Funeral Home in Erie, PA
In 1946, Gus Dusckas started his own funeral home at 2607 Buffalo Road. It was rough going at first, but soon this business was a successful venue helping families for many years (particularly on the East side of Erie). Many families from Lawrence Park, Wesleyville and East Erie used his facility to care for loved ones. Gus was an icon in that part and was well-known to help families who were not well off financially and needed someone to help when a family member passed away. Gus with love in his heart and compassion would never turn any one away from his funeral business. It was Gus who helped many churches in the area when they needed funds to finish projects that weren’t funded and he was a great community leader. In 1977, Gus Dusckas had the opportunity to purchase the John Melzer Funeral Home on West 10th St. Today that facility is still run by Nancy Dusckas, Gus’s daughter who acquired her funeral license in 1990. She carried on the Dusckas tradition after Gus died of heart complications in 1988. Nancy came from the same mold as her dad.
In 1997, Jack Martin acquired his mortuary license after a successful career in teaching, coaching, and higher education administration. He had received degrees in psychology, counseling, higher education administration, business education, life insurance, radio broadcasting, notary work, and real estate.
While teaching, Jack took a part-time job with the Dusckas firm. Gus taught Jack all the mechanics of the funeral trade and particularly follow-up work with families who had recently experienced a loss. Jack loved the work, but still wanted to stay in the education arena. Once Jack had ten years under his belt in higher education, he went to school and graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He graduated with honors and received one of the highest scores ever on the National Boards. He did his internship at the Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc. East. His cousin-in-law Nancy had asked him to be a part of the family business. He said he would be honored to, but discussed with Nancy the opportunity to open a facility in the West Erie, Millcreek, McKean and Fairview area. She agreed. So in 2001, the facility that once housed a Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah Witness and a radio station at 4216 Sterrettania Rd., Millcreek Twp was purchased by Jack and Nancy. It was their desire to open a state of the art funeral home facility in Oct. of 2002. Jack toured 33 different funeral homes in the states of New York and Ohio, before putting the final architectural plans into effect. The new facility would have three spacious parlors, a den with working fireplace, a room just for the “kids”, and an embalming prep room, which is state of the art. The new funeral home sits upon ten lots and includes a park-like setting to the west of the building. Professional landscaping was added which made the entire facility serene and beautiful. A professional landscaping company which did all the outside transformations won an award through the Erie Manufacturers Association. In 2003 the Westminster Garden Club bestowed upon the facility a beautification award and in 2005 the Millcreek Township. Supervisors honored the facility with a top honor of state of the art renovation. The families that have utilized the facility have marveled how beautiful everything is. One family member actually said it helped in his grieving process.
The funeral home welcomes anyone who would like to tour the facility. Each year the Junior class from McDowell High School, as part of their health curriculum, tours the facility and receives a two-hour lecture on death and dying and the grieving process. Just recently the students from Saegertown Sr. High School have done the same thing.
Another large part of our mission of funeral home is to support and counsel you and your loved ones throughout the grieving process. If you are aware of someone who is truly lost in grief direct them to one of our specialized support groups. We have grief counseling, drug counseling, and support groups to help those grieving. We also offer online grief support through our Grief Resources page. Whatever stage of grief you are in we are ready to help.
Our motto is to serve the families who have entrusted their faith in us, to produce an environment for the living to memorialize, and pay final respects for their loved ones. We strive for perfection and the funeral service does not end upon burial or cremation. We stay with our families for months to come to make sure they are adapting well and all necessary paper work is handled in a confidential manner.