Heller Funeral Home, LLC, is located at 633 East Third Street, Nescopeck, PA. Services for traditional burials, cremations, and pre-arrangements are offered.
The history of Heller Funeral Home begins with Earl Heller Jr, who was originally from Wapwallopen, and Nancy (Fahringer) Heller, who was originally from Berwick. After marriage, they moved to Nescopeck, where the community welcomed them. The funeral home was opened in 1946 and run by Earl with the assistance of his wife, Nancy. They lived at the funeral home with their three children, Marie, Susan, and Earl III. The honorable and respectful service which they provided for local residents and their families, when a death occurred, began a legacy that would endure for many years. After the death of his beloved wife, Earl decided to sell the funeral home.
In 1980, John Kertesz, bought the funeral home and continued serving the area. John grew up in Flemington, New Jersey. When he decided to become a funeral director, he attended American Academy Mcallister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City, and graduated in 1966. After earning his license and working as a funeral director in New York, John decided he wanted to buy a funeral home. He moved to Nescopeck and bought Heller Funeral Home, continuing what Earl had begun. John’s parents, Walter and Helen (Yuhasz) Kertesz, would often visit and many in the area had met them. During their visits, they would help John around the funeral home. Walter passed away in 2011. Helen is still living in Flemington.
John was a large part of the community. He was a Luzerne County deputy coroner and involved in various community organizations. He was a friend to many. His involvement, kindness and compassion will long be remembered. In June of 2013 John passed away unexpectedly. Since John had no family involved in the funeral service profession, Karen E. Eroh was offered the opportunity to continue operating the funeral home as supervisor. The loss of John was felt by many, and the void he left was great. Karen does her best to fulfill each family’s wishes in how they want to honor the life of those they lost.
In 2014, Karen purchased the funeral home, now operating as Heller Funeral Home, LLC. She and her staff do their best to continue the legacy that Earl and John began. Families are treated with compassion and kindness while being assisted through the difficult time they are experiencing. Working together as a team, they make every effort to create a funeral experience that is as comforting as possible for the people who have lost a loved one, while striving to fulfill the wishes of both the deceased and those making the arrangements for the services.
Karen is originally from Dorrance Township, however while growing up, she spent a great deal of time in Nescopeck at her grandparent’s, Harry and Edna Slusser, home. Because of the close proximity of their home to the funeral home, Karen has known John since he moved to the area. She has worked with him periodically both before and after earning her state funeral director’s license. In fact, it was John’s kindness, during the loss of her father, Charles Eroh, which encouraged her to become a funeral director. John was Karen’s mentor while she attended the funeral service program at Northampton County. After graduating, she completed her internship, then continued to gain experience while working at other funeral homes in the Wilkes-Barre area. In late 2009, she began helping John again, and was still assisting, part time, when he died.
Karen and her husband, Nick Gallamo, currently live in Dorrance Township. Nick grew up and attended school in Wilkes-Barre. He owns and operates his own business, which he started in 1990. He enjoys hunting and fishing. He assists Karen when responding to families in need. He contributes to the day to day operations and may also lend a hand for funeral services.
Karen has 3 children. Her daughter, Brittany, and youngest son, Christian, both live out of the area. Joshua is Karen’s second child and oldest son. He lives locally and is attending college. He has recently decided to further his education in pre-mortuary science and funeral service. He works part time at the funeral home and aids in all aspects of the business. Josh is very computer savvy and creates beautiful video tributes for families, when selected.
Her mother, Linda (Slusser) Eroh, assists Karen at the funeral home. While she is most often the person who greets people at the door arriving for viewings or services, she also helps in other ways. Her support and encouragement have helped Karen throughout her career. Linda grew up in Nescopeck, and has always lived and worked locally. She earned her teaching degree at Bloomsburg University and taught in the Berwick School District for over 20 years before retiring. She then taught at Holy Family School. She is a familiar face to many who come in, helping to put them at ease. She is very active at St. James Lutheran Church in Hobbie. Although she is not an ordained minister, she does have a great deal of religious education, and has helped families who do not have a church membership and are in need of someone to lead funeral services.
William Fowler and his wife, Ruth, live in Berwick. They have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Bill graduated from Berwick High School in 1957 and enlisted in the US Navy where he served on the USS Newport News for 4 years. He was employed at Dana Corp for over 26 years before retiring, after which he worked for the Berwick School District for 6 years. He is a familiar face to some, because he also used to help John with funeral services. He currently helps out during funeral services, by guiding people as they come to funerals whether at the funeral home or at a church. He helps with pallbearers, drives the hearse and assists at cemeteries.
John Kishbaugh and his wife, Deborah, live in Salem Township. John is a proud father of 3 children and 4 grandchildren. He graduated from Berwick High School and attended Wilkes-Barre Business College before being drafted into the Army. He was active with the military for 2 years, and after an honorable discharge he completed his education at Strayer College. John worked for Borden Inc at Wise Potatoes for over 19 years before retiring. He has gained experience in assisting with funerals through several years of previous employment, and began at Heller in June of 2015. He guides people as they come to funerals whether at the funeral home or at a church. He also helps with pallbearers, drives the hearse and assists at cemeteries.