Obituaries

Lawrence Stewart
B: 1939-12-22
D: 2017-09-28
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Stewart, Lawrence
Fred Tenly
B: 1936-08-21
D: 2017-09-18
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Tenly, Fred
Jean Overcash
B: 1933-11-17
D: 2016-09-29
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Overcash, Jean
Lois Poisal Dunham
B: 1931-12-30
D: 2016-09-28
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Poisal Dunham, Lois
Joan Howard
B: 1933-02-14
D: 2016-09-28
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Howard, Joan
James Zehfuss
B: 1939-12-14
D: 2016-09-28
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Zehfuss, James
Barbara Meller
B: 1943-12-20
D: 2016-09-27
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Meller, Barbara
Paula Tobin
B: 1951-08-16
D: 2016-09-27
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Tobin, Paula
Kim Cuneo
B: 1957-03-16
D: 2016-09-27
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Cuneo, Kim
Phillip Seeders
B: 1939-06-21
D: 2016-09-27
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Seeders, Phillip
Peggy Newcomb
B: 1947-11-30
D: 2016-09-25
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Newcomb, Peggy
Mary Murphy
B: 1923-05-20
D: 2016-09-23
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Murphy, Mary
Nevin Sigler
B: 1918-08-30
D: 2016-09-22
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Sigler, Nevin
David Matthews
B: 1942-00-00
D: 2016-09-21
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Matthews, David
Patsy Cleaver Cook
B: 1936-06-03
D: 2016-09-20
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Cleaver Cook, Patsy
Ronald Kirby
B: 1953-04-06
D: 2016-09-20
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Kirby, Ronald
Clarence Murphy
B: 1935-07-13
D: 2016-09-20
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Murphy, Clarence
James Campbell
B: 1953-05-04
D: 2016-09-19
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Campbell, James
Edward Fraley
B: 1966-02-05
D: 2016-09-19
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Fraley, Edward
Gabriel Zippilli
B: 1936-08-31
D: 2016-09-19
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Zippilli, Gabriel
Robert Runkles
B: 1939-07-29
D: 2016-09-18
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Runkles, Robert

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Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: (304) 263-8896
Fax: (304) 263-9248

Are You the Responsible Family Member?

We’ve seen it happen time and again. The person making the initial call to our funeral home turns out not to be the one with the legal responsibilities of making decisions related to the care of a loved one.

While they may feel that they should be the one to make these choices, the law doesn’t recognize them as such – and so their voice can become effectively silenced.

If the deceased has not expressed their wishes through a written document such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, or a Last Will and Testament, where the deceased has designated an agent to fulfill their wishes; then the chain of command, formally called the “order of precedence”, is commonly as follows:

  • Legal Spouse/Partner
  • Surviving Adult Child/Children
  • Surviving Parent
  • Surviving Adult Sibling
  • Ex-Spouse
  • Parent of Minor Child

The person designated as the responsible party, whoever they may be, needs to be present to make decisions, and sign documents. If you are unclear as to who is the responsible person in planning a funeral for your loved one, call us.
 

The Critical Importance of Designating a Representative

If your loved one has yet to specify who they wish to be in control of their funeral service planning, and they are clear-headed enough to do so, now is the perfect time to take care of that task.

This is especially important if they think their relatives will not honor their funeral wishes, or if they are on bad terms with them; do not know where they are, or do not have any relatives living.  

And, you might mention that appointing a specific person to arrange their funeral who is not a family member, but is deeply trusted, is a good way to ensure that their final wishes are carried out.

They can designate their choice by completing an Advance Health Care Directive, or the easy-to-read 5 Wishes guide from Aging with Dignity. Should you have questions about doing so, call us, or speak with your family attorney.