New York State Funeral Directors Association

Certified Celebrant Training Grads Learn to Provide Personalized Funeral Tributes

ALBANY, NY (June 29, 2017) -- A diverse group from throughout the northeast recently completed a three-day program focused on helping to provide families the healing gift of a personalized funeral tribute built on the stories of a life.

 [VIDEO: NYSFDA member, Peter J. Rose, shares his experience with the program.]

Held at the Albany headquarters of the New York State Funeral Directors Association (NYSFDA), the program featured discussion on concepts including grief, meeting with families, and providing memorial services for a growing segment of American society – those unaffiliated with formal faith communities.

The program was facilitated by Glenda Stansbury, MA, CFSP, and Matt Bailey of the InSight Institute, a training division of InSightBooks, who are dedicated to teaching others how to write, prepare and present a totally individualized, personalized service that fits the deceased and their family.

In attendance were funeral directors, clergy, and others hailing from places including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and throughout New York State.

2017 NYSFDA Celebrant Graduates

  • Dominick Abbate of Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton, NY  
  • Patrick Buono of Buono Funeral Service, Inc., in Saugerties, NY    
  • Carina DiFrancesco of Bartolomeo & Perotto Funeral Home, Inc. in Rochester, NY
  • David J. Ditoro of Bekkering-Ellis Funeral Home, Inc. in Schenectady, NY
  • Catherine Dykes of Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, Inc., in Hamburg, NY
  • Jason M. Easton of Flynn Bros., Inc. Funeral Home in Greenwich, NY
  • Caroline King of New Comer Funerals & Cremations in Albany, NY
  • Carol Klausner of Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Service, Inc., in Clinton, NY
  • Rebecca Kruger of Hackettstown, NJ
  • Vincent Lawyer of Buranich Funeral Home, Inc., in Camillus, NY
  • Pastor Reid Moon of Zelienople, PA
  • Janice Novotka of Scranton, PA
  • Antonio C. Perito of Colonial Memorial Funeral Home in Woodbourne, NY
  • Peter J. Rose of Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Homes in Amsterdam, NY
  • Barb Rossi of Phillips Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Corning, NY    
  • Jason Ryder of Buranich Funeral Home, Inc., in Camillus, NY
  • Walter J. Tomasik of W.E. Autenrith Sons, Inc. in Holland Patent, NY
  • Eric Van Zeilen of Murphy Funeral & Cremation Chapels, LLC, in Palmyra, NY
  • John Waterson of Hans Funeral Home in Albany, NY
  • Tammy Williamson of Harrington, DE

For other upcoming educational opportunities at NYSFDA, visit


Founded in 1889, the New York State Funeral Directors Association, Inc. is the oldest state association of funeral directors in the U.S., representing more than 900 member firms and 3,300 licensed funeral directors in New York State.


Rana Huber, NYSFDA Director of Communications


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