Joseph J. Stevens III, Supervisor
2309 Broad Avenue Altoona, PA 16601
- Who should be contacted when a death occurs?
- Call our funeral home. If your loved one had their funeral pre-arranged, we will review it with the next of kin for accuracy and consent. If prior arrangements have not been made, a meeting will be scheduled. We will then make all the necessary contacts for you and your family, and handle all the details in order to allow you the time needed to address personal matters and gather with family and friends for support.
- How much does a funeral cost?
- Funeral expenses are based on the cumulated cost of services, merchandise and cash advances. You will be presented with a list of all services and merchandise that we provide, along with corresponding charges for each. This is called the General Price List and every funeral home is responsible to present it to you. The cost of a funeral includes only those items that you choose. We will explain applicable charges and suggest options to keep expenses within range of affordability.
- If I prepay, what security do I have?
- Prepayment is an option, nor a requirement. There are three ways to prefund funeral expenses. First, your existing life insurance policy can be assigned to the funeral home. We do not recommend cash surrender. Second, funds can also be secured with Homesteaders Life Company. Homesteaders has been in business for over 100 years. Third, you may prefund through some banks using an Irrevocable Burial Account. Funding is irrevocable, which secures the funds specifically for payment of future funeral expenses. When payment is made in full, you will receive a receipt from the funeral home. This assures that neither family nor estate will be billed when services are provided.
- How many types of caskets and other merchandise are available?
- We offer many caskets, vaults, and cremation merchandise. Please visit our “Merchandise” page to view our selection.
- Should I purchase merchandise from a cemetery?
- Please take the time to compare quality and price before making any purchase. Do not make a final decision because you feel pressured by a salesperson offering a “limited-time savings” or special offers. Please call us before you buy any merchandise from a cemetery.
- What makes your casket selection area unique?
- The casket selection area will differ from your expectations. Our displays allow you to make comparisons as you move comfortably throughout the room. Our selection area is not intimidating.
- What should I know about cremation?
- The reasons for choosing cremation are as diverse as the individuals. Visitation and a funeral ceremony remain a consideration when choosing cremation. Cremation arrangements can be as elaborate or simple as you desire. We encourage you to talk openly to your family about cremation before you make your final decision. Our “Services” page offers more insight into the options available.
- What is meant by personalization?
- You and I are different. Funerals should be, too! Funeral services represent the uniqueness of an individual’s lifestyle, heritage, culture and interest. Displaying items that depict a passion for sports, or the product of a particular skill, such as painting or needlework, are examples of personalization. Featured music, readings and participation by fraternal organizations also honor a person’s memory of an individual. A collection of photos showing hobbies, relationships and treasured moments displayed on our memory board tells a story about a single person.
- Do you have handicap access?
- The funeral home is accessible to everyone. An elevator located on the ground level inside the building offers and alternative to the outside staircases. Please contact our staff prior to or upon arrival for assistance.
- What is the Children’s Area?
- It has been our experience that children respond positively and with resilience when permitted to accompany family to the funeral home. They share the loss experience more openly with those they trust. We encourage the families to bring their children to the funeral home. For this reason, we have provided an area with crayons, coloring books, workbooks, storybooks, and a TV/VCR. Children are also welcome to bring their favorite toys from home.
- Who files for Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Veteran death benefits?
- We will notify Social Security and Railroad Retirement and apply for any benefits for which you are entitled to. As a spouse or dependent child, however, you must contact these agencies to discuss changes to your monthly benefits. We also file the documents for Veteran death benefits. A copy of the Honorable Discharge Record and Report of Separation will be necessary, along with the signature of the next of kin.
- What is “The Gathering Place”?
- “The Gathering Place” is the building next to our funeral home and is a multi-functional facility. It provides a comfortable and private setting for your family to use for a meal either between visitations or after the funeral service. It has a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living room and rest room. Meals may be catered or food may be brought in. “The Gathering Place” also provides a safe and private meeting area for our aftercare programs. Please call us to assist you with arrangements.
- Do you provide grief support programs?
- Yes, we do provide grief support programs. They are held at “The Gathering Place” located next to our funeral home. You are invited to attend and do not need to be present at all meetings. Our support sessions provide comfort, understanding, reassurance, social support and friendship in a safe and peaceful environment. Please call us for more information.