Our Family's Legacy of Service
Begun in 1914 in North Wilkes-Barre by the former Mary V. France, a Philadelphia native, and one of the first licensed lady funeral director/embalmers in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She, along with her husband, John V. Pacovsky established their funeral service on North Main Street. While still a young mother, Mary lost her husband in a tragic accident, and was encouraged by area clergy to remain in the Wyoming Valley. She later met Joseph Morris, also an undertaker. They were married and continued the family’s operations. Back then, most funerals were conducted from the family’s own residences, so the need for the modern-day funeral home was not yet a reality. Joseph cared for the countless gentlemen who succumbed to illnesses of that time or lost their lives in a tragic mining accident, while Mary cared for our area’s women and children.
They had three children, of whom one would eventually join them in their vocation. Their son John V. Morris Sr. joined his parents upon returning from Fordham University and began the second generation of the Morris Funeral Service.
John married the former Cecilia I. Kalafut, a Plymouth native who would also become a female licensed funeral director in a male-dominated profession. They continued serving families from both their North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre and Girard Avenue, Plymouth locations. In 1970 they purchased the former David L. Davies Funeral Home on East Northampton Street in the Heights section of Wilkes-Barre. Two years later they would lose their establishment in Plymouth due to the devastation of Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972. It was then their eldest son, John V. Morris Jr. graduated from the Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in Syracuse, NY. He is married to the former Ruth M. Hoheneder of Wilkes-Barre who retired from the Social Security Administration.
Like his father before him, John continued with his parents by beginning the third generation of the Morris Funeral Service in the Wyoming Valley, and was given responsibility of the business in 1982.
Several years later, their son John V. Morris III proudly graduated from the renamed Simmons Institute of Funeral Service in Syracuse, and joined his father and grandparents by becoming the fourth generation of their family to care for Wyoming Valley’s bereaved. He would later marry the former Lori Ann Gentile.
To date, the Morris Family continues to offer distinctive caring service to the families of Wyoming Valley with the same compassion and attention to the smallest of details that was instilled so many years ago.