DUPONT—If monuments are built to last, Dupont Monument Shop reflects its namesake.
Marcelino Malo, a stonecutter who moved to Pennsylvania from Vermont, founded the 273 Main St. business in the mid-1950s. Malo passed the business down to his nephew, John Marino, who retired in 2011. Current proprietor Gregory Timonte, 50, has worked at the shop since 1986.
“Being that I am third generation, you get to know the families,” Timonte said. “People come in, they say, ‘Oh, we bought our first memorial here for our great-grandmother,’ which was probably 40 years ago, 50 years ago.”
Back then, all required measurements were done by hand. Today, Timonte designs 99 percent of his headstones, monuments, mausoleums and memorials with a computer program. When families visit the shop, he creates a digital mock-up of their memorial before they leave. Today’s customers favor personalized pieces, he said.
“Monuments nowadays are not as traditional as they were years ago,” Timonte said. “A lot of people tend to gravitate towards things that say more about the person. Whether they pray to the rosary, play guitar or ride motorcycles, we can incorporate different things like that into the designs.”
Timonte’s favorite part of the process is a finished product — and a satisfied customer.
“Personally, I like to walk through the cemeteries and see what it is that I’ve accomplished, what I’ve produced,” Timonte said. “But the best part of it is when a member of the family comes up to you and says that it’s beautiful, it’s exactly what I wanted; it says the story of mom or dad.”
Cemeteries aren’t the only places that host examples of Dupont Monument Shop’s work. A number of pieces designed by the shop stand across Greater Pittston.
In Duryea, the shop added two black pillars on either side of the VFW’s monument to fallen service members from the borough. In Pittston City, the shop’s public projects include the Firemens Statue and the Hometown Heroes Memorial.
Timonte likes to do projects that help the community, but he enjoys what he does because it also helps individual members of the community during vulnerable moments.
“I get to offer families some closure at a very trying time in their life,” Timonte said.
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