Obituaries

Sylvia Cawley
B: 1922-12-09
D: 2015-03-05
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Cawley, Sylvia
Margaret Burgess
B: 1928-12-01
D: 2015-03-02
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Burgess, Margaret
Katia Raskolnikov
B: 1965-04-12
D: 2015-02-27
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Raskolnikov, Katia
Margaret Borelli
B: 1919-05-08
D: 2015-02-26
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Borelli, Margaret
Mary O'Gara
B: 1916-01-19
D: 2015-02-24
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O'Gara, Mary
William Walsh
B: 1941-10-22
D: 2015-02-21
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Walsh, William
Helen Knox
B: 1927-10-10
D: 2015-02-13
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Knox, Helen
James Beltran
B: 1931-03-24
D: 2015-02-12
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Beltran, James
Faye Plume
B: 1938-10-28
D: 2015-02-08
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Plume, Faye
William Richer
B: 1942-08-05
D: 2015-02-05
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Richer, William
Arthur Egensteiner
B: 1928-04-26
D: 2015-02-05
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Egensteiner, Arthur
Roy Salanitro
B: 1921-05-10
D: 2015-02-03
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Salanitro, Roy
Joseph Nadol, III
B: 1972-09-19
D: 2015-02-03
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Nadol, III, Joseph
Howard Zwiefel
B: 1924-12-21
D: 2015-02-01
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Zwiefel, Howard
June Halliday
B: 1931-06-20
D: 2015-02-01
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Halliday, June
Italo Amodio
B: 1922-07-18
D: 2015-01-31
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Amodio, Italo
Shane Howe
B: 1997-05-27
D: 2015-01-31
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Howe, Shane
Helen Povall
B: 1921-08-21
D: 2015-01-30
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Povall, Helen
Maria Donato
B: 1920-08-19
D: 2015-01-30
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Donato, Maria
Patrick Dugan
B: 1922-05-20
D: 2015-01-28
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Dugan, Patrick
Jeanne Maroney
B: 1928-06-23
D: 2015-01-27
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Maroney, Jeanne

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Visitation

A "viewing" means to have an open casket.

A "visitation" is when your loved one is placed in the casket (which may be open or closed) before the service so that mourners may come to "visit."

A visitation offers a chance for people to "pay their final respects" to the deceased. Just as important, the visitation can be a time for mourners to meet and console each other in a more informal setting than at the funeral.

You can schedule a visitation for as little as half an hour on the day of the service, or it can last for several days before the service.

The visitation can be restricted to just close friends and family, or be open to the public. You can even have a combination of private and public hours.

Is there a special ceremony?

As part of the visitation, you can arrange a formal ceremony, an informal ceremony, or none at all. The formal ceremony might be a brief service with  prayers for the dead led by a mourner or member of the clergy.

Traditionally, though, a wake means the friends and family keeping watch by the body before it is safely buried. (Hence the term "wake.") In some families, there is much feasting and storytelling during the vigil.

For those who are comfortable with it, an informal storytelling session can be a wonderful way to remember the person.

The stories don't all have to be solemn, nor do they all have to show the person as a saint. We often love people as much for their flaws as for their strengths.

Remember, too, that laughter is as much a sign of strong emotion as tears or anger.

And if the person had a good sense of humor, there are bound to be some funny stories.

This sharing can be a rich and powerful experience. You might even want to record this event to play it again later.