CLEARFIELD – A local funeral home and crematory will soon be personally taking families through the entire cremation process from the time of their loss until the return of their loved one’s ashes.
The Beardsley Funeral Home & Crematory Inc., 113 N. Third St., Clearfield, received its 12-ton Power Pak I crematory unit Monday from Matthews Environmental Solutions of Apopka, Fla.
The crematory unit was off-loaded and housed in the new addition, located at the rear of the funeral home building that used to be two parking spaces.
Beardsley Funeral Home & Crematory is now the only funeral home in Clearfield County with a funeral home and crematory under the same roof.
“Because of this, we can assure the families we serve that their loved one never leaves our care,” said Kevin A. Beardsley, funeral director.
Families whose loved one is being cremated still have the options of having a visitation or viewing beforehand, and also of holding a memorial service afterwards.
Currently, there are three certified crematory operators on-site, which include Brock Shaffer, funeral director; Seth Beardsley, funeral intern; and Sidney Thornhill, funeral service attendant.
Seth Beardsley earned his certification in crematory operations in mortuary school. Shaffer and Thornhill have received theirs off-site.
A technician will come and ensure the crematory unit is functioning properly, then on-site cremations will begin within the next couple of weeks.
Once renovation work is complete, Beardsley Funeral Home & Crematory plans to host an open house for the public.
An Alternative to Burial
In 2015, the rate of cremation surpassed that of burial, and it’s currently projected to exceed 70 percent by 2030, according to Kevin Beardsley.
He said that in the central Pennsylvania region, excluding the State College area, the cremation rate is approximately 35 percent, or one-third.
In the early 90’s, he said the funeral home handled about four cremations in a year’s time, and because of changes in society and its traditions, those numbers have multiplied in the last five years.
With cremation becoming a popular alternative to burial, Kevin Beardsley said he first started thinking about the addition of an on-site crematory about three years.
Background & Staff
Kevin Beardsley has owned and operated the Beardsley Funeral Home & Crematory in Clearfield and Curwensville since July of 1991. He has been a licensed funeral director since 1985.
Shaffer has been on staff since September of 2007, completing his resident internship and becoming a licensed funeral director. In February of 2011, he became a partner in the corporation.
Seth Beardsley has been employed since September of 2011, and will become a fully-licensed funeral director this fall. He’ll also become partner and continue the locally-owned tradition.
In addition to the Beardsley Funeral Home & Crematory in Clearfield and Curwensville, Kevin Beardsley owns PA Simple Cremation LLC, Clearfield.