DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS This brick building, left, at 200 East Bertsch St., Lansford, which once housed the Holmes-Griffiths Funeral Home and earlier, the Holmes Funeral Home, has been sold. The E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home, right, at 500 East Broad St., Tamaqua, will share facilities at this location with Holmes-Griffiths.
Lansford's Holmes-Griffiths Funeral Home, formerly located at 200 East Bertsch St., will be based in Tamaqua, sharing quarters with the E. Franklin Griffiths Funeral Home, 500 East Broad St.
"We moved the facility on Aug. 1," said E. Franklin "Sank" Griffiths, III, funeral director. The consolidation is intended to maximize the use of a network of buildings associated with services by Griffiths.
"We're cutting down on the number of roofs," he said, explaining that services are offered at facilities in New Ringgold, Tamaqua and Weatherly.
"We're getting as much utility as we can from our existing buildings."
In addition, Griffiths said the strategy reflects current trends in the industry in which duplicate facilities are consolidated.
"As people's choices are changing, we've become more non-traditional," said Griffiths. He said the prevalence of cremation and memorial services is just an example of how the industry has changed.
"In 1980, there was one cremation every one or two years. Today, cremation is 48 percent of my business."
The nature of funeral services continues to evolve, he said. The industry is now using the term "disposition" in reference, for example, to some people's preferences regarding donation of their body to science or research.
In terms of business consolidation of facilities, banks and hospitals are also following a similar pattern in direct response to current economic and social factors, with branch offices closing or consolidating with existing, duplicate facilities.
According to Carbon County property transfer records, the Bertsch Street property was conveyed to Shawn E. Clark at the same address. The notice of transfer appeared in Tuesday's TIMES NEWS.
The building had been part of recent Lansford real estate listings, marketed as a private residence.
Griffiths had purchased the property in 1988 from Irene Holmes and operated the funeral home continuously since that time. The Holmes Funeral Home was founded in the 1930s.
Griffiths emphasized that there are no changes in service and the Holmes-Griffiths Funeral Home will continue to serve the community of Lansford and Lansford-area churches.
Griffiths has been in the funeral services business for 32 years and operates a business that's been in the family for six generations.
He also serves as funeral director and supervisor at the Robert S. Nester Funeral Home, New Ringgold. In addition, the Philip J. Jeffries Funeral Home, Weatherly, is a branch of the Holmes-Griffiths business.