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JOHNSTOWN,PA— When the state inspector commented that “this is the best prep room I have seen in the state of Pennsylvania,” Bill Harris knew that he had achieved his goal, that of being able to provide his community with the finest in care. Harris Funeral Home, Inc. was established in 1980 by William (Bill) G. Harris, who entered the profession, “doing it the hard way,” he said, as a first generation funeral director.


Harris worked on this Premier Source project with Duncan Stuart Todd, Ltd, who guided him through the design of the room and selection of equipment with emphasis on air quality and safety. They chose to abandon the existing prep room, move to another area and build a completely new embalming room.

“I especially liked working with Duncan Todd on space planning,” Harris commented. “As a result, we found that there are now few unnecessary steps in our work flow. We take two steps, and there are our instruments, two steps the other way and there is the water control unit. It’s a breeze for the operator. Fewer steps mean less stress, we save time, we’re more efficient and with the PrepArm and PrepAir ventilating system, we are always safe and comfortable,”Harris concluded.

Other features include custom cabinetry, plumbing, safety equipment, medical flooring, wall protection and custom accessories.

John Harris, who is newly licensed and has been working in rooms in nearby cities, said “Dad, this is great.”Coming out of school, new practitioners are attracted to working in a state-of-the-art environment.

The Harris family is active in civic and community affairs. A recent gratifying endeavor involved working with a group of people who raise money for the fire company and various other causes. The latest was a fund raiser for a retired policeman who needed a lung transplant. Within two weeks the volunteers raised $20,000. Sadly, the recipient died before the transplant could take place, but the family benefitted from the funds.

As this article was being written, DST was recovering from damage caused by the recent Colorado “100 Year Flood.” A resident of Johnstown, PA which experienced devastating floods in 1899, 1936 and 1977, Harris extends his sympathy to the people of Colorado, well aware of the heartache and damages caused by such a disaster.

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