Funeral director's license suspended

Aug. 15—A Lackawanna County funeral director was recently suspended and fined for failing to bury the cremated remains of a former Mayfield woman.

John F. Harrison of the Ryczak-Harrison Funeral Home Inc., 901 Lackawanna Ave., Jermyn, was found to have engaged in unprofessional conduct relating to handling of services for Anne Lifantieff-Lee, who died at age 95 on April 30, 2009, according to court records.

According to an order issued by the State Board of Funeral Directors, Lifantieff-Lee's family contracted with Harrison to bury her ashes next to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery. Harrison failed to do so, ignored her family's repeated attempts to reach him to locate the ashes and did not return money paid to him.

The board notified Harrison in March 2021 that a complaint had been filed. It made multiple attempts to reach him, but he never responded to the complaint.

The board issued an order Oct. 14 suspending him for one year, but stayed the penalty in favor of probation and three months' suspension. It also ordered him to pay $3,067.95 in fines and costs. Harrison's license expired this February and has not been renewed, according to the board's website.

The board's order does not explain why there was such a long delay in bringing the case against Harrison. Attempts to reach Lifantieff-Lee's relatives for comment were unsuccessful.

The Ryczak-Harrison Funeral Home continues to operate. The business also operates the Harrison Funeral Home, 374 N. Main St., Archbald.

Attempts to reach Harrison and other officials with the funeral homes for comment were unsuccessful.

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