Press Release


Metro New York Funeral Director Honored

For Years Of Service

Anyone who remembers comedian Red Buttons will recall one of his running gags. He would mention the name of a famous person and add that person’s claim to fame. Then, after a pause for effect, he delivered the anticipated punch line that the person “never got a dinner.”

Until now, the same could have been said about Annette Wolfe.

During 1979, Wolfe and husband Buddy, along with many others, forged ahead with her idea for an outing of golf and tennis followed by dinner to raise funds to support the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association, Inc. (MetFDA). Several weeks ago, on Thursday, May 24, at the 33rd annual outing renamed the Buddy Wolfe Classic, Annette Wolfe of Corona, Queens, finally received her much-deserved congratulatory dinner along with many accolades for her years of service to the association and to the industry on a national level.

The outing and celebration were held at Port Washington’s North Hempstead Country Club.

The first outing arranged by Wolfe proved that women could effectively organize and promote the most successful endeavor the association had undertaken up to that time. Her idea quickly became the annual classic and last year it delivered a $50,000 profit.

Over the years, the proceeds from the classic have helped MetFDA support continuing education seminars for funeral directors, produce its monthly newsletter and assist members with the many issues they face on a daily basis within the industry. The association also maintains three resource centers for members, consumers and for advocacy on behalf of the industry.

50 Years Of Service

After about 50 years in the business, Wolfe remains active with various industry associations. She also continues in her role as a consultant for The Whitmore Group, the Garden City full-service insurance agency that provides coverage for the funeral business. About 25 years ago, it was Wolfe who presented James Metzger, Whitmore’s founder, CEO and chairman, with the opportunity to service the local industry.

At Wolfe’s request, Metzger had delivered immediate support for a friend’s funeral business that needed property and casualty insurance. Wolfe stated that one of her assets is a big mouth and that she told everyone about Metzger.

At this year’s Buddy Wolfe Classic, all MetFDA members and personal friends who have benefitted from Wolfe’s vision, her hard work, her commitment and her friendship – plus her outspoken style – had the opportunity to express their gratitude and join in the celebration of her success.

“It was a great outing and evening celebration to honor a woman who has done so much for the funeral industry and for me personally,” said Metzger. “All of us owe so much to Annette for opening the doors of opportunity, for our success within the industry and for the personal friends we have made along the way. This was a great way to celebrate and thank Annette.”

Funeral industry dignitaries who celebrated with Wolfe included Bea Lewunduski, president of the New York State Funeral Directors Association (NYSFDA); Bonnie McCullough, NYSFDA executive director; Dick Hazard, NYSFDA past president; Bill Butler, president of the Nassau/Suffolk Funeral Directors Association (NSFDA); Jo Pettit, NSFDA executive director; and Doug Brueggeman, NSFDA Past President.

Peter DeLuca, co-chair of this year’s Buddy Wolfe Classic, offered a tribute to Annette Wolfe and shared with friends and colleagues her long passion and service to the national and local funeral industry. The success of this year’s annual outing is credited to Mr. DeLuca, event co-chair John D’Arienzo and Bob Hogan, president of the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association.