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July/August 2014

Dear Members,

Congratulations to our New President!

Paul J. Urban, CFSP, was elected President of PFDA at the association's annual meeting on June 10. He was installed as president by Kathleen K. Ryan, Esquire, PFDA General Counsel, at the Board Banquet on June 11 at the Hotel Hershey in conjunction with the133rd PFDA annual convention. He will serve as PFDA President for the 2014-2015 term representing Pennsylvania funeral directors statewide and nationally.

Paul is a graduate of the Community College of Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He has always had an interest in funeral service and began working at Savolskis-Wasik-Glenn Funeral Home in Munhall as a senior in high school and has been with the firm his entire career. He became a licensed funeral director in 2003. In 2006 he obtained the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) designation from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Paul is a member of the Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association and a past President and past Vice President of ACFDA, and a member of the American Society of Embalmers. He also has served on the PFDA Board of Governors as District 2 Governor, secretary/treasurer and president-elect. He and his wife, Stephanie, reside in West Homestead with their three daughters, Laura, Anna and Sarah.

And Congratulations to our New Officers You have elected two new officers to serve on your Board. They are Norman Shropshire, CFSP,President-elect and Joseph Levine, Secretary-Treasurer. They were installed by Robert Bates, NFDA Past President, at the Board banquet on June 11 at the Hotel Hershey.

Norman Shropshire, CFSP is the owner and supervisor of the Minshall Shropshire-Bleyler Funeral Home in Media. He is a member of the Delaware County Funeral Directors Association and served as the District 7 Governor on the PFDA Board. He is a member of the Unichoice Board of Directors. Norm holds a degree in Mortuary Science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He has been a licensed funeral director for over 43 years. Norm and his wife Geraldine reside in Middletown Township. They have a daughter, Devon.

Joseph Levine is a fourth generation funeral director. He is the owner and president of the Joseph Levine & Sons Funeral Homes in Philadelphia, Trevose and Broomall and the Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer. Joe is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He is a member of the Philadelphia County Funeral Directors Association and served as the District 8 Governor on the PFDA Board. He is a member of the Unichoice Board of Directors. He has been a licensed funeral director for over 44 years. Joe resides in Philadelphia. He has triplet sons, Brian and Jonathon Levine, (both 5th generation funeral directors) and Adam Levine, who work in the family business, and a daughter Lindsey. He is the proud grandfather of five grandchildren.

PFDA President-elect and New District Governors were installed by Robert Bates, NFDA President, at the Board banquet on June 11.
Frank Kapr, CFSP (District 3 Governor),
Norman Shropshire (President-elect), David Peake, Jr. (District 8 Governor),
Joseph Levine Secretary/Treasurer), and
Christopher Calvey, CPC (District 5 Governor).

PFDA Officers and Board of Governors
Joseph Tomon, Jr. (NFDA Policy Board Member-elect),
Eugene Cratin (District 7 Governor),
Paul Urban (President),
Patti Cool (District 10 Governor),
JoAnn Pavlic (Past President),
Stephanie Doriguzzi, (District 2 Governor),
Marilyn Gubbiotti (Past District 5 Governor),
Norman Shropshire (President-elect),
Frank Kapr (District 3 Governor),
David Peake, Jr (District 8 Governor),
Deron Youse (District 6 Governor),
Norman Johnson (Quaker State),
C. Michael Newman (District 9 Governor),
F. Glenn Fleming (Immediate Past President),
Richard Shoemaker (Past District 3 Governor), Joseph Levine (Secretary/Treasurer),
Christopher Calvey (District 5 Governor),
Michael Hacker (District 4 Governor), and
William Deeley (District 10 Governor).

Joseph Tomon, Jr., Thomas Kukuchka, Ted Beck, JoAnn Pavlic, Janice Mannal, William Schleifer,Dean Wetzler, Jr., Charles Bowen, Bill Williams, Don Deaner, Marty Brown, F. Glenn Fleming, Sam Cummings, Sr., Michael Morrison, Patrick Lanigan and Frank Galante.

PFDA's 133rd Convention & Expo -- Huge Success! This three-day annual event in June continues to boast a sold-out expo and packed seminar rooms year after year. It was once again an ideal mix of educational opportunities, networking and social events. The Local Associations, Board members and exhibitors' generous donations of valuable items for the Silent Auction raised more than $5,000 for the PFDA Funeral Service Action Fund and Building Fund. Winner of the cash prize drawing was Bill Schleifer. The benefit golf classic had 80 players and was a fun day enjoyed by all participants. This year's golf benefit raised over $11,000 for the Highmark Caring Place.

Still No Food in the Funeral Home During this year's convention, those attending the Annual Meeting were provided a copy of correspondence to Kathy Ryan from the Chief Counsel of the PA Department of Agriculture. This correspondence dealt with the issue of serving food in the funeral home IF it were permitted by state law. IT IS NOT. Once Judge Jones' ruling was reversed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the old rule of no food service in the funeral home was reinstated. Until and unless legislation is introduced to change this, the old rule applies.
Source: Kathleen K. Ryan, PFDA General Counsel.

Same Sex Marriage If you haven't followed the news, Judge John Jones III (yes, the same one that gutted the funeral law), on May 20, 2014, ruled that same sex marriage is constitutional in Pennsylvania. We are now the 13th state in the country to recognize these unions.

With respect to funeral planning, the Court recognized that "stigmatizing harms": have occurred to gay and lesbian couples in various facets of their lives, including end-of-life planning. Therefore, when doing pre-arrangements and at-need arrangements, funeral directors must recognize these gay and lesbian partners as "spouses" for purposes of determining right-to-disposition if the marriage occurred after May 20, 2014 in Pennsylvania. At this point in time, there has been an appeal to this decision. We will keep you informed as the case progresses. Source: Kathleen K. Ryan, Esquire, PFDA General Counsel.


Earn 3 CE Credits

Free to PFDA Members

September 8 - DuBois
September 9 - Erie
September 10 - Pittsburgh
September 11 - Altoona
September 15 - Philadelphia
September 16 - Allentown
September 17 - Wilkes-Barre
September 18 - Harrisburg

See enclosed Program Agenda for details & Registration Form 

New County Burial Limit for Lancaster County The Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Policy, has made a change in the burial limits for Lancaster County. An updated copy of the 2014 County Burial Limits can be downloaded at www.pfda.org/burial-reserve-limits.

Two New Legal Forms Added to PFDA Website We have added a new Social Media Policy for Employees of Funeral Homes and a Non-Durable Limited Financial Power of Attorney to the listing of online legal forms. You can access the new forms at www.pfda.org/pfda-legal-documents-and-forms.
VA Issues Final Rule on Funeral and Burial Benefits The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) amended its regulations governing entitlement to monetary burial benefits, which include burial allowances for service-connected and non-service-connected deaths, a plot or interment allowance, and reimbursement of transportation expenses. These monetary benefits are administered by VBA. As amended, these regulations establish rules to support VA's automated payment of burial allowances to surviving spouses, conversion to flat-rate burial and plot or interment, allowances that are equal to the maximum benefit authorized by law, and priority of payment to non-spouse survivors. The effective date of these changes is July 7, 2014 and applies to claims that were pending on or after that date. Claims filed by funeral homes prior to July 7th will not be affected. A copy of the final regulations can be found on the PFDA website at www.pfda.org/veterans_funeral_and_burial_benefits.

Maryland's New Cross-Border Transport Services Law New regulations recently put in place in Maryland may cause headaches for funeral homes in neighboring states that occasionally serve Maryland families. The state's new Mortuary Transport Services Law imposes new requirements on companies and their employees that transport human remains to and/or from Maryland. Maryland-based funeral homes are exempt from the law. However, out-of-state funeral homes are not. Therefore, a Pennsylvania funeral home that goes into Maryland to remove a body for a funeral and burial service to take place in Pennsylvania must now have its transport vehicle inspected and licensed by the Maryland State Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors, or face fines for failing to do so.

The law sets forth a number of specific requirements to qualify as a registered transporter and regarding transport vehicles. For more information on the new requirements, go to dhmh.maryland.gov/born.

New Applications for Veterans' Headstones and Markers The Dignified Burial and Other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012, which was enacted in January 2013, prohibits the VA from providing interment or memorialization benefits to Tier III sex offenders who were sentenced to a minimum of life imprisonment and whose convictions are final. It also prohibits the VA from providing interment or memorialization benefits to individuals who committed a state of federal capital crime. The VA has revised the application forms requiring the applicant to certify that to the best of their knowledge, the decedent has never committed any of these crimes or been imprisoned for them. The National Cemetery Association will continue to process claims submitted on old application forms through September 30, 2014. The two newly revised forms that are immediately available online are:

40-1330 Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker:

40-1330M Claim for Government Medallion for Placement in a Private Cemetery:

The Presidential Memorial Certificates - PMC Request Form (VA 40-0247) is being revised. Until the form is available, the current version should be used; it is available at http://www.va.gov/va/forms/va/pdf/VA40-0247.pdf.

In Memoriam

Mark Vincent Yanaitis, 65, retired funeral director from the Hudson section of Plains Township, died on June 4, 2014 at home. His son, Christopher, a third generation funeral director, owns and operates the family business. Mr. Yanaitis was an executive board member and past president of the Luzerne County Funeral Directors Association.

Milton James, Jr., 63, of Lake Ariel, died June 29, 2014, at Commonwealth Hospice at Regional Hospital of Scranton. He was a PA licensed funeral director for 40 years. He owned and supervised the James Wilson Funeral Home in Lake Ariel.

Correction to the William G."Bill" Neal, Jr. Obituary The obituary for Mr. Neal included in the June newsletter was incorrect. Mr. Neal was the founder and co-owner of the William G. Neal Funeral Homes, Ltd. in Tylerdale. His son, Michael P. Neal, a licensed funeral director, continues in the family business.
Complete obituary is available on the PFDA website at www.pfda.org

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