YOUNGSTOWN -- When it comes to the funeral business, the Youngstown area has a rich tradition that has stretched over several generations.
One of the oldest funeral operations in the area is the Kubina-Yuhasz Funeral Home which was established downtown in 1911 as Kubina's. The business later moved to South Avenue near what is now Ohio Edison and then moved to its current building at South and Dewey avenues in 1938.
"It was the first building in Youngstown that was built specifically to be a funeral home," said Pat Yuhasz, who owns the funeral home with his brother, Mike.
Yuhasz said that all the other funeral homes in town at that time were in large, older homes that were converted into funeral homes.
Tradition: "Al Kubina died in 1960. My dad, Louis, had been working for Al as a funeral director, and when Al died, my dad bought the business and renamed it," Yuhasz said.
Keeping the Kubina name allowed the funeral home to tie into its strong tradition, he said.
"The Youngstown area seems to be holding on to some traditions longer than other parts of the country," he said. "For example, almost every man who is buried is wearing a dark suit, even if he never wore one in his life. Even sports coats are rare."
Background: Following graduation from Youngstown State University in the early 1970s, the brothers attended the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and then joined their father in business.
In 1976 Yuhasz, who has a love for the outdoors, moved to Montana. He worked at various funeral homes and was a deputy coroner.
About six years later, Yuhasz's father died, so he came back to Youngstown to again work with his brother in the family business.
Yuhasz has seen lots of changes in the funeral industry over the last couple of decades. One was a mandate from the Federal Trade Commission that all funeral bills be itemized.
"Because of this, people have lots of choices when it comes to planning a funeral. One of the things that a lot of people tend to eliminate is the limousine. It solves the problem, in large families, of who is going to get to go in the limo and it is also a way to cut down on costs," he said.
Yuhasz said that there are no set rules when it comes to funerals.
"We honor all family requests within reason. Our goal is to help families during very difficult times," he said.