What does family owned and operated mean?

The words "family owned and operated" have great meaning in today's world of corporate buy-outs. Today a large number of local family owned funeral homes have been bought out by large corporate concerns. These corporations have no connection to the community and are run by some far-away corporate office. The staff and employees of these funeral homes have a responsibility to the corporate office and to the shareholders, which are more concerned with profitability than the community in which they are located. The Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home is family owned and operated. For five generations, we have been here to serve the Warwick community and we will be here tomorrow with the same compassion and caring that our firm was founded on.

The Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home is the orchestration of five generations of experience and the pursuit of excellence in meeting the needs of today's unique funeral service requests. We offer a complete range of funeral services from the most basic to the very elaborate.

What does this mean for you?

Family owned and operated means that you can expect to be treated as family. We stand ready to serve you at a very difficult time. No matter the time of day or the day of the week, our family and staff are ready to serve you. Family owned and operated is reflected in the way we conduct our business. From our well-maintained funeral facility to our informed professional staff, we want you to feel like you are one of our family. We distinguish ourselves from the corporate owned funeral home in every aspect of our business. We select only products of the highest quality and most affordable prices. From the caskets we offer to the prayer cards, you can be assured that they are of the finest quality. Our funeral professionals and staff are extensively trained to be able to respond to your needs. They are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Facility Images

Our History

  • 1876-1929

    The original undertaking establishment at 7 West Street, built by the founder, Cornelius Jones Lazear, in 1876, and later operated by Wilbur Cornelius Lazear and Cornelius Smith Lazear.
  • 1929-1949

    This building at 9 West Street was built by Cornelius S. Lazear and used by Mr. Lazear and Wilbur Lazear Smith.
  • 1949-1969

    The Lazear Funeral Home at 11 West St.
  • 1969-present

    Our current state of the art facility at 17 Oakland Avenue
  • Wilbur Cornelius Lazear

    1854 – 1921

    Wilbur Cornelius Lazear
  • Wilbur Lazear Smith

    1918 - 2002

    Wilbur Lazear Smith
  • Robert N. Smith


    Robert N. Smith
    View Obituary

Director's Bio

Experience is the key element to excellence in funeral service. At Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home our staff has an average of twenty years of experience, which along with a continued commitment to the ever-evolving requests of today's families for personalized services, pursues harmony of tradition with contemporary services for the families we serve.

Roger Vander Plaat is the owner and manager of Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, joining the firm in 1994 with Robert N. Smith and his father Wilbur Lazear-Smith.

Roger has a long history in funeral service. His great- grandfather established the first Vander Plaat Memorial Funeral Home in Garfield NJ in 1894, complete with barns for the horse drawn hearses provided for funeral services at that time. Originally from Paramus NJ, where his grandfather established the Vander Plaat Memorial Home in 1927, he spent much of the first twenty plus years of his professional life working there. During the early years of his career, he also spent time managing the former Rinaldi-De-Luccia-Vander Plaat Memorial Home near Paterson in Haledon NJ, a unique consolidation of five local funeral homes. Roger also worked in the Franklin Lakes location at Vander Plaat-Vermeulen Memorial Home and was an owner of the Vander Plaat Stickle Memorial Home in West Milford NJ. Many of these responsibilities overlapped and provided an excellent opportunity to gain a vast spectrum of experience from a variety of communities.

Most recently, Roger has concentrated all of his professional life to the Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home in Warwick, New York, where he lives with his wife Cindy and two boys.

Roger is a graduate of American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in Manhattan and is fully licensed in New York and New Jersey as a Funeral Director. He also keeps current on new information influencing funeral service through continuing education and through membership to the National Funeral Directors Association, New York Funeral Directors Association, New Jersey Funeral Directors Association, and the county associations in NY and NJ.

Roger is very proud of his background and to continue as a fourth generation funeral director. He feels his experience and calling to funeral service affords him the proper harmony necessary to provide contemporary services interwoven with valued traditions.


Social Security Administration

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Batesville Casket Company

Information about caskets and products available through your funeral director from Batesville Casket Company.

Wilbert Burial Vault

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