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April 2013

Dear Members,

Update on Heffner, et al. v. Murphy, et al. Lawsuit As we reported previously, the Order of August, 22, 2012, declaring multiple portions of the Funeral Director Law unconstitutional will remain as law until and unless the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reverses the opinion. Oral Argument is scheduled in the appellate court for June 14 in Philadelphia.

The National Funeral Directors Association and New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association (which falls under the jurisdiction of the Third Circuit court) have filed amicus briefs with the appeals court supporting the PFDA positions in this case. PFDA has also filed an amicus brief.

Plaintiffs in State Board Lawsuit Want Nine Board Members Held in Contempt The plaintiffs challenging PA's Funeral Director Law have filed a Motion of Contempt with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania asking that the nine members of the State Board be held in contempt of court for allegedly ignoring the court's August 22, 2012 injunction.

In December 2012, the State Board issued a provisional denial of Jefferson Memorial Park's request to establish a fictitious name – "Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, Funeral Home and Crematory." Jefferson Memorial Park is a cemetery that owns and operates Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home, a pre-1935 corporate funeral home on cemetery grounds. Their president, Harry Neel, is one of the plaintiffs challenging the PA Funeral Director Law. In 2012, Jefferson Memorial built a crematory on the cemetery grounds and attempted to register the fictitious name.

The plaintiffs argue that the board based its decision on two aspects of the Funeral Director Law they were enjoined from enforcing. A section that can be used to deny requests for misleading names and a section that forbids individuals and entities that are not licensed funeral directors from owning or having an interest in a funeral establishment.

In the motion filed with the federal district court, the plaintiffs are asking the court to punish each board member with a $1,000 per day fine indefinitely until the Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau receives a letter from the State Board approving Jefferson Memorial Park's registration of the fictitious name. Additionally, they are asking for reimbursement of the costs and attorneys' fees incurred in seeking approval of the board for the fictitious name.

NOTICE OF PFDA ANNUAL MEETING We invite you to attend the PFDA's 2013 Annual Meeting and House of Delegates Meeting, which will be held during the annual convention on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 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: election of officers for 2013-2014 and election of a candidate nominated by their Local Association for position of District Governor. Your Board of Governors recommends a vote for the election of the nominees for officers and the district governor. 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 2013-2014:

For the Position of President:
F. Glenn Fleming, Koch Funeral Home (State College)

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

For the Position of Secretary/Treasurer:
Norman Shropshire, Minshall-Shropshire-Bleyler Funeral Home Ltd. (Media)

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

District 1:
Patricia S. Cool, White-Cool Funeral Home (Conneautville)

County Burial Limits Posted On March 25, 2013, the PA Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Policy, issued an update to the county burial limits. In some counties the allowances changed while in other counties the amounts remained the same. Go to www.pfda.org/burial-reserve-limits/index.php to download the latest county burial limits or call the association office at 1-800-692-6068 or email sue@fda.org to request a copy.

Dignified Burial and Other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 On January 10, 2013, President Obama signed the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 aimed at ensuring that the nation's military veterans receive an honorable and dignified burial at a national cemetery, even if they have no family to pay for it. The key provisions of the law for the handling of veterans' remains include:

The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs shall furnish a casket or urn for burial in compliance with appropriate industry standards, as determined by the VA, for veterans with no known next of kin or when sufficient resources are not available to furnish a casket or urn for burial in a national cemetery. This provision is effective on January 10, 2014 (one year after enactment.)

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure that the expressed wishes of the next of kin or other agent of the deceased veteran are respected and given appropriate deference when evaluating whether the event affects the safety and security of the national cemetery and visitors to the cemetery. This provision is effective from and after enactment.

The secretary shall give access to any honor guard unit, including those of any Veterans' Service Organization (VSO) or other non-governmental group providing services to the deceased veteran, to public areas of a national cemetery if requested by the next of kin or other authorized agent. This provision is effective from and after enactment.

When a deceased veteran is transported to a national cemetery for burial, the secretary shall ensure that the local medical examiner, funeral director, county service group or other entity responsible for the body of the deceased veteran before such transportation submits to the secretary documentation outlining whether the deceased veteran was cremated and the steps taken to ensure that the deceased veteran has no next of kin. The secretary shall pay the funeral expenses and transportation costs for the deceased veteran. This provision takes effect 180 days after enactment.

The secretary shall cooperate with VSOs to assist entities (funeral homes) in possession of unclaimed or abandoned human remains to determine if such remains are those of a veteran or other individual eligible for burial in a national cemetery under the jurisdiction of the secretary. This provision is effective January 10, 2014 (one year after enactment).

Arlington National Cemetery's (ANC) Mobile App A free mobile app called the ANC Explorer is available, to locate gravesites. It is available for download at the ANC website www.arlingtoncemetery.mil. Visitors can search for specific graves using known information about the buried soldier or the grave's physical location within the cemetery. The app also allows the public to view events taking place at the cemetery, browse points of interest such as notable graves and monuments and generate front-and-back photos of a headstone or monument.


Join us for the 2013 PFDA Convention and Expo

June 9 – 12

Your Voice. Your Profession. Your Legacy.



Convenient Location at the newly-renovated Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey in Grantville.

Super Sessions: The more You & Your Team Learn.....the more you Earn!

[7.5 CE credit hours approved]

What can Funeral Homes learn about Delivering Superior Customer Services from Disney?
Dennis Snow

What Separates Top-Performing Cremation Arrangers from the Rest of the Pack?
Tom Snyder, FD

Developing & Empowering Funeral Service Staff to Fulfill Customer Expectations & Legal Compliance
Bill Ford

Tech Talk for Beginners & Great Ideas for Intermediates on the latest funeral service-friendly technology
Walker Posey, CFSP

Come view the latest products and innovations in the Exhibit Halls.

Convention Registration is NOW Open! Download registration forms and convention schedule!
Go to http://www.pfda.org/pfda-convention_expo/index.php or Call 1-800-692-6068 to obtain Registration Brochure.

We look forward to seeing you at convention in June.


OSHA Issues Revised Training Fact Sheet Funeral directors must be in full compliance with the OSHA training requirements for the Hazard Communication Standard by December 1, 2013. By that date, employers must train workers on the new label requirements and safety data sheets. The new standard changes the way in which manufacturers and importers identify and communicate the hazards posed by the chemicals they produce or distribute.

The chief chemical of concern for funeral homes is formaldehyde, although other chemicals used in the profession may also be covered by the rule. For information on staff training, as well as other steps you must take to comply with the new requirements, go to www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom.

REMINDER: Service of Remembrance Ceremony Presidents and Secretaries of local associations & PFDA members are reminded to submit the names of deceased members & immediate family members to be remembered at the Service of Remembrance at the PFDA convention on. The remembrance ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 11, at 11:00 a.m. Please return the enclosed form along with the photographs (if available) to the association office by April 25. The photos may be provided electronically via email to sue@pfda.org or by hard copy.

Don't Miss Out on Your Service Anniversary Award! Please complete the enclosed forms to be honored for 25 or 50 years as a licensed funeral director, and to have your firm recognized for 50, 75, 100 or more years of service at the PFDA convention on Tuesday, June 11, at 10:30 a.m. in the Winners Circle Room.

Hospice of Central PA Offers Camp Dragonfly Camp Dragonfly is a free of charge weekend bereavement camp for children ages 6 to 15 who have experienced the death of a family member. They are now accepting applications for children who wish to attend camp at either of its two locations: May 31 – June 2 at Camp Swatara, Bethel or June 7-9 at Camp Hebron, Halifax.
For information about Camp Dragonfly or to request applications, call (717) 732-1000 or go to www.hospiceofcentralpa.org.

The Association for Butterflies (AFB) developed a free online course geared specifically for funeral service to help funeral professionals become informed and confident in providing this service to their families. The AFB Butterfly Release Course for Funeral Professionals takes @15 minutes a day to read and complete over a three-day period.

Course topics include: why release butterflies at funerals and memorial services; when can they be released; how to order butterflies; how to care for butterflies; how to release them, etc. To register, visit www.forbutterflies.org.

Social Security Electronic Payments As of March 2013, all federal benefits, including Social Security and supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, are to be paid electronically. That's according to a rule from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Visit www.GoDirect.org to learn more about getting those payments electronically.
Source: John Johnston, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist


In Memoriam

William R. Ronan, age 87, died on February 3, 2013 in the Carlisle Regional Medical Center. He was the father of Lynn A. Ronan, a funeral director and owner of Ronan Funeral Home in Carlisle.

James M. Brower, age 73, died on April 4, 2013. He was a funeral director and former owner of the Brower Funeral Home in Wallingford.

Charles P. Stolfo, age 94, died April 7, 2013, at the Deptford Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. He was a longtime funeral director and his son, Paul C. Stolfo, a funeral director, continues to operate the family funeral home in Philadelphia.

Complete obituary is available on the PFDA website at www.pfda.org

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