In June of 1931, Charles A. Edenbach Sr. was granted a license as an Undertaker from the City of Newport after graduating from the McAllister School of Embalming in New York City. In 1932, Charles A. Edenbach Sr., established his storefront funeral business at 89 Broadway. In 1936 he relocated to 375 Broadway into a new building. He and his wife Loretta Sullivan Edenbach designed and built the funeral home and it is believed to be one of the first to be built for this purpose in Rhode Island.
Mr. Edenbach Sr. was a visionary in many ways, being most notable was his creation of the colonial styled structure specifically created “to provide family and friends a means to pay the finest tribute to the memory of their loved one, without hardship”. His creation of this “home for funerals” was quite a new idea in the mid 1930’s, as funerals in that era were usually conducted from the family home.
The funeral home structure itself was so advanced and complete when built, that it served the needs of the Newport community for more than 50 years before any significant changes were warranted. In the late 1980’s, Mr. Edenbach’s sons, Charles Jr. and Robert, paid tribute to their mother and father by extensively renovating the funeral home and dedicating a new funeral chapel to their memory.
CHARLES A. EDENBACH, JR.
In 1964 Mr. Edenbach’s son, Charles A. Edenbach, Jr., joined his father as a licensed funeral director after graduating from Holy Cross College and receiving his funeral director training at the New England Institute. Charlie, or Toddy as he was known by family and childhood friends, lived in the funeral home with his young family and they and the business grew with his brother Robert S. Edenbach joing him in the family funeral home. Over his forty years in funeral service, Charlie worked tirelesly to help those through difficult times, and giving of his own time and energy. Outside of the funeral home, he was a board member and campaign chair for the Newport County YMCA and a fixture at the Newport Lions Club events. Charlie leaves his wife Joan Egan Edenbach, and four children, Christine, Charles III, Kurt and John. Over the years, he enjoyed many adventures and travels, he lived by the mantra, “work hard and play hard”, often escaping on a sailboat, skiing, or a vaction with friends to explore the world. Often taking the road less travelled, he enjoyed learning from the local residents, often stopping to ask for some advice or just to hear a story.