Obituary & Tributes

Celebrating Life


The staff of E. Merrill Smith Funeral Home encourage you to call, visit, or send personal cards to the family. However, we realize that this is not always possible.

Therefore, we have created a condolence and tribute section on each obituary page for you to send your thoughts and prayers to the family members and friends of the deceased. Sharing memories to celebrate life can be helpful during the grieving process.


At the E. Merrill Smith Funeral Home we offer many options for those who prefer cremation as a means of final disposition. The only difference between a funeral service followed by burial and one followed by cremation is that the remains are taken to the crematory after the service instead of to the cemetery for burial. This means that families have the option to have visitations and funeral services where the remains are present and still choose cremation as a means of disposition.

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Grief Support

Possibly for the first time, the word grief has become personal. No longer is death something that happens to other people in other places. The multitude of experiences resulting from this overwhelming loss-emotional, physical, social, spiritual and cognitive-comprise what we call "grief."

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When a death occurs, we are prepared to help you in any way possible.

It is best to contact us by calling 814-944-9755. Our phone is answered 24 hours a day. You will be connected to a funeral director on call.

Be prepared to give us the name of the deceased and where the death occurred. Other information we need at this time is the name and phone number of the next of kin. We also need the name of the person calling. It is a requirement that we get permission to make the removal from the place of death to our facility and also for embalming if it is desired. Verbal permission is accepted at this time and ratified by written permission at the first convenient time.

It is usually best to set a time to make funeral arrangements on this call. If that is not possible, we will call the next of kin to do so when the time is appropriate.

When coming in to make funeral arrangements, it is helpful to bring along the deceased's Social Security number, Veteran Discharge if the person was a veteran, clothing that the deceased will be wearing, and a photo for the obituary if desired. At the arrangement conference we will help you put together the services you desire. There is no need for you to contact the cemetery or newspaper before this conference. Some families like to inform their clergy of the death. This is certainly appropriate but is better to wait until the arrangement conference to set times for visitation and/or service.

If the death occurs out of town and the deceased is going to be brought back to this area it is best to call us first to handle all the arrangements. We will contact a funeral home in the area that the death occurred which will adhere to the same standards of ethics and service that we do. We feel very confident in the firms we select to work with us. We select a funeral home in the area the death occurred to help us deliver the same quality service that you expect from us. It saves families the frustration of trying to make arrangements to return their loved one back home. In most cases it is also a cost savings.

Many families plan ahead and make prearrangements with us so that when death does occur we have all the information we need to start the process of fulfilling the wishes of the family. Needed information for the obituary, death certificate, services and merchandise selected is gathered and kept on record with us and the family.


E. Merrill Smith Funeral Home, Inc.

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