The town of Pitman was originally established as a Camp Meeting site during the late 1800’s. The people, who came to worship here, also enjoyed the many other pleasant attractions that the area offered and soon it became a summer resort. The early planners of the town molded Pitman around those principles of the Church and Home, and the borough was incorporated in 1905. The Kelley Funeral Home was built during this time as a “summer home” for one of the many families who came from Philadelphia to escape the heat of the city.
The home was purchased in 1896 by James D. Kelley, who was the grandfather of John R. “Jack” Kelley, Jr. This was the family summer home until his death in 1917. In the following years, the home was purchased by different families, even operating as a hair salon out of the first floor.
In 1946, Mel Lawson bought the home and converted it to a funeral home. He sold it to Jack and Norma Kelley in 1953. Jack had just graduated from Eckels College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia. He owned and operated the business until his death in 1989.
With the business growing, Jack did the first of many renovations in 1958. He continued to improve and modernize the facilities, including an expansion of the parking lot to allow more convenient off street parking. A new spacious viewing room was built on to the funeral home in 1980.
His son, J. Raymond “Ray” Kelley III, started working with Jack as a young boy. He received his license in 1980 after graduating from Mercer County Community College Mortuary Science Program. Ray and his wife Patti, purchased the business in 1989 and carry on Jack’s tradition of continually improving the funeral home.
Jennifer Budd Wright joined the funeral home in 1998, the same year that she finished at Mercer County Community College and received her license.
In 2001, the showroom was redesigned to provide a better selection of merchandise and recently the interior has been redecorated. The funeral home is large and spacious, able to accommodate any type of funeral or memorial service. The building is handicapped accessible with offstreet parking.