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May/June 2014

Dear Members,

It's ALL Right Here. PFDA CONVENTION 2014!!

Thomas Lynch & Dr. Thomas Long show you the affordable proven ways to bring better VALUE to your families that will bring fast RESULTS -- making you different and better than your competition!
 Karl Wenzel, CFSP, MBIE presents an innovative EMBALMING SEMINAR, sharing some of the MOST MODERN TECHNICAL SKILLS required for today's embalmers, including successful techniques in severe cases.

 Harold Ivan Smith, D. Min., FT shares the SIMPLE, DOABLE...EFFECTIVE TACTICS to work with the "JERRY SPRINGER" families and angry, ticked off grievers. Dr. Smith also presents a seminar for funeral directors working with families who have experienced the death of someone loved from SUICIDE.

 Edward Horton, CPA will focus on SIGNIFICANT ISSUES & TRENDS developing in funeral service and how they will AFFECT THE FINANCIAL HEALTH of funeral directors and their service to families. Ed will also discuss where there are MAJOR DIFFERENCES OF OPINION, disparities in perceptions, and changing focus for funeral directors and consumers.

June 8 – 11

Holiday Inn – Grantville

Come compare products & services & prices

8 CE credits available

Register now ...call PFDA at 1-800-692-6068
Convention Schedule of Events is enclosed
Visit www.pfda.org to find out more.

NOTICE OF PFDA ANNUAL MEETING We invite you to attend the PFDA's 2014 Annual Meeting and House of Delegates Meeting, which will be held during the annual convention on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Winners Circle Room at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey, Grantville, PA. The meeting is for PFDA members.

At the meeting members will vote upon the following matters: elections of officers for 2014-2015, election of candidates nominated by their Local Associations for position of District Governor and election of the NFDA Policy Board Member.

Your Board of Governors recommends a vote for the election of the nominees for officers, district governors, and NFDA Policy Board Member. We will also report at the annual meeting on the activities and financial status of PFDA. If you have any questions, please call the association office at 1-800-692-6068.

(1) Election of the following slate of officers for 2014-2015:

For the Position of President: Paul J. Urban
Savolskis-Wasik-Glenn Funeral Home (Munhall)

For the Position of President-Elect: Norman Shropshire
Minshall-Shropshire-Bleyer Funeral Home Ltd. (Media)

For the Position of Secretary/Treasurer Joseph Levine,
J. Levine & Son Memorial Chapel, Inc. (Trevose)

(2) Election of a candidate nominated by their Local Association for position of District Governor

District 3 Governor Frank Kapr, Frank Kapr Funeral Home, Inc. (Scottdale)
District 5 Governor Christopher C. Calvey, Jennings-Calvey Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. (Clarks Summit)
District 8 Governor David Peake, Jr., Robert J. Mannal Funeral Home (Philadelphia)

(3) Election of NFDA Policy Board Member: Joseph A. Tomon, Jr. of the Joseph A. Tomon, Jr. Funeral Home and Crematory (Ellwood City) has submitted a letter requesting that his name be placed in nomination at the Annual Meeting for the position of NFDA Policy Board Member.

New for Convention 2014
VIEWABLE ON BOTH iphone & androids!

View convention schedule, program & speaker information.
Convention vendors & expo maps & sponsors.

Go to www.pfda.org/pfda-convention_expo to find out how to access the app
(Live June 6, 2014)

Heffner v. Murphy Update The Institute for Justice, an Arlington, Virginia-based public interest law firm, which is now representing Heffner and the other plaintiffs in this case pro bono, has been granted a 60-day extension by the U. S. Supreme Court to file a writ of certiorari on their behalf on what they claim to be unconstitutional. The plaintiffs are seeking to get the Supreme Court to hear the issues.

The Pennsylvania Food Fight and Other Nonsense Please read the enclosed message from PFDA's Executive Director, John Eirkson, regarding Heffner v. State Board.

Catholic Church Sends Letter to PA Funeral Director A letter sent by the Catholic Church to a funeral director indicated that their parish had purchased a processional urn carrier and baby bier to be used for cremation services at their church. Further, it stated that "The company recommends that four urn bearers be used although they said that two would suffice. We can work out the details when a cremation arrives." Let us know if the Catholic Churches in your area are doing the same.

2013 Statistical Analysis by Federated Funeral Directors of America The 2013 statistical data compiled by Federated Funeral Directors of America is based on an analysis of more than 200,000 services conducted by nearly 1,400 firms. They are located in 43 states and range in size from small rural concerns to large urban operations conducting over 1,000 services annually.

The average cost of operation (overhead) declined by 0.73% during 2013. This is the first time since the mid-1940's that there has been a year-to-year decrease in the operation cost. The average selling price of a "regular adult funeral" rose by 1.66% (low by historical standards but a three year high nevertheless). Consequently, as a percent of sales, funeral profits improved to 7.96% from 6.12% last year and an all-time low of 5.31% in 2009. Source: Federated Funeral directors of America

Does Your Funeral Home Have a Distracted Driving Policy? Recently, OSHA clearly stated that employers have a responsibility to protect their workers by prohibiting texting while driving. Federal and state OSHA will cite an employer that condones, allows, requires or ignores an employee texting while driving company vehicles. This would have a direct applicability to drivers of removal vehicles and processional vehicles driven by a funeral director's employees.

OSHA has a specific distracted driving Web page at www.osha.gov/distracted-driving, allowing free access to OSHA's new distracted driving business brochures and other materials available to assist employers in training employees not to text while driving. Citations and penalties would be issued under the OSHA General Duty Clause that requires, among other things, that employers provide employment that is safe and healthful and free from recognized hazards.

Burial Flags for Veterans More than 2,000 flags are issued daily by post offices nationwide, on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This benefit is provided to only those who are eligible; the VA requires that a DD214 (or equivalent) be attached with a burial flag application form before the post office issues the flag. Post office locations do not have access to the same electronic resources that VA staff has access to; therefore, they require paper supporting documents such as a DD214 to verify eligibility for the burial flag benefit at time of request by the funeral home.

If a family does not have a copy of the military report of separation, you should contact your County Veterans Service Officer for assistance. You may also contact the VA at (314) 801-0800 for assistance with obtaining a DD214.

New OSHA Brochure on Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders OSHA has developed a new brochure titled "Safe Patient Handling: Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders." While the new brochure does not specifically relate to funeral homes, it does provide information for funeral directors to avoid these hazards and demonstrates that OSHA is still aware of ergonomic hazards related to patient handling and to ergonomic issues in general. For funeral service, injuries of this type would occur while lifting, moving or positioning the remains.

OSHA does not have a specific ergonomics rule; however, citations for ergonomic hazards can be issued under the General Duty clause. Therefore, funeral homes should be aware of this hazard and seek to mitigate the problem in order to avoid being cited by OSHA. The brochure is available free from OSHA at www.osha.gov.

New Jersey Court Issues Monumental Opinion for Religious Cemeteries A Superior Court judge has ruled that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark was within the scope of "its statutory powers" when it started to market headstones and private mausoleums at its cemeteries. The opinion rejects the complaint by the state's monument builders association and two monument companies alleging unfair business practices. The court found that because the archdiocese's cemeteries are not available to the general public, they are not "public cemeteries." Therefore, they are not governed by the regulations for public cemeteries.

Gold Star Label Pins for Military Families The U. S. Military is engaged in an effort to educate the public about its Gold Star pins, which are designed to signify the loss of a loved one in support of our nation. Although the gold star pins have been in existence for decades many Americans are unfamiliar with their meaning or how to obtain one.

The widow, widower, each parent, each child, stepchild, child through adoption, brother, half-brother, sister, and half-sister are entitled to receive and wear these pins in recognition of their loss and the sacrifice of their loved one. There is no charge to obtain a pin. For more information about the Gold Star pins and information on how to obtain one, visit www.goldstarpins.org.


Bernard H. "Bernie" Suess, 86, of Perkasie, died on March 31, 2014 at his home. He was a licensed funeral director since 1952. He was the former owner of the Bernard Suess Funeral Home in Perkasie. Bernie was a member of the Bucks County Funeral Directors Association.

Joseph W. Epler, 76, of Northumberland, died on April 5, 2014. He was the former owner of the Joseph W. Epler Funeral Home in Northumberland. Joe was a member of the Central Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.

William G. Neal, 83, of Washington, died on April 5, 2014. Mr. Neal was the founder and co-owner of the William G. Neal Funeral Homes, Ltd. in Tylerdale, His son, William G. Neal, III, a licensed funeral director, continues in the family business. Mr. Neal was on the board of the Southwestern PA Funeral Directors Association where he had been past president.

Nancy L. Aurand, 75, of Beavertown, died on April 6, 2014. Her husband, Jerre I. Aurand, owned and operated funeral homes in McClure and Beavertown for more than 40 years.

Karl Edward Guss, 86, died April 12, 2014 at his home in Mifflintown. He was a second generation funeral director at the Guss Funeral Home in Mifflintown founded by his father. His daughter, Barbara, a licensed funeral director, continues in the family business.

Richard William "Dick" Dell, Sr., 86, of Greensburg, formerly of Latrobe, died on April 21, 2014 in the Greensburg Care Center. He was the former owner and operator of the Richard W. Dell Home for Funerals in Latrobe. He was a member of the Westmoreland, Indiana, and Armstrong County Funeral directors Association.

H. "Craig Mann", 66, died May 24, 2014 at his home in Philadelphia. Craig owned and operated the Mann Funeral Home in Philadelphia. He was a member of the Philadelphia Funeral Directors Association.
Complete obituary is available on the PFDA website at www.pfda.org

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