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Transitions are vulnerable times. Being of service to families while they are in mourning is a sacred duty, and privilege that we have been honored to perform for generations.

Thank you.

Serving you and your family has been our family's dedication.


I can’t say enough about the kind caring staff at Buklad-Merlino Hamilton. Chris was awesome with helping us deal with the loss of our father.

Kat Wah


Buklad Merlino Memorial Homes has been continuously serving families in their time of need since 1949. Our story is one of compassionate care for the deceased and their families, within our community, for generations.

Theodore Buklad opened Buklad Funeral Home in 1949. He purchased the building at 2141 South Broad Street in Hamilton NJ from Dr. Ira Leedom, which was originally built as the home of Joseph Edgar Willey, Jr. of Willey Lumber Company and Eugene S. Willey & Bros. construction contractors.

Tragically just after opening Buklad Funeral Home, Theodore's beloved wife passed away unexpectedly. Mr. Buklad poured himself into his work, serving the community in their times of grief, understanding all too well what it was like to say farewell to a loved one too soon. He developed a reputation for unparalleled quality care and attention to detail. Families that came to him knew that everything would be handled with care and compassion, that services would be elegant, and would honor their loved ones with dignity and elegance.

Eventually, Theo found love again and married his second wife Lorraine. Lorraine worked alongside him becoming a central part of Buklad Memorial Home. Together they helped countless members of their community grieve and lay their loved ones to rest.

In 1973 it was time to expand. Theo and Lorraine purchased the 30 Yardville Allentown Road location, in Yardville, NJ. With two locations to serve, more help was needed. It was in 1974 that Kenny Moore joined the Buklad Memorial Homes team.

Kenny was like a son to Theo and Lorraine. He learned every aspect of care and consideration from Theo and Lorraine and was welcomed into their family as a kindred soul. Together, Theo, Lorraine, and Kenny continued to provide for generations of their community until Theo passed away in 1986.

Lorraine and Kenny continued to serve mourners and to build Buklad Memorial Homes until Lorraine retired in 2008, and Kenny assumed ownership of Buklad Memorial Funeral Homes.

In 1997, Chris Merlino, Kenny's nephew, joined the Buklad team. Chris came to Buklad having worked with the County Medical Examiner in forensics from 1996 thru 2017. Chris's expertise and care have been cited in numerous books and articles; he is a recognized expert in his field. Chris is also a gentle and warm person with a sterling pedigree of excellence.

In 2018, Chris Merlino bought Buklad Memorial Homes from his uncle Kenny, and a new chapter began when the Merlino name was added to the landmark. Chris has recently renovated and infused new energy into the Memorial Home, modernizing the buildings while holding true to the artful and important traditions that can get lost in progress. Buklad Merlino Memorial Homes, with their continuous thread of apprenticeship, their philosophy and practice of service, have the strength and bedrock of experience and tradition, and the modern resources and comforts of the latest innovations in care.  

At the heart of Buklad Merlino Memorial Homes is family — our family, your family, and our extended family of staff. During a time when mourners are experiencing the emptiness and acute loss of their loved ones, we provide steady and reassuring support and experienced guidance.

Over many generations, we have honored the deceased and the survivors who love them with a commitment to impeccable care. And, we are honored to be a part of your family.

Our Story



When you meet Chris, the first thing that you will notice is his warm, sincere, pleasant, and comfortable demeanor. There is nothing pretentious, aloof, distracted, or frenetic about his presence. He and his family are fully engaged, listening, and able to offer experienced guidance. Talking with Chris is like talking with an old friend.

Death is not something that most people think about often, but it is part of life for everyone. Most people are uncomfortable with the thought of death altogether, so when a death occurs it can be very disorienting. Chris and the Buklad-Merlino family are here to help. They can guide you through the entire process with gentle strength, expertise, and compassion.

Chris approaches everything he does, and everyone he meets with integrity. You matter. That is why so many families choose Buklad-Merlino for their loved ones, and themselves.

Every employee of Buklad-Merlino and every family who mourns at our funeral homes is a part of the Buklad-Merlino legacy. 



Chris Merlino, a second-generation owner of Buklad-Merlino and Funeral Director, is first and foremost a family man. He is a family man when it comes to his own family, and he brings the same attention to detail and level of care to your family. That is why Buklad-Merlino has been a pillar in the community for generations, helping families lay their loved ones to rest with dignity, compassion, and respect.

Our Family
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