Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Cremation & Funeral Care by Danielle Andy Belusko
Cremation & Funeral Care by Danielle Andy Belusko's posts

Post has attachment
Cremation & Funeral Care, funeral home Peters Township would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy New Year. When we start a New Year, many people come up with New Years Resolutions, maybe this year is the year to prearrange or prepay for your funeral. Cremation & Funeral Care, funeral home Pittsburgh offers many packages including cremation service as well as traditional burials. If you decide to prepay the funeral expenses, that goes into a third party insurance company that we work directly with and it enables locking in today's price. If you are interested in setting up an appointment to meet with a funeral director please call 724-260-5546.

Post has attachment
Cremation & Funeral Care, Peters Township Funeral Home is participating in our fourth year of collecting toys for Operation Toy Soldier. Operation Toy Soldier is a not-for-profit program that collect new, unwrapped toys for our local military families right here in Pittsburgh. We started collecting toys on November 15, 2016 and will continue to collect up until December 15, 2016. All toys that we will receive will be delivered directly to our military bases in Pittsburgh. Please help us make the holiday bright for these families who are sacrificing for our freedom and country by dropping off a toy at any of our drop off locations. 

Post has attachment
This passed Sunday, October 16, 2016, the Washington Observer Reporter published the following article about Woman in the Funeral Industry. This article focuses on Cremation & Funeral Care by Danielle Andy Belusko, a Washington funeral home that offers cremation services.

“When Danielle Andy Belusko was a teenager, she announced to her family that she wanted to become a funeral director. Her parents repeatedly asked if she was certain about her career choice.

“They still say, ‘Are you sure this is what you want to do?’ laughed Belusko, 41, owner of an all-female funeral home, Cremation & Funeral Care by Danielle Andy Belusko, in McMurray. “It was a male-dominated industry. I faced a lot of obstacles when I started.”

Macaque in the trees

Until recently, few women were funeral directors in the American funeral industry. In 1991, one-third of mortuary students were female; in 1971, just 5 percent were.

But that is changing.

Today, nearly 60 percent of mortuary science students are female, and women make up more than 16 percent of all National Funeral Directors Association members – a nearly 7 percent hike over a decade before, according to the association.

At the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, about 62 percent of students are women.

Belusko, a graduate of PIMS and Robert Morris University, where she earned a business degree, thinks it makes sense that more women want to be funeral directors.

“I do think that women are nurturing by nature. Everybody turns to us when they have a boo-boo or need dinner, or anything, really. We turn to wives, mothers and sisters. This job is really meant for women,” said Belusko. “It’s not that we do it better than men, or men can’t do it, but for it to be such a male-dominated industry and just now making that turn is crazy to me because we are caregivers, that’s who we are.”

“It’s not that we do it better than men, or men can’t do it, but for it to be such a male-dominated industry and just now making that turn is crazy to me because we are caregivers, that’s who we are. ”

- Danielle Andy Belusko
Dr. Joseph Marsaglia, dean of students at PIMS, said that the increase in female funeral directors reflects the strong caregiving component to funeral planning – something at which women excel – and changes in attitude toward women who work in traditionally male jobs, such as police officers, ministers, firefighters and engineers.

Macaque in the trees

For much of history, Marsaglia noted, it was women who cared for the dead. They washed and dressed bodies for burial, and cooked and cared for families of the deceased.

But undertaking became a profession – and the work of men – during the Civil War, when surgeons began embalming the bodies of soldiers, and women’s participation plummeted.

Said Joseph Salandra, owner of Salandra Funeral Home in Canonsburg, “Most funeral homes today have a female funeral director, but for years, if you were a female in the funeral service, your grandfather started the funeral home. People didn’t want to hire women. They didn’t think they could do things like lift bodies or move caskets. But I’ve always been outspoken about the fact that women can do everything – dressing, embalming, lifting caskets, cosmetology, and, the most important thing, meeting with and comforting families.”

Macaque in the trees
Darla Tripoli is a funeral director at Salandra Funeral Home in Canonsburg and an instructor of restorative art at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.

Darla Tripoli, a funeral director at Salandra Funeral Home, said her job is “a calling on my heart.”

Tripoli considered becoming a funeral director in high school, but her career counselor steered her away from the field, telling her that “women aren’t really in the funeral service.” Consider nursing, the counselor said.

Instead, Tripoli attended business school, earned a cosmetology license, and worked for the Pittsburgh Symphony.

After her son was born in 1995, Tripoli quit the symphony and worked part-time at her father-in-law’s physician office.

In 1998, Tripoli confided to her husband that she had always wanted to be a funeral director. He encouraged her to attend PIMS.

Tripoli also called Beinhauer’s in Peters Township to see if they had any job openings, and, in fact, a funeral attendant had just quit.

“The minute I walked in and interviewed, I knew this was for me. I knew it in my spirit,” said Tripoli. “The beautiful thing about it was that all the skills that I had acquired, including business and cosmetology, all fit perfectly in this business. It appeals to me and fulfills me spiritually, physically and creatively.”

Tripoli, a member of the faculty at PIMS, where she teaches restorative art, said she initially encountered some resistance to female funeral directors, and spent months looking for an internship – necessary to obtain a funeral director’s license.

She said she now sees more funeral directors like Salandra, who accept and welcome women.

Tripoli believes that families sometimes find a comfort level with a female funeral director more quickly and easily than with a male.

It’s not surprising, Marsaglia said, that many female funeral directors have experience in nursing and other medical fields.

Funeral director Susan Falvo Warco, 64, co-owner of Warco-Falvo Funeral Home in Washington, earned a nursing degree from St. Francis Hospital in the 1970s, but quit working full-time to care for her three children and to help her husband, Tim, after the couple bought the funeral home in 1978.

Macaque in the trees
Funeral director Susan Falvo Warco discusses the caskets available at Warco-Falvo Funeral Home in Washington.
Katie Roupe/Observer-Reporter
She began attending mortuary science school when she was in her 40s, and was one of four women in her class at PIMS.

“I wanted to do it. I enjoy working with people, I enjoy helping people. But it’s probably the most difficult thing I ever did in my life,” said Warco, who left the funeral home by 5 a.m. every morning and often grabbed only three hours of sleep while she juggled mortuary school, the children, responsibilities at the funeral home and assisting Tim with his Washington County coroner duties.

“It was worth it. I’m glad I did it. It definitely is a satisfying career, knowing that you helped people at the worst time of their life,” said Warco. “I loved nursing and this work is similar because it’s humanitarian work. You’re giving comfort.”

Two of Warco’s children, including a daughter, followed her footsteps into the funeral business.

Macaque in the trees
Susan Falvo Warco is one of a growing number of female funeral directors in the area. Warco operates the Warco-Falvo Funeral Home in Washington.
Katie Roupe/Observer-Reporter
Female funeral directors realize they are role models, trailblazers for other women looking to enter the field.

Said Warco, “If a young woman would come up to me and ask about being a funeral director, I’d tell them to go for it, follow your heart. But this can never just be a business. It becomes your life.”

Belusko remains thankful to a first generation female funeral director at Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home, where Belusko worked for several years.

“She was a huge role model for me at an early age. There she was, this working mother who had two children, who was running this funeral home perfectly,” said Belusko, the mother of four children. “She was a hero to me, the first woman to say, ‘It’s OK, look at me, I’ve done it, you can do this.’”

Belusko will tell you it’s no easy job, with odd hours, grieving customers, and, often, incredibly sad stories.

But her job has its rewards.

“I willingly chose this job. I’m very passionate about what I’m doing,” said Belusko. “I do believe I’m a true caregiver. You cannot do this business unless you want to do it and are committed to it. It’s very demanding, but I love what I do. This is my passion. I have never wanted to do anything else.””

Post has attachment
Please join me this Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Barnes and Noble at South Hills Village. My friend Anastasia Higginbotham will be there signing the book "Death is Stupid," which she wrote and Illustrated.

Cremation & Funeral Care, a funeral home Peters Township that offers all types of funeral service Washington, PA and surrounding areas. Many people prefer to preplan their funerals but sometimes do not understand that those prearrangements can be transferred to other funeral homes in surrounding areas, or even to different states. Fortunately we work with all insurance companies and coordinate directly with them so that we can transfer policies, receive payment at the time of passing, as well as, making sure that the beneficiary receives remaining balance from the policy.

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
Veterans Funeral Care is the first funeral home in America built to serve Veterans and their families. Cremation & Funeral Care, a funeral home McMurray is the exclusive provider for Pittsburgh Veterans Funeral Care in the Pittsburgh, Washington and surrounding areas. This funeral home Peters Township works directly with the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, PA to inter and inurn many of our Nations heros, their spouses and dependent children.

Post has attachment
 As stated in the articles by the Post Gazette, many people do not know what to say to grieving family members ( As the article stated, the best thing to say is “I am sorry” leave it at that. Many times saying, “He/She is in a better place” is the best thing to say because many family members disagree. This past week, there was another article that reflects on how there is a evolution in attitudes about death and grieving ( In this article, Dr. Barry Lease, an instructor at The Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, explains how funeral services are changing to more of a celebration of life. With all of our funeral directors being PIMS alumni, we understand the changes and know how to personalize every family’s needs to honor and remember their loved ones.
Check out the links above, they may help many people who are grieving, know someone who is grieving, or may be suffering a loss sometime soon.

Post has attachment
Cremation & Funeral care, funeral home Pittsburgh offers cremation services as well as traditional burial services to the Pittsburgh, Washington and other surrounding areas. Every family has their own personal choices when it comes to their funeral, some may want a simple cremation with no services, cremation with a variety of different services, or a traditional burial with a casket; either way, it is a personal choice on the family’s behalf. Our funeral directors do not prefer one or the other when it comes to services, but we do embrace cremation because of the change in our industry. Cremation Services are increasing every year in the United States, according to the Cremation Association of North American, ” In 2013, the US Cremation rate was at 45.3% and by 2018 cremation rate is projected to reach 50.6%” ( If you have any questions on funeral services please do not hesitate to contact us.

Post has attachment
Many people like to preplan their funeral arrangements for many different reasons. Cremation & Funeral Care, a Peters Township Funeral Home works directly with many families to give the family’s the peace of mind knowing they have preplanned their funeral arrangements. The funeral home offers traditional burial options as well as cremation services. The funeral directors meet with the families and get all of their wishes down, if the family decides they would like to prepay the funeral bill, they are able to do so in full or make payments. When prepaying, we work with a third party insurance company that locks in todays price at Cremation & Funeral Care and protects the insurance policy owners money. If you are interested in learning more about preplanning please do not hesitate to call us or stop in and talk to one of our directors.
Wait while more posts are being loaded