Other funeral homes offer cremation services, but the Joseph A. Tomon, Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory was the first funeral home in the Ellwood Area with a crematory. This ensures your loved one never leaves our care. All of our crematory operators have completed the National Funeral Directors Association’s Certified Crematory Operator Program.  Our crematory is available for your inspection. We have performed over 4,000 cremations since 2004.  We are your local cremation experts.

What is Cremation?

Cremation is using high heat and flame to physically reduce a human body to ashes and bone fragments. In Pennsylvania, cremation must take place at a minimum 1850F. The body is placed in the cremation unit, or retort, and is subjected to the heat and flame for an average of 2-3 hours. Time will vary, depending on a number of factors, including the size of the body. After the cremated remains cool, they are removed from the retort. At this time, a magnet is used to remove any metal from the cremated remains The cremated remains are then placed in a processor that will grind the ashes and bone fragments into a fine powder.

The cremation process is irreversible. Much consideration should be given to this aspect before one decides if cremation is right for them.

What Choices Can Accompany Cremation?

Choosing cremation is one of a number of options you have about the type of overall funeral service. With cremation, you may also choose:

  • Visitation with the body present and a funeral service at the funeral home or church, followed by cremation
  • Visitation with the body present, followed by cremation and a memorial service with the cremated remains present
  • Cremation first, followed by public or private visitation, and if desired, memorial service, with the cremated remains present

What Can You Do With Cremated Remains?

Cremated remains may be buried in a traditional cemetery lot. Some cemeteries have special sections just for cremated remains. They may be placed in a niche in a columbarium or kept at home. Or, they may be scattered at a selected site of special significance, where permitted. Honorably discharged Veterans have several options available to themselves, their spouses and dependent children.  Specific Veteran’s benefits can be found by visiting or contact us at the funeral home for more information.

Choosing Cremation Containers

Cremation options include a choice of container to hold the body, which may be a traditional casket, a specially constructed cremation casket, usually of simpler design, or an alternative container. There are a wide variety of styles and designs available at varied prices. Following cremation, another choice must be made about disposition and memorialization of the cremated remains. There are many types of urns and containers that may be selected by the family, including some that represent an aspect in the life of the deceased person, such as a favorite hobby or pastime. We maintain a stock of such items here at the funeral home.

Scattering of Cremated Remains

Scattering of cremated remains should be considered carefully, since the process cannot be undone and desires may change over time. When families desire, funeral directors can arrange to have the ashes scattered at sea, in the desert or mountains, or other locations.

Making Your Wishes Known

Simply stating your wish to be cremated is not legally enough to ensure that your wishes are carried out. A person who feels strongly about this decision can best ensure this will happen through pre-need cremation arrangements. One can fill out their own cremation authorization form, pre-need, and we can keep it on file here at the funeral home. We encourage families to ask questions about cremation and all the options it provides. We are proud to be leading the way on how important it is to Have the Talk of a Lifetime with your family and friends.  What is Have the Talk of a Lifetime? Visit

Taken in part from: “Cremation & Its Options” © 1996 Pennsylvania Funeral Director’s Association