Washington funeral supervisor to oversee closed Claysville funeral home

  • By Scott Beveridge March 19, 2013
Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter ¬ The Michael H. Heinrich Funeral Home on Main Street in Claysville.

A Washington funeral supervisor has volunteered to serve as overseer of prearranged funerals at Claysville’s only funeral home, which closed about a month ago after its owner took an unannounced health leave.

Thomas W. Hummell of Hummell & Jones Funeral Home on Locust Avenue said he has placed the files of Michael H. Heinrich in safekeeping and that they all appear to be secure.

He said Heinrich’s customers have been asking questions and “need some peace of mind that their money is safe.”

A new owner also is expected to be announced soon for the Heinrich business at 219 Main St., Hummell said.

Heinrich apologized March 12 for stepping away from his business and not leaving a sign in its window or a telephone number to reach him after his funeral home’s closing made the news.

Hummell said more than 100 people had prepaid their funerals with Heinrich and are free to have arrangements transferred to a funeral home of their choosing.

Pennsylvania law is strict in the way in which it requires funeral directors to set aside money they collect for prearranged funerals to prevent the money from being misappropriated, Hummell said.

“It has to be placed into a commercial bank or a life insurance policy,” he said. “Some people are wondering where their money is and what happened to it.”

Hummell said Claysville residents are familiar with him because his name hung on the wall for many years as supervisor of the town’s funeral home.

He can be reached at 724-225-7710.

Scott Beveridge has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1986 after previously working at the Daily Herald in Monongahela. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s fine arts and art education programs and Duquesne University’s master of liberal arts program. He is a 2004 World Affairs journalism fellow.


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