About Us | Tunie Funeral Home

History & Staff

Our Story

Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.

Ever since we opened our gates we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are not a burial ground. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.

Why Us?

In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.

Why Us?

We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.

Learn the legacy.

Tunie Funeral Home was established years ago, and serving families has always been our focus. We take pride in being able to guide people through some of their most difficult days. We take pride in maintaining a setting that allows people to find solace. Celebrating life is our mission. That’s never changed. And with pride, it never will.

In more than five decades as a funeral director, James W. Tunie, Sr.  

- - reserved but otherwise capable of talking to anyone and everyone like a childhood friend - - had a compassionate nature trained on helping the families who needed him.  In the summer of 1941, Mr. Tunie - - then 14 years old - - went to work in the Larimer funeral home owned and operated by the late George W. Gaines, a close friend of Mr. Tunie's parents.  He lived and worked at the funeral home while attending Westinghouse High School, and was so impressed by Mr. Gaines's work that he decided to follow in his footsteps and become a funeral director.  After graduating from Westinghouse in 1945, Mr. Tunie served in the Army during World War II until 1946.  After his discharge, Mr. Tunie returned to his parents'  house in Homestead, PA and used the benefits of the GI Bill to enroll in the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1947.

After graduating from mortuary science school in 1948, there was no immediate openings available at local African-American funeral homes, so Mr. Tunie worked as a laborer for four years at the Hay's Brick Yard, where he made and stacked bricks to fill orders.

A funeral director apprenticeship finally became available, and Mr. Tunie was able to work at Frances A. Keith Funeral Home in McKeesport, PA while also working a night shift at a hotel in the HIll District to make extra money, Ms. Hawkins Tunie said.  Mr. Tunie became a licensed funeral director in 1956 and established his own funeral home in 1960.  With the help of friends and family members including Ms. Hawkins Tunie - - who became a funeral director after graduating from mortuary school in 1968 - - and Mr. Jenkins, who became a funeral director in 2005 after 38 years as a mill worker, the modest business grew so much that it had to relocate several times.  

Who We Are

Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.

James W.  Tunie

James W. Tunie

Founder
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Ronald W.  Jenkins

Ronald W. Jenkins

Supervisor
Mercer  Keyes

Mercer Keyes

Staff
Benard Cooney

Benard Cooney

Staff
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Lisa Denise Johnson

Lisa Denise Johnson

LFD

Our location.

Learn exactly where we are, plus how and when to arrive.