In 1926, Bernard Stanley Skaja saw the need for a full-service funeral home to serve the families of his community; with that need, he founded Skaja Funeral Homes. Following his death in 1949, the business was temporarily run by Bernard's wife Helen, and his eldest daughter, Dorothy. Bernard, Jr. ("Bud") entered the business in 1951 and ran all operations until his brothers completed their education and in turn entered into the business. J. Mitchell ("Mickey") in 1953 was the first to enter, followed by John ("Jack") in 1961, E. James ("Jim") in 1965, and finally Lawrence ("Larry") in 1967.
In 1965 the family expanded the funeral home operation and built the Skaja Terrace Funeral Home at 7812 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Niles, Illinois; the family also later ran a funeral home in Chicago's Ukranian Village. In 1985, the original Skaja Funeral Home moved from its location at Belmont and Lawndale in Chicago and became Skaja Stanley Funeral Home at 3060 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. Six years later, in 1991, the Skajas expanded once again to the Northwest suburb of Crystal Lake and opened the Skaja Bachmann Funeral Home at 7715 W. Route 14.
In 1986, a third generation of Skajas began entering into the business, beginning with Bud's eldest son, Bernard Stanley Skaja III ("Buddy, Jr."). In 1990, Jack's son, John Jr., and Mickey's son, Brian, became licensed funeral directors. The family business continued to grow as Jim's son, Eric, joined the practice in 1994. Throughout the years, our core staff may have changed, but our family and our values and integrity has remained as strong as ever.
For over 85 years Skaja Funeral Homes has offered its families the very best service available by remaining true to the old fashioned way of doing business: treat everyone as if they were family. Skaja Funeral Homes remains poised to take that tradition well into the 21st Century.