We are here to help.Contact an Advisor
If Wade Memorial Chapel is considered a staple in Lake View Cemetery, Wayne and Martha Bifano would not be far behind. Longtime Lake View Cemetery docents, the Bifanos share their extensive knowledge, storytelling, and love of Wade Chapel and Lake View with visitors, educating thousands of people a year.
The Bifanos’ passion for Lake View is steeped in Wayne’s family history going all the way back to 1902 when Wayne’s grandfather immigrated from Italy to be a stonecutter at Lake View. “Growing up, Lake View was never a sad place,” Wayne shares. “My father called it his earthly paradise.”
Wayne spent his vocation as a Latin teacher, and when he retired from his career in education, he and Martha knew they wanted to do something new. In retirement, Wayne and Martha found their new calling. It was the perfect opportunity combine their love of Lake View Cemetery, history, and education.
In their 16 years at Lake View, Wayne started to do substantial research on Louis Tiffany and glass mosaics. His research turned into a recently published book The Wade Chapel: A Story of Art, Spirit and Family. “Martha and I have been partners on many levels in 52 years of marriage,” Wayne fondly shares. “Everything in the book passed through Martha’s eyes.”
Wayne and Martha have also passed down their love of Lake View to their children, and visit Lake View when they come to Cleveland. The visit usually includes “a hunk of pizza or cannoli from Little Italy” and a walk up the hill to visit their grandparents who are buried on the side of a hill overlooking Little Italy. Wayne and Martha, too, plan to be interred in the community mausoleum. “I used to laugh at my dad when he would tell me he would be buried right near President Garfield, and he was right!” Wayne shares with a laugh. “This place is a part of our family, our history, our lives,” Wayne and Martha share. “And we are honored to share it with others.”
Our Proud Partners & Sponsors