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20 08, 2014

Preparing a Death Checklist

Bereavement makes even ordinary tasks difficult and complicates the already complex process of arranging for a loved one’s final disposition. That’s why the staff of the John P. Donahue Funeral Home has prepared this collection of important documents and decisions that you can attend to now, before end-of-life care becomes a pressing issue. Use this simple resource to guide you through this difficult time and secure peace of mind. (more…)

8 08, 2014

Waverly Heights Founder William O’Neill Dies

The Philadelphia area lost a great professional and stalwart advocate for senior care this week. William O’Neill, aged 88, passed away on Tuesday, July 29, due to complications associated with an earlier stroke.

Mr. O’Neill was a native of Dunmore, PA, and one of nine children of Representative Harry P. O’Neill, who served 20 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for Lackawanna County before later being elected to two terms in the U.S. Congress. (more…)

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    Philadelphia Cremation vs. Burial Options – and Their Costs

2 08, 2014

Philadelphia Cremation vs. Burial Options – and Their Costs

Each family has its own set of needs and desires when saying farewell to a loved one. For some families, planning exactly the right Philadelphia burial and funeral trumps everything else. For other families, cost is a more important factor, and may drive Philadelphia families to seek affordable cremation options. Whether you’re looking for the perfect custom funeral or a modest cremation, the experienced staff at John P. Donohue Funeral Home & Cremation Services is here to help.

What are the Average Philadelphia Burial Costs?

Burial costs in Philadelphia range significantly depending on where you’re burying your loved one, how far it is from the funeral home to the cemetery, and what you choose for the casket and burial vault.

For a general sense of the range in burial costs, burial in Laurel Hill starts at $2,500 for the burial plot, while burial in Woodlands Cemetery starts at $3,400. Costs for opening the grave vary depending on the facility, but tend to start around $500 to $1,000. Transportation to the cemetery from the funeral home may be included in the funeral, or may be charged on a per-mile basis, depending on the provider and the specifics of the funeral and burial plan. (more…)

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    Things to Consider When Selecting a Philadelphia Funeral Home

28 07, 2014

Things to Consider When Selecting a Philadelphia Funeral Home

Selecting a Philadelphia funeral home is an important step in your end-of-life planning. Whether you’re planning your funeral in advance, or you’re dealing with a Philadelphia cremation or funeral due to a recent loss, you deserve compassionate care as you move through the planning process. Your funeral home of choice should be capable of managing the funeral services you require, and you should understand the funeral or cremation costs – and any documentation you sign. Keep these things in mind when choosing a greater Philadelphia funeral home: (more…)

24 07, 2014

What Does Philadelphia Funeral Pre-Planning Entail?

Funeral pre-planning in Philadelphia is a simple way to eliminate stress on your family in their time of loss, reduce funeral costs, and ensure that your wishes are honored. However, it’s common for people to neglect funeral planning while they’re alive, thinking they have more time or simply wanting to avoid the topic of death. This short-sighted approach to end-of-life planning is unfortunate; we’re all going to die, and pre-planning the funeral gives you control and enables you to reduce costs. If you’d like to take advantage of funeral planning in advance, but aren’t sure about the process, here’s what you need to know about what funeral pre-planning entails:

Your Plan can be Simple or Elaborate

You can plan end-of-life services as simply or as detailed as you like. If you feel overwhelmed or apprehensive about creating an extensive funeral plan, start by making some simple choices and conveying your wishes. You might begin by deciding whether you’d like to be cremated or buried, and where you’d like your remains to rest. Once you select burial or cremation, work with a Philadelphia funeral home to put your plan in place, making the arrangements and deciding when and how you’d like to pay. (more…)

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    Which is Better? A Comparison of National and Local Funeral Homes

2 07, 2014

Which is Better? A Comparison of National and Local Funeral Homes

Due to the steady consolidation of the funeral industry, more local, family funeral providers are being brought under the umbrella and governance of larger corporations. The most important question regarding this trend is how this affects the quality of care you receive in your end-of-life services. Which is the better choice for you and your loved ones, a local or national funeral service provider?

When you choose a family-owned funeral home to assist you in carrying out your loved one’s end-of-life wishes, you receive the expertise and knowledge of generations of experience. Funeral homes in the United States, despite recent trends, are still overwhelmingly the purview of small, individual, and family proprietors — with over 86 percent of funeral homes in operation today privately owned by families, individuals, or closely-held companies. (more…)

30 06, 2014

10 Latest Trends in Funeral Planning

As the National Museum of Funeral History shows us, funerals have evolved over time to reflect the current zeitgeist. Planning a funeral today involves a lot of the same customs that have been around since ancient times, but new trends and technology have made funeral planning much more sophisticated than ever before.

What characterizes our current period of funeral planning? Future visitors to the funeral museum will reflect on our generation’s proclivities for personalized, eco-friendly, tech savvy, and hyper-connected options. Here are ten new trends in funeral planning that are continuing to increase in popularity:

1. Preplanning funeral services. Baby Boomers are now reaching retirement age and planning for their retirement years and beyond. They are not only thinking about their finances, but also about their final wishes, end-of-life care, and legacy to future generations. Funeral preplanning has gained popularity because it gives individuals control over services and costs, as well as peace of mind that their final plans are set.  (more…)

26 05, 2014

Memorializing Memorial Day

As I drift into my “golden years” I’ve become sort of a curmudgeon. Hopefully a lovable curmudgeon like Andy Rooney, but a curmudgeon nonetheless. Mind you, I think curmudgeons are a good thing. They often bring up uncomfortable or unpopular topics in a kinder, gentler way than simply screaming at people.

A case in point is holidays. I’m all for holidays. They give us something to look forward to; a break from the routine of our lives. People generally get Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Independence Day right. What I don’t like is when holidays become a holiday from the holiday.

Confused? Consider this: I live in a college town. Both of our local universities have declared March 31st as Cesar Chavez Day. It is an official school holiday and no classes are held. Chavez was a Latino American who helped found the United Farm Workers. He and others put the plight of farm workers on a national stage. On Cesar Chavez Day people are asked to be of service to their local community. While that certainly happens at some level, a number of students don oversize sombreros and pass out on the street from drinking pitchers of Margaritas. Those students are taking a holiday from the holiday and making a mockery of the legacy of Cesar Chavez. (more…)

10 02, 2014

Burial vs. Cremation in Philadelphia: Non-Cost Factors to Consider

Cremation and burial costs are an important factor in choosing end-of-life Philadelphia services. However, cost isn’t the only factor in deciding between burial and cremation – and it’s important to consider all applicable angles of your loved one’s final disposition in order to make the right choice for your family. Besides cost, what are the factors to consider in deciding between a burial and cremation in the greater Philadelphia area?

Personal Preferences Play an Important Role in the Philadelphia Cremation Decision
People often feel strongly about end-of-life options; some hate the idea of being buried and prefer cremation, while others object to cremation and would never consider anything but burial. It’s important to convey your personal preference to your family when you have the opportunity, so if you’re pre-planning your funeral, now is the time to make the decision. For families who don’t know their loved one’s preferences, it is helpful to consult other close family members or friends, or even a spiritual advisor. If your loved one didn’t have a preference, or if you’re not aware of a preference, make your decision based on other factors.

Timing is Key in a Philadelphia Burial vs. Cremation
After personal preference, one of the most important factors in choosing between burial and cremation is timing. When you plan a burial, the service occurs as soon as possible – usually within two to three days. For families who are spread across the country, it is difficult for people who want to attend the service to get to town on such a short timeframe. If you can’t gather your family members in two or three days, or want more time to make your arrangements, cremation is a good option. A Philadelphia cremation provides you with flexibility on timing; you can have the cremation right away, and […]

20 08, 2013

Scattering Ashes After a Philadelphia Cremation

A Philadelphia cremation is only the first step in saying goodbye to a loved one. After cremation, roughly one-third of families choose to scatter the ashes in a place that was special to the loved one. With the appropriate permissions, ashes can be scattered in many beautiful places. Families looking for places to scatter ashes after a Philadelphia cremation should consider these options.

Scatter the ashes at sea
With the ocean nearby, many families scatter cremated remains at sea after a Philadelphia cremation. Several vessels offer scattering services off the shoreline of Atlantic City, New Jersey. EPA rules apply to scattering off the Jersey Shore and state that ocean scattering must be done at least three nautical miles offshore. A report must be filed with the EPA. However, the Mid-Atlantic region only requires reports for full ocean burials of corpses or coffins; cremains aren’t restricted in the same way off the Philadelphia coastline.

Scattering remains on private land
Families who would like to scatter remains on private land need two things: the permission of the landowner, and to confirm that there are no local laws prohibiting the scattering of cremated remains. In most places, families can scatter remains on private land with permission from the landowner. Few municipalities restrict scattering ashes, but it’s advisable to check with the local authorities to ensure no restrictions bar this practice.

Scattering Ashes - Philadelphia

Scattering remains in state parks
With 120 state parks in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia families have plenty of beautiful spots from which to choose a final resting place for the cremated remains of a loved one. Scattering cremated remains at Pennsylvania state parks is permitted with Bureau approval. Families should speak to the park manager of the state park they prefer, and provide details like time, date, the […]