Now I know for some of you, just the thought of a funeral home may be a bit spooky, and I’ll be honest, funeral homes used to kind of creep me out too. But when I was introduced to the Felix H. Morales Funeral Home, that all changed. This majestic white building on Canal Street, built in 1931, is an impressive structure by itself, but when you learn of the history behind it, you realize that it’s a true Houston treasure.
Felix Morales and his wife Angela moved to Houston in 1931 to open their own funeral home, and thus the magnificent building was constructed. It became the first Hispanic-owned funeral home in Houston, and Angela became the first woman in all of Harris County to receive a funeral director and embalming license. Felix and Angela not only offered a dignified place for Hispanics to hold funerals for their loved ones, but they were an inspiration in the Latino community and paved the way for other Hispanic businesses. The funeral home wasn’t the only business for the Moraleses either. The couple headed Houston’s first Spanish-language radio station, KLVL-AM, and for over two decades, the station’s studio sat right next to the funeral home.
The two buildings have been restored and are both in great condition, despite their advanced ages. Completely restored in 1992, the funeral home is simply stunning, from its grand exterior defined by huge columns which greet you as you enter, to its beautiful interior highlighted by awe inspiring vaulted ceilings, chandeliers and antique furniture. The pioneering radio studio, a smaller, more intimate space, recently had new life breathed into it when it was renovated and rechristened in 2015.
Next Wednesday, March 22nd you’ll have the chance to tour them both at The Heritage Society’s See Interesting Places (SIP) Series event. I’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s so great about the Morales Funeral Home, but Christina Morales, granddaughter of Felix and Angela and current President of the funeral home, and Houston historian Mike Vance will be there on Wednesday to speak in depth about the history of the funeral home and the radio station. Christina, one of my favorite Houstonians, is also a dedicated servant leader with whom I had the privilege to work on Mayor Turner’s Quality of Life committee for his transition. She also serves on the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board. She is renowned for her city involvement, philanthropy, and keen business insight into Houston as a city that takes quality of life seriously as a form of economic development.
I, for one, can’t wait to revisit Morales Funeral Home with the Heritage Society!
You can find more information and purchase tickets to the event here.This entry was posted in Recognize, Rediscover, Revisit
- Angela Morales
- Christina Morales
- Felix H. Morales Funeral Home
- Felix Morales
- Morales Funeral Home
- See Interesting Places Series
- SIP Series
- The Heritage Society