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Unlike many cemeteries and funeral homes today, Jefferson Memorial Cemetery and Funeral Home is still owned and operated as a family enterprise. Harry C. Neel, our founder, envisioned and designed Jefferson to be a Memorial Park with no tombstones to mar the beauty of the sweeping lawns. Incorporated in 1929, the cemetery was constructed on a parcel of land that had been the Snee Family Farm. We maintain the old dairy barn and farm house to this day. Mr. Neel named his new cemetery, Jefferson Memorial Park. At that time the land was located in Jefferson Township but more importantly it was named so because our founder greatly admired Thomas Jefferson. A 10’ statue of Jefferson resides in the center of the Thomas Jefferson Garden Mausoleum. The Serpentine Wall’s in section 15 are replicas of walls Jefferson designed for the University of Virginia. Harry C. Neel and his wife Anna are entombed in the Jefferson Mausoleum.

The first burial wasn’t made until November 1930. In a small temporary cemetery across the street on what is now Eckerd Drugs, Rita’s Ice and Pizza Hut. There was a white picket fence around the burial area and a small white building that was the cemetery office with the tool shed in the rear.

By the fall of 1931, there were approximately 31 burials. The families were aware that burial’s within the picket fence were temporary and would be moved to a permanent location once it was known exactly where the new Curry Hollow Road was going to be located. We began moving burials to their permanent location in the spring of 1934 when construction of the new Curry Hollow Road began. By that time there were approximately 100 burials to be moved. See photo below. The areas where these first burials took place were Chapel Circle, Oak Knoll and Valley View East. Throughout the early 30’s and 40’s numerous gardens were built with the necessary roads and landscaping. Mr. Neel would occasionally barter graves for grading or construction with local families.

In 1946, Mr. Neel’s son John returned from WWII. John flew 50 combat missions over Italy as a B-25 bomber pilot in the 12th Air Force, 37th Wing, 321st Group, 446th Squadron. Upon his return John became superintendent.

In the late 1940’s and 50’s Jefferson continued to expand. The returning WWII Veteran’s were very realistic about life and death. Pre-need sales of cemetery property billowed exponentially. At one point in 1954 Jefferson had 50 sales people, some with territories in what is now the North Hills.

John’s son, John II joined the company in 1973. John II “computerized” our records and supervised the construction of the Jefferson Mausoleum East Wing addition.

In 1978, John Neel’s son Harry returned from his service in the US Navy as a Naval Aviator. Harry continued his military service as an A-7D Fighter Pilot with the 112th Tac Fighter Group, 446th Fighter Squadron, in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard until his retirement in 1993.

It has always been the vision of John to build a Funeral Home on the grounds of Jefferson Memorial. That desire was fulfilled on September 1, 1993 when Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home opened.

Today Jefferson Memorial Cemetery is one of the largest and most beautiful cemeteries in the United States and Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home has grown to one of the largest in Pennsylvania.

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  • 38 Traditional ground burial gardens including 4 lawn crypt sections for double depth burials
  • 340 Acres owned. 170 acres developed as cemetery and 170 acres available for future development
  • 8437 Mausoleum Crypt spaces constructed for casketed burial (This includes 5 separate buildings or complexes constructed in 20 separate phases and 4 private mausoleums.)
  • 1500 Average annual interments
  • 76,395 Total interments thru June 2007
  • 14 Mausoleum cremation niche units
  • 14 Gardens that contain cremation niches
  • 24 Garden statues of bronze or marble
  • 32 Other garden features in mosaic, incised granite or natural stone
  • 6 Thirty foot, thirty ton granite columns and façade from the Bank of Pittsburgh founded in 1810.
  • 1 Set of stairs from the estate of Pittsburgh Industrialist, Henry Oliver
  • 5 Original Roman Urns from the City of Pompei

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It has always been the vision of our chairman, John D. Neel, to buid a funeral home on the grounds of Jefferson Memorial. That desire was fulfilled on September 1, 1993 when Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home opened. The convenience offered by having both funeral home and cemetery facilities in one location has been well received.

An interesting story about our name happened when Jefferson Memorial Park purchased the corporate funeral license of David G. Frankfield and Sons from Philadelphia. The somewhat antiquated Pennsylvania law states that once established a funeral home can only change its name to that of a licensed funeral director who is also a stockholder. Jan Beichner had been employed to be our funeral home supervisor. She knew that public acceptance of our new funeral home would rest upon the good name of Jefferson Memorial Cemetery. Jan legally changed her last name to “Jefferson”. The State Board of Funeral Directors approved the corporations name change to Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home, Inc. As Paul Harvey would say “and that’s the rest of the story.”

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  1. A fully handicap accessible facility.
  2. 18,500 square feet of floor space, beautifully decorated in a Williamsburg decor.
  3. 5 visitation rooms.
  4. A chapel with a vaulted ceiling and cushioned pews to seat up to 115 people.
  5. 24' x 16' hospitality room and lounge with parquet hardwood flooring.
  6. A childrens' room offers parents and guardians the ability to express their condolences without a babysitter (adult supervision is required).
  7. Lighted parking for 178 cars with 6 handicap accessible parking spots.

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Jefferson Memorial has loaned 5 acres of its undeveloped land to the Century United Soccer Club. Century United has constructed an artificial turf soccer field with night lighting.

Jefferson Memorial has agreed to loan sufficient land for the Jefferson Youth Football league to construct a football field for its youth. Look for more details on this as the project unfolds.

Copyright © 2006 Jefferson Memorial, All Rights Reserved. All prices subject to change without notice.