My childhood best friend just lost his father. He called me, knowing I’m in the business, after meeting with the funeral director and this is what he told me:

“Me and my siblings showed up at the funeral home to help my mom make my dad’s final arrangements. We entered the room with the big table, my mom sat down and the funeral director came in holding a folder. I was so nervous as we weren’t sure how much this was going to cost, how my mom was going to handle making these decisions, the whole experience to this point had my stomach in knots. When the funeral director sat down, he opened the folder he carried into the room. He took a moment shuffling some papers from the folder, then looked at my mother and exclaimed to all of us, that Dad had preplanned and that everything was taken care of, we didn’t need to do anything. What?! Yes, everything was picked out, the casket, vault. We knew the lots had been purchased in the past. He had an insurance plan in place to cover all of the costs of the service. Nothing more was needed. All we had to do was schedule the service dates/times. My siblings and I were happy, shocked. Crying, relieved.

At that moment I thought of my Dad differently.

I was overwhelmed that he was so considerate. That he thought about this day and thought about what it would do to my mother. I was profoundly grateful for what he did and felt such gratitude and respect for my Dad.”

Preplanning is a final act of love and consideration for your family – the benefits of preplanning are summarized below.

Peace of Mind

Most important this alleviates families from having to make very difficult decisions on the most emotional day of their lives. Knowing that these arrangements are set forth before a loved one passes is the best peace of mind you could ever give your family.

Choice of Selection

Gives a person the opportunity to select their type of disposition (above ground, in-ground, cremation) and all merchandise to go along with their choice.

Control Cost

Gives families the ability to price protects their burial arrangements. This also gives the family the opportunity to avoid the impact of inflation. Prices never go backwards, they always steadily increase as the years pass.


Pre-arranging your burial need’s provides families the opportunity to make payments that are comfortable for the family’s budget. If a loved one passes suddenly, the unfortunate truth is that you must pay immediately for everything. This can be a shock. This could leave the family in a financial hardship.

An opportunity to decide together

Allows spouses the opportunity to make their decision together like they did throughout their marriage (example: engagement, marriage, children, career moves, building a house, vacations etc.). It is more meaningful to make these final decisions together.

Transferability Program

Ability to transfer your pre-arranged dollar amount vested to a new location 75 miles outside your pre-arranged cemetery if you decide to relocate. This is an ICCFA benefit when family’s preplan.

I joined PCCFA because it’s my responsibility and duty to do so. As the President & CEO of two of the Commonwealth’s most historic cemeteries, being a member of PCCFA demonstrates my commitment to the industry and to ensuring that others adhere to the high ethical standards that we do at Laurel Hill. I joined because I believe there is tremendous need to educate others about the innovative and progressive nature of our industry and to advocate for advancements that will benefit all.

As someone relatively new to this field, I joined PCCFA to engage with my colleagues, learn from them, and add my unique perspectives and professional experience. I joined to work collaboratively for the benefit of all in Pennsylvania’s death care industry.

Nancy Goldenberg, President & CEO, Laurel Hill, Philadelphia

When we were close to finalizing the acquisition of Life Remembered (formerly CMS East, LLC), Tim Kernan, a PCCFA board member for many years , advised me that it was important to be a member of PCCFA. He also recommended being a board member because it allows you to be in tune with regulatory and legal developments in the State. He also recommended supporting the PAC to ensure we had representation in the political arena.

Since joining the PCCFA, I have made friends and acquaintances that have given me advice and guidance. I feel like I’m part of a group of caring and supportive people who understand the day-to-day challenges of being in the funeral and cemetery industry.

Jude Abraham, Life Remembered

In 1999 PCCFA President Bill Moulton reached out to me and invited me to attend a PCCFA meeting. I learned so much and met so many experienced industry professionals at that meeting that I immediately became a member. PCCFA membership accelerated my industry knowledge through networking and educational opportunities and continues to add value to me every year. All cemeteries in Pennsylvania could benefit from joining.

Gary Buss, President, Arlington Cemetery and Funeral Home, Drexel Hill

I joined PCCFA because my father said I should. He believed our state organization accomplished four important missions: 1 – Education for our members to improve their performance in serving their public. 2- Ensuring our members were reminded of our obligation to perform the highest ethical standards when serving our public. 3- The political reality that we needed to defend ourselves from segments of competing businesses that would attempt to pass legislation that harmed our industry while benefiting theirs. 4 – The benefit of networking and social comradery that comes from meeting with fellow PCCFA members.

My father’s guidance has proven to be wise council time and time again in my 44 years in the industry. We do not grow, develop, improve to become the best we can be if we remain sheltered in our private little business world not participating in or exposed to what was happening in the larger business world. It does not matter if you are a Cemeterian, Funeral Director, Cremationist, or florist, if you are a part of the Death Care Industry in Pennsylvania you really should become a member of PCCFA.

Harry C. Neel, Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, Funeral Home, Crematory and Arboretum, Pittsburgh

As the operator of multiple cemeteries, funeral homes and crematories in the state, I am proud to be associated with the PCCFA. Despite being owned by SCI, the largest provider in the death care industry, PCCFA provides opportunities, networking and resources that cannot be found anywhere else. Since joining PCCFA, I have built a network of experts that help me to provide the best services to our respective communities. The membership is very willing to share methods and practices which help me to provide a safe, ethical and profitable business.

In addition, the PCCFA helps to raise a more collective voice when discussing legislative issues that arise. It has given me a forum where we can effectively discuss and guide legislative issues which have lasting impacts on the communities we serve and our ability to properly operate our business. I am very proud that the faces we see at our board meetings, conferences and committee meetings represents a very diverse range of people, just like the communities we serve.

The opportunities and benefits of being affiliated with the PCCFA have paid me back exponentially. I encourage anyone who is interested in joining to reach out and get involved.

Eric Wolverton, President, SCI, Pennsylvania Funeral Services, Inc.