Readers’ Choice: A comforting response

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Photo by Maria Young

Planning a funeral is never a good thing.The idea of losing a loved one is something none of us enjoy dealing with, but it’s part of life. Residents count on the staff at their neighborhood funeral home to aid them through the grieving process. When asked to single one out, SPR readers voted for Monti-Rago Funeral Home Inc., 2531–35 South Broad St., as their №1 choice. Mark J. Rago, who has been working at the site since age 16, said it’s quite an honor.

“It shows the hard work we do is pleasing our neighborhood families,” he said. “I am glad it’s noticed, and I am glad we are able to please the families we serve.

It’s the most important thing for us.”

The family relies on their experience and expertise to make the grieving process as easy as possible.

“We leave no stone unturned, we address everything,” Rago said.

It helps having founder Samuel J. Monti, who is now in his early 90s, still active in the business. Rago started learning the business from Monti during his days as a student at St. John Neumann High School. He used to leave school early to help set up the flowers at the funeral home.

“What I picked up from Mr. Monti is that you are there to help the families at a terrible time,” Rago said. “It’s important that everything is done right and trustworthy at the time of the funeral service. You are going to run into the families, you want to feel like you’ve done right.”

Monti-Rago went through a complete renovation of the entire facility in 2009, and it offers fully handicapped accessible restrooms and an elevator. The 9,000-square foot facility is able to accommodate any type of setting from a large visitation to more intimate gatherings. The parlors are able to be divided depending upon the family needs and requests.

In terms of the parking situation, Rago said “it is never an issue.”

Gangemi Funeral Home finished second while Pennsylvania Burial Co. took third.