cheektowaga-Sloan and bordering suburbs.

As the business grew, it became evident that an additional funeral home was needed to properly accommodate and complement the families being served in the community. To fulfill this necessity, a brand-new second funeral home location was then built on Union Road in Cheektowaga, near both the West Seneca and Depew borders. This elegant facility, with its ideal central location, further expanded the Smolarek tradition. Together, both funeral homes have come to symbolize the finest in facilities and personalized family service in the region.

The tradition continues as the next generation of the Smolarek family takes its place in the business. Sons Daniel Jr. and Scott, along with licensed director Lauren LeRoy, strongly uphold the family ideals, principles and personal attention to detail that families have come to expect. It is this strong family bond that qualifies Smolarek Funeral Home to care for the funeral needs of any family with both competence and compassion.

With an astute vision toward the future, Smolarek Funeral Home will always remain informed and decisive with the ability to proudly continue…… a time~honored tradition.


Our Valued Staff

Daniel L. Smolarek

Daniel L. Smolarek, President/Licensed Director


Lauren K. Polanski

Lauren K. Polanski, Licensed Director/Manager

Lauren K. Polanski (married name LeRoy) is a Licensed Funeral Director in New York State. She graduated Cum Laude in 2010 with her AOS in Funeral Service from the New England Institute at Mount Ida College. Lauren resides in Cheektowaga, NY with her husband Josiah and black lab, Lindy Ruff.


Joseph Mazurkiewicz

Joseph Mazurkiewicz, Funeral Associate

Joe has been with the Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home for over 30 years. He is an Exempt Member of the Depew Fire Department Central Hose Co. #4. He currently resides in Depew with his wife.


Keith A. Wesolek

Keith A. Wesolek, Funeral Associate

Keith A. Wesolek has been with the Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home since 2006. He is currently enrolled at the American McAllister Institute to become a Licensed Funeral Director. Keith resides in the Village of Depew and is a Polka enthusiast, Buffalo/Sloan history buff and Sabres fan.


Carol Hills

Carol Hills, Funeral Associate

Carol has worked part time for the Smolarek Funeral Home since 2010. She grew up in Cheektowaga and attended St. Andrew's school and Church. She enjoys meeting and assisting the families and reconnecting with some from the old neighborhood. She enjoys music, concerts, dance, theatre and winter. She currently lives in Alden with her husband.


Ray Barsukiewicz

Ray Barsukiewicz, Funeral Associate

Ray Barsukiewicz is a retired businessman who joined the Smolarek team in 2013. He and his wife Gerrie are members of Our Lady of Czestochowa parish, and live in West Seneca along with their dog, Cosmo. Ray is also an accomplished musician, well known in the Polka music community, both locally and nationally. A lifelong resident of Western New York, Ray often sees friends and acquaintances attending funerals, and makes every effort to assist them during these difficult times.


Dave LeRoy

Dave LeRoy, Funeral Associate

Dave LeRoy has been with the Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home since 2014 after he retired from Niagara Frontier Transit. He belongs to the Chapel at Crosspoint and resides in Cheektowaga, NY with his wife Lori and daughter Jamie. Dave is a Buffalo Sabres fan, avid reader and enjoys Classical and Jazz music.