June 2017

June 2017


Congratulations To Our Founder - Gil Parthemore!

It was a big month for our founder, Gil Parthemore. This spring he was honored at the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association (PFDA) annual conference for 50 years of dedicated professional service. He was presented with a plaque from PFDA at our employee appreciation dinner on May 20th. Following that award, the New Cumberland Lions Club presented Gil with an award for 50 years of membership. Congratulations on both awards Gil!


Personalizing A Funeral

Gone are the days of routine funeral services and memorials. Carbon copy services don’t offer as much solace or comfort to grieving families and friends, compared with services that honor the unique individuals that have died. In recent years, funeral services and memorials have become personalized affairs that pay tribute to the uniqueness of each person.

There are a number of ways that a family can personalize funeral or memorial services. Displaying a collection of photos and favorite items of the deceased helps others connect with shared memories and stories. Families may also choose to have a loved one’s favorite music play or create a slideshow of pictures and video that will play during the memorial. Displaying photos and other personalizations help to generate reminiscing and storytelling, allowing family members to hear stories they may not have heard before. Sharing memories creates a bond and honors the memory of the person.

Personalizing a funeral doesn’t have to end with the service. Items such as caskets and urns can also be personalized. Customized wraps for caskets can display anything from your loved one’s favorite baseball team to their life-long hobby. Recently, actress Carrie Fisher’s family chose her prized possession, an oversized, antique Prozac pill as her urn. If these examples are too extreme, you can personalize more items such as thank you cards, readings or programs that reflect your loved one’s personality.

The sky really is the limit in terms of personalizing a funeral. If you have an idea for personalization, talk with your funeral director about it to see if it’s feasible. Even better, if you know how you would want to personalize your own funeral, make an appointment to make pre-arrangements so you know that you are remembered in the way you want to be remembered.


Did He Die, Pass Away, or Depart This Earthly Life?

How We Describe Death Has Evolved Over The Years

Discussing death has always been a delicate topic, especially when it comes to crafting obituaries for loved ones. Over the years obituaries have evolved, shaped by society’s customs and the evolution of the language used to describe death in obituaries.

How we describe death today differs greatly from hundreds of years ago. This reflects not only the fact that attitudes towards death have changed, but also the prevalence of modern day causes of death. Back in the pre-1850’s many obituaries described death in euphemistic phrases like “slain by enemy” or “breathed her soul away into her Savior’s arms.”

The language of obituaries can be divided into three broad categories: polite euphemisms, transcendent experiences, and “there’s more to the story” style. Polite euphemisms are a gentle way to talk about death without mentioning the “d-word.” Transcendent experiences involve using religious or spiritual terms to define death. The “there’s more to the story” style-obituaries are similar to polite euphemisms in that they don’t explicitly state how someone died. This option is often used in times of sensitive topics such as overdose or suicide.



Long Time Friend Carries Out An Unusual Tribute At MLB Ballparks

Finding a special way to pay tribute to someone who has died helps friends and family focus on memories and work through the grieving process. One man found a very unusual way to celebrate the life of his plumber friend.

Tom McDonald and Roy Riegel were childhood friends who shared a deep love of Major League Baseball. When Roy passed, Tom originally planned to scatter bits of Roy’s ashes at different baseball stadiums across the country. His first attempt to scatter his friend at PNC Park proved to be ineffective when a gust of wind swirled Roy’s ashes. McDonald next traveled to the Metrodome in Minneapolis, but the indoor stadium proved to be a less than ideal place.

Inspiration struck when Mr. McDonald went to use the restroom at an Irish pub near the Metrodome. What better way to honor his friend than to combine his lifetime career as a plumber with his lifetime love of baseball. McDonald decided to flush bits of his friend’s remains down the toilets at various MLB stadiums.

To date, Mr. McDonald has “honored” his friend at 16 stadiums across the country. He keeps a journal entry for each location. Mr. McDonald realizes this method of honoring his friend may seem weird to some but he knows that it is the perfect way to honor the personality and humor of his long-time friend.


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