Obituaries

Priscilla Griffin
B: 1927-09-26
D: 2017-10-14
View Details
Griffin, Priscilla
Betty Yelles
B: 1929-05-24
D: 2017-10-12
View Details
Yelles, Betty
Linda Nemchik
B: 1950-11-01
D: 2017-10-10
View Details
Nemchik, Linda
Warren D. Eberwine
B: 1935-06-15
D: 2017-10-06
View Details
Eberwine, Warren D.
Francis Rieg
B: 1943-08-23
D: 2017-09-30
View Details
Rieg, Francis
Edwin Erkinger
B: 1922-11-30
D: 2017-09-28
View Details
Erkinger, Edwin
Ann-Margaret Weaver
B: 1964-05-16
D: 2017-09-27
View Details
Weaver, Ann-Margaret
Barbara Kerstetter
B: 1941-10-18
D: 2017-09-27
View Details
Kerstetter, Barbara
Josephine "Jo Jo" Hanisits
B: 1920-12-09
D: 2017-09-25
View Details
Hanisits, Josephine "Jo Jo"
Ateya Moussa
B: 1954-07-15
D: 2017-09-24
View Details
Moussa, Ateya
Madeline Messina
B: 1924-08-15
D: 2017-09-24
View Details
Messina, Madeline
Anna M. Capkovic
B: 1925-08-04
D: 2017-09-22
View Details
Capkovic, Anna M.
Noha Azar
B: 1939-08-27
D: 2017-09-20
View Details
Azar, Noha
Lillian C. Wichmann
B: 1931-09-18
D: 2017-09-18
View Details
Wichmann, Lillian C.
Naila Safi
B: 1943-04-27
D: 2017-09-17
View Details
Safi, Naila
Mary Whitehead
B: 1933-06-11
D: 2017-09-17
View Details
Whitehead, Mary
Lois Deutsch
B: 1932-11-07
D: 2017-09-13
View Details
Deutsch, Lois
Angelo Palmisano
B: 1941-09-08
D: 2017-09-11
View Details
Palmisano, Angelo
Naoma Morgan
D: 2017-09-11
View Details
Morgan, Naoma
Joseph Ponaski
B: 1953-08-30
D: 2017-09-07
View Details
Ponaski, Joseph
Edward J. Gunkel
B: 1923-06-12
D: 2017-09-07
View Details
Gunkel, Edward J.

Search

Use the form above to find your loved one. You can search using the name of your loved one, or any family name for current or past services entrusted to our firm.

Click here to view all obituaries
Search Obituaries
502 Ridge Avenue
Allentown, PA 18102
Phone: (610) 434-9349
Fax: (610) 434-3352

What is a Funeral?

All we need to do is say the word "funeral" and within microseconds, you have an image in your mind of what a funeral looks like. This mental image comes from many sources: the geographical place, culture and society in which we live; our faith; our life experience. Obviously then, a funeral service in Borneo would look very different from one held in Tanzania; there are even significant differences between the funerals held in ethnically and/or geographically diverse regions of North America.

Yet, despite the differences, these funeral services have much in common. We invite you to read further to learn the really simple answer to the question "what is a funeral?" Should you have questions about what you read here, we encourage you to call us at (610) 434-9349. One of our funeral professionals will be delighted to explore the commonalities behind the wide spectrum of funeral ceremonies seen around the world.

What Makes a Funeral?

No matter where it's held, a funeral is a structured ceremony, with a beginning, middle and end. Each is intended to engage the living participants in activities which will transform their status within the community, provide mourners with a collective grieving experience, and celebrate a life lived. It's a socially-acceptable way for members of a community to re-affirm and express their social attachments.

Anthropologists label a funeral as a rite of passage, which affects everyone involved–including the deceased. His or her social status changes dramatically, from a living contributing member of the community to one whose contributions are in the past, and relegated to memory. But the status of each of the survivors– the immediate family most especially– has also changed. In fact, the funeral service can be the start of a defined period of mourning for bereaved family members, marking this transition in a uniquely identifiable way. 

It could be said then, the focus of a funeral - no matter where, no matter when - lies in acknowledging change. And without doubt, human beings (as individuals and as a community) have trouble dealing with profound changes like the death of an integral member of the group. When you take this perspective, it becomes easier to understand the importance of ceremonially acknowledging the tear in the social fabric and the symbolic restoration of its integrity.

Funeral Services in Our Area

For families and individuals living in this region (as elsewhere in the nation), a funeral service can mean many things. Some fall back on what is commonly called a "traditional funeral"; others see that same traditional service as an emotionally unfulfilling event. Fortunately, thanks to a number of unique social forces, there are alternatives. Today, end-of-life commemorative services range from the traditional funeral, to a memorial service and the increasingly popular celebrations-of-life. If you have yet to realize the immense value of such a collective acknowledgement of loss, reach out to us. Call (610) 434-9349 to speak with one of our experienced funeral service professionals.


Sources:  
Huntington, Richard and Peter Metcalf, Celebrations of Death: The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual, Cambridge University Press, 1979.


 

365 Days of Healing

Grieving doesn't always end with the funeral: subscribe to our free daily grief support email program, designed to help you a little bit every day, by filling out the form below.

52 Weeks of Support

It's hard to know what to say when someone experiences loss. Our free weekly newsletter provides insights, quotes and messages on how to help during the first year.