OUTLOOK 2021: 4th generation of McGonigle family serving area families

SHARON – Since 1897, the McGonigle family has been providing funeral service in Western Pennsylvania. Now in its fourth generation of operation with locations in Sharon and New Castle, J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., has grown to become one of the leading funeral service providers in Pennsylvania, serving more than 450 families annually.

Over the past 123 years in business, their objective has remained the same. Provide the communities they serve with the highest level of service, professionalism and dignity, while offering exceptional facilities, vehicles and service options to fit the needs of all.

Their business, like many others, faced numerous challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus. The primary challenge they looked to address was remaining readily available to the families they serve, and serving them in such a way to preserve the health and safety of their clients and staff. Additionally, they remained dedicated to providing families the opportunity to commemorate their loved ones with an end-of-life service, while still abiding by state guidelines and CDC safety recommendations.

During this pandemic, McGonigle’s continued to offer a full line of cremation, memorial, funeral, green burial, and celebration-of-life services to accommodate the needs and preferences of all families.

A popular and substantial change in the funeral industry is pre-arranged funerals, a method by which one can put their final wishes in writing and have funds put aside to cover expenses. The money is placed in an irrevocable insurance policy or annuity that can only be used for funeral expenses.

The staff at McGonigle Funeral Home is equipped to ease the burden of grief in securing the necessary authorizations and permits; filling for Social Security and Veterans Administration benefits; and acquiring and organizing information for the obituary. The funeral home also presents each family with professionally laminated obituaries so that they can retain a permanent record of the meaningful life events of their loved ones.

In response to the social gathering obstacles presented by the pandemic, McGonigle’s have created additional service options to address capacity issues, social distancing, and include family members facing travel restrictions.

McGonigle’s now offers both on-site and off-site livestreaming and video recording options. Their livestreaming services are broadcast via the company Facebook page, and the access link to view the streamed services is located at the top of the funeral home website homepage. For families who prefer not to broadcast live, but would like the service uploaded for viewing the following day, the funeral home has created a YouTube channel where previously recorded services may be viewed at any time. The link to access the YouTube channel is also at the top of the funeral home website homepage. Video recording and livestream services are only conducted upon request of the family and with their consent.

By expanding their services to new environments and using modern technology, their firm was able to provide families with dignified and professionally conducted end of life services throughout the past year.

By investing in a customized tent and display platform, the McGonigle’s were able to conduct outdoor services throughout the summer months. The tent and platform, with the addition of floral pieces and photographs create a meaningful and dignified setting for a funeral or memorial service to take place outdoors at a cemetery.

Their experienced team of directors and staff are readily available to explain these new service options, and assist families in safely memorializing their loved one. They believe no funeral is celebrated the same way. Each service is designed, planned and tailored according to the unique needs and preferences of each individual and their families.

J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory has six state-licensed funeral directors on staff:

• J. Bradley McGonigle III – company president and supervisor of the Sharon funeral home

• Karen McGonigle – company secretary and treasurer and pre-need funeral counselor

• Martin McGonigle II – company vice president and supervisor of the New Castle funeral home

• Benjamin Tate – a funeral director specializing in at-need and pre-need funeral arrangements

• Christopher Kingman – a funeral director, Embalmer and Crematory Operation Administrator

• Michael Geramita – a funeral director, embalmer, at-need funeral arrangement counselor, and crematory operator

Other members of their full-time staff play an integral role in assisting the funeral directors in serving families:

• Bryon Anzevino – A 2020 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, he recently passed the National and State Board Examinations and is serving as a resident intern

• Nanette Lehman – an administrative assistant specializing in insurance application, memorial printing, and state filling

• Jennifer Joint – an administrative assistant specializing in bookkeeping and state filling

• Sue Stratos – an office assistant

Other members of their team include funeral support staff Martin McGonigle Sr., Gary Jones, Sam Pompelia, Jerry Chupak and Larry Coyne.

For information on cremation, burial or funeral services; or to schedule a pre-need consultation please call 724-347-7575 or visit them online at www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com.

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