owner, Elias Funeral Home

“My mom took me to a funeral at a young age, which is a story I hear from a lot of us in the funeral business. We like the atmosphere and the way the director helps people, it’s a helping, caring business. As a kid I liked the big cars and the funeral homes and stuff like that too. I was looking for a funeral home to purchase for years and the realtor said, ‘You gotta see this property downtown here,’ and I thought, well, I don’t want to be with all of the other funeral homes, they’re all down the street here. But we looked at it and it suited my needs.

The funeral business is kind of hard as a new startup because there are so many established ones. And it’s like, I call it incestual. They just stay in the family and nobody else has a chance. With the funeral home, it helps to know people. I have relationships through all these years growing up here, and I still get amazed that people from 20, 30 years ago remember me. If they have a death in the family they’ll call. Even high school friends call when their parents die. So it just made sense to be in Allentown. Although I was looking all over the country to find a business, in the end it made more sense to stay here.”

Interview by Shira Holtz ’24

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