Kniffen O’Malley now locally owned

June 27th, 2015 1:45 am

First Posted: 9/12/2013

In 1997, licensed funeral director Brian Leffler began serving families at Kniffen O’Malley Funeral Homes, Avoca and Wilkes-Barre. For more than 100 years, both names have been recognized by Luzerne County families for integrity and innovation in personal service for funerals and cremation. The Kniffen O’Malley locations are two of the five funeral homes purchased by Leffler, a graduate of the Mortuary Education program at Northampton Community College.

From 1997 to the Leffler purchase, the firm had been owned by the Heffner family. Leffler began his funeral service career with Heffner in 1993 and in 2002 became a general manager of the Kniffen O’Malley locations plus a firm in Pottsville. In 2004 Leffler was appointed general manager of 9 Heffner locations, five of which he purchased on August 16th. Leffler is married to Victoria (Pellish) Leffler. They have two children and reside in Duryea.

In addition to Leffler, licensed funeral director and a Certified Celebrant Rynell Guy, has been with Kniffen O’Malley since 2009. She will continue to serve as a funeral director, a cremation specialist and as a Certified Celebrant working with families to create a meaningful tribute that reflects the personality and life-style of the deceased. She received Celebrant training and certification from the In-Sight Institute. She is the fiancé of Michael VanLuvender, they have one child and reside in Plains. Other associates who continue with Kniffen O’Malley include Tony Blaskiewicz, Chuck Hannon, Chris VanLuvender, Sue Zeske and Joe Andrews.

Ernie Heffner, President of Heffner Family Services said, “After watching Brian Leffler’s dedication for the past twenty years, it is with pride and complete confidence that I transitioned the stewardship of Kniffen O’Malley to Brian. This ensures the continued availability of exceptional personal service for Luzerne County families because Brian truly understands and appreciates the importance of providing sensitive, compassionate end-of-life care.”