Celebrating 50 Years

Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. The independent, family-owned funeral home is located in New Cumberland and serves families in the surrounding communities.

 

A Family Tradition Of Caring

The funeral home founders, Gil and Sondra Parthemore, have fond memories of growing up in small town New Cumberland. Gil’s introduction to funeral service began at age 15 when he started working at the cemetery cutting grass and digging graves. The couple opened their funeral home in 1969, after they purchased the home from Dr. & Mrs. (Marjorie) Carl Ervin.

 

During the early years, Gil and Sondra were the sole employees and worked together to provide services. They met with the families to make arrangements, wrote obituaries, managed viewings and services, parked cars and tended to details; all the while raising three young sons. The first floor of the home was dedicated to funeral services, while the second and third floors was reserved for family quarters.

 

Three Generations

The Parthemore’s oldest son, Gib, was nine-years-old when they opened for business. He immediately became interested in the business, as did his younger brothers, Bruce and Steve. After attending college and graduating from mortuary school, Gib and Bruce joined the staff of the funeral home in 1984. Later in 1989, Steve joined his brothers and became a funeral director with the home. In 1998, Gil passed the torch to sons, Gib and Steve, who were named Supervisor and president, respectively.

 

“In the beginning, when the boys first began working at the funeral home, people would call and always wanted to speak to the ‘old man,’ recalls Sondra. “Now they ask for one of the boys. It feels good to know that our community has confidence in the next generation.” That confidence also extends to the third generation of Parthemores. Grandson, Gibby Parthemore became the third generation licensed funeral director to join the home in 2018.

 

Dedicated to Serving

Over the past five decades the Parthemores have held the firm belief that dignity, compassion and professionalism were of utmost importance to the families they served. This dedication to helping people who have suffered a loss is shared by all of the staff members who have been a part of the funeral home.

 

The history of husband and wife working side by side repeated when Joanna, Gib’s wife joined the staff as Administrative Assistant in 2005. Dealing with an unorthodox work schedule is one of the challenges of being married to a funeral director. “My mother-in-law did forewarn me,” recalls Joanna, “But I just didn’t realize how much help we’d need along the way to manage the demands of raising a family. Our friends and family have been a tremendous help over the years.”

 

Many dedicated employees have worked alongside the family for decades. “We owe much of our success to all of our staff,” said Steve Parthemore. “Yvonne Sersch, our Office Manager since 2013, is a perfect example. We knew immediately at the start of the job interview that she would be great.” Yvonne explained, “I was familiar with Parthemore Funeral Home. My family had used the funeral home for services in the past and we knew them through sports and community activities. Making the decision to accept the job was easy. I take pride in my job, and I feel very blessed for the opportunity to help families every day.”

 

Community & Recognition

Throughout their history, Parthemore Funeral Home has continued its commitment to community service and professional excellence. Over the years, the funeral directors and staff have devoted time to coaching little league, playing in the town band and serving on community boards.

 

Everyone has a cause that’s close to their hearts. Since 1993, Gib has been involved with the West Shore School District by serving as a dedicated member of the PTO, the school board and the West Shore Foundation Board. Bruce is a member of Caring Hearts Pet Therapy and Alliance of Therapy Dogs and volunteers time visiting the elderly and children. Steve is a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team and volunteers at the Highmark Caring Place. Gibby is active with the Harrisburg Young Professionals and the New Cumberland Business & Professional Group.

 

Most recently, Gibby headed up a community event to celebrate the funeral home’s 50th anniversary. Parthemore Funeral Home partnered with Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg and Trinity United Methodist’s youth group during New Cumberland’s Community Day to giveaway 70 bikes. New helmets, locks & bike registration were provided, courtesy of Parthemore Funeral Home.

 

“It has been so gratifying that over the years, our community has recognized our contributions,” said Bruce Parthemore. “We’ve been recognized by readers of Senior News and the Sentinel newspaper, as well as Harrisburg Magazine’s “Simply The Best” funeral home for the past 13 years.”

 

They are a longstanding members of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association and the International Order of the Golden Rule (IOGR). IOGR, an “invitation only” professional organization includes 1,200 independent funeral homes that are guided in their business practices by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

 

Changes Over the Years

 

Originally built in 1928, the funeral home remains a landmark in New Cumberland. Throughout the last five decades, the facility has been expanded and improved. In 1986, the building was expanded to include a spacious chapel for services, handicap ramp, merchandise selection areas and a private arrangement room. More recently in 2017, the chapel and foyer were redecorated, to make the rooms more comfortable and spacious. In keeping with their commitment to provide full service, state of the art, professional offerings to the community, the Parthemores will be adding their very own Tribute Center and Crematory in the very near future.

 

In addition to physical changes at the funeral home, the Parthemores have also continually expanded and updated the types of services that they offer to families. The funeral service is an important first step in the healing process. Some families prefer more traditional services, while other opt for more personalized, contemporary options. Whether choosing a cemetery burial, cremation or green burial, the funeral home is able to plan a service that honors the family’s loved one.

 

Even though commemorating the life of a loved one is a very intimate event, Parthemore Funeral Home is able to blend in the latest technology to help tell the story of the person’s life and share memories with family and friends. Social media and the funeral home’s website play a big part in sharing memories. Parthemore also offers the ability for families to webcast services, so that those who are not able to attend can do so remotely.

 

The one thing that hasn’t changed in the past 50 years, is Parthemore’s commitment being a part of the fabric of the community that they serve by providing a Family Tradition of Caring.

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