Grief Support

What is Grief Support?

Grief comes naturally as a part of loss. People often feel alone and isolated in their grief but no one should have to grieve alone. Many resources are available to help with grief and make its presence and passage both meaningful and rewarding. “The experience of grief is powerful. So, too, is your ability to help yourself heal. In doing the work of grieving, you are moving toward a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in your life.” – Dr. Alan D. Wofeldt, Center for Loss and Life Transitions

What We Offer

Andrew D. Ferguson Funeral Home’s Continual-Care Program offers support for families of all faiths to help before, during and after the loss of a loved one.

  • Online Grief Support connects you to resources which can help with understanding grief:
  • Our Grief Lending Library is comprised of more than 100 books, video tapes and pamphlets dealing with grief, grief resolution, death, and the trauma that surrounds this emotional time in one’s life. Materials may be borrowed at any time.
  • Our On-staff Grief Specialist can assist in selecting materials and programs appropriate to family members’ and friends’ unique situations.
  • Our comprehensive Outreach Program includes two Grief Support Groups, Stepping Stones Pamphlet and Heal One’s Grief Wounds Support Group, as well as speakers on various funeral related topics.

Lillian and David Cale are facilitators for the Newly Bereaved and Advanced groups of Stepping Stones Bereavement Support. Neither is a certified counselor; both are grievers and the programs they provide are peer counseling sessions. Two programs for newly bereaved are offered each year; one begins the second Monday of September and the other the first Monday of March.

Lillian facilitates the ten week Newly Bereaved program that was developed by Lydia Gentile over many years dating back to 1992. Articles, DVDs and conversation are used to aid the group in working through their grief. Lillian had a career as a Junior High teacher and has worked in education and public relations through the years. She has a Masters Degree in Education. She volunteers in the program because she has seen how people are helped by it, as she was after losing her mother in 2000.

David is a university professor who facilitates the Advanced Group (individuals who have completed the Newly Bereaved program and want more information to continue dealing with their loss). David came to the program after his mother-in-law’s death in 2000. He, too, has seen the benefits of the program. Both Lillian and David wish to continue helping grievers reach their full potential as they weather the storms of grieving.

  • We participate in the Living Tree Memorial Service, a helpful way for people to cope with grief and build new life from loss.
  • We have full-time telephone support and offer newsletters and educational seminars to further assist those suffering through loss.

Please contact the Andrew D. Ferguson Funeral Home for any questions regarding grief support or bereavement group meetings. There is absolutely no obligation.

Bereavement groups can help. Those suffering grief often need to reach out and share their feelings, to make sense of what has happened, and to begin rebuilding their lives. Andrew D. Ferguson III helps host the Uniontown Area Bereavement Support Group’s meetings and encourages those dealing with grief to attend. Many different aspects of grief are covered, and there is always time for people to voice their feelings. Here’s an example.


Few people think of grieving a loss as hard work. Most people who have experienced the death of a loved one feel tremendous fatigue at times in the grief process. And the reason is that grief is hard work, relentless work, constant work. When we do housecleaning or work in our garden or do our work on the job, we can usually take a break when we feel the need. We step back, walk around a little, change our focus for a moment, or just relax. But, with grief and sorrow, there are no breaks. The loneliness is always there; there are no breaks. The loss is present, if only in our subconscious. The hurt waxes and wanes but never really leaves. No breaks. No time-outs. Just constant and hard work. And, of course, that is fatiguing to anyone. The work must be done. No one can escape it. But the good news is that those who are hard at work in grief can share their burden and lessen their load. – from the Uniontown Area Bereavement Group’s “Stepping Stones,” adapted from an article by Pastor Carl Krueger.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like information on local programs or on borrowing materials from our library.



Chad J. Baron, age 48, of Brownsville, passed away Saturday, September 30, 2023 in Penn-Highlands Mon Valley Hospital, after a long illness.  He was born June 11, 1975 in Brownsville, PA, son of Patricia R. Grabowsky of Ohio and the late James J. Baron.   Chad was a graduation of Brownsville High School with the class of 1993.  He was a manager for many years at Advanced Auto Parts before becoming disabled. Chad enjoyed his family and being a video gamer.   Left to cherish Chad’s memory is his son, Michael J. Baron and wife Mallory Baron of Belle Vernon ; a grandson, Theodore Baron of Belle Vernon; a sister, Michelle Sebek and husband Larry of Belle Vernon and their children, Alexis and Logan.   Arrangements have been entrusted to the ANDREW D. FERGUSON FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIES, INC., 80 Morgantown St., Uniontown, PA, where the family will receive friends on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 from 4 PM until 6 PM followed by a service celebrating Chad’s life at 6 PM with Pastor Jim Jobes officiating. Interment will be private.   Memories and condolences can be shared with the family at and on the funeral home Facebook page.
Robert G. Zele, age 89, of Uniontown, passed away, Sunday, October 1, 2023 at home surrounded by his loving family.  He was born October 11, 1933 in Royal, PA son of the late Joseph Zele and Mildred White Zele.  In addition to his parents, Robert was preceded in death by his brother, Joseph Zele.   Robert was a 1951 graduate of Redstone High School.  He was a member of Pleasant View Presbyterian Church.  Robert served in the United States Navy.  He was a life member of AMVETS Post #103 and a life member of Hutchinson Sportsmen’s Club.   Left to cherish Robert’s memory are his loving wife of 60 years, Jenny L. Davison Zele; sons, Robert J. Zele and wife Jessica of Uniontown and Alan L. Zele and wife Arlene of Beaver, PA; grandchildren, Kaitlyn L. Zele, Angelique Mari and fiancé` Mark Yuratovich and great grandchildren, Alaina Mari and Bryson Yuratovich.   Arrangements have been entrusted to the ANDREW D. FERGUSON FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIES, INC., 80 Morgantown St., Uniontown, PA where the family will greet family and friends on Thursday, October 5th from 2 until 4 p.m. and 6 until 8 p.m.  Visitation will continue on Friday from 10 until 11 AM followed by a service celebrating Robert’s life at 11:00 with Pastor Bryan Kelley officiating.  Military rights will be accorded by Amvets Post #103.  Interment will be private at the Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, PA.   In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to General George C. Marshal AMVETS Post #103 of Hopwood, PA.   Memories and condolences can be shared with the family at or on the funeral home Face Book page.
J. O'Brien picture
James A. O’Brien, Sr., age 77, of Uniontown, passed away Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at his home surrounded by his loving family.  He was born December 28, 1945 in Uniontown son of the late Joseph Leo O’Brien and Ada Catherine Moxley O’Brien.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, William O’Brien and mother-in-law, Regina Twardesky.   James was a graduate of St. John’s High School and served in the US Army Reserves.  He was employed by Plumbers and Pipefitters LU354 and spent the majority of his career working for Chapman Corporation in Washington, PA.  He was a life member of the Union Hose Company of the Uniontown Fire Department.  James was a member of St. John’s RC Church where he served as an usher and collection counter.  He was a coach and officer for the R.W. Clark Little League for 15+ years.  He also enjoyed scratch-off lottery tickets.   Left to cherish James’ memory are his wife of 54 years, Gloria Twardesky O’Brien of Uniontown; sons, Shawn P. O’Brien (Christine) of Pittsburgh, James A. O’Brien, Jr. (Gina) of Waynesburg, Christopher H. O’Brien (Kim) of Uniontown and Todd M. O’Brien (Mandy) of Uniontown; brother, Patrick O’Brien of Uniontown; sisters, Mary Ann Welc (Robert) of Scottdale and Sheila Greer (Sha) of Connellsville; grandchildren, Megan, Logan, Jordan, Braeden, Tanner, Brooklyn and step-grandchildren, Zachary, Ryan (Grace), and Emily.   Arrangements have been entrusted to the ANDREW D. FERGUSON FUNERAL HOME, 80 Morgantown St., Uniontown, PA. where family and friends will be received on Sunday, October 1st  from 2 until 7 p.m.  Visitation will continue on Monday from 8:30 until 9:15 followed by Prayers of Transfer.  A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating James’ life will be held at 10:00 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church with Father Anthony Klimko officiating.  Interment will follow in Sylvan Heights Cemetery.   The family would like to thank the staff of Amedisys Hospice Services for the compassionate care given to their loved one.   In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of James “Turkey” O’Brien to Union Hose Company, 84 N. Beeson Ave., Uniontown, PA 15401.   A parish prayer vigil will be held at 4:00 p.m.   Uniontown Fire Department will conduct a service at 6:00 p.m.   Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at and on the funeral home Facebook page.
Ashton, D.
Donald R. Ashton, Sr., age 91, of Uniontown, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, September 15, 2023. Don was born February 4, 1932 in Oliver #3. He was the son of the late Clarence Ashton, Sr. and Katherine Haggerty Ashton. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Clarence Jr., Ronald and Jim.   Don was a graduate of North Union High School. He was a member of Trinity United Presbyterian Church. Don served in the United States Army during the Korean War and was a member of the VFW Post #8542, as well as American Legion #51. He was a steel worker with Duquesne Works, and one of the founders of the Valley Sportsman’s Club. Upon retirement, Don dedicated his life to his three passions: sports, community service, and family.   Don enjoyed playing poker with family, friends and some of the communities more interesting characters. He was a skilled and driven softball player, playing on several tournament teams into his 80’s. He helped one of those teams win the Senior Softball World Series and was the team’s MVP.   Service was the second hallmark of Don’s life. Don volunteered for over 35 years with various organizations. He delivered homebound meals for Community Action, and was a dedicated volunteer for Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers. Don shared his love of service with his grandchildren by including them in his outreach creating a legacy that lives on today.   Don’s dedication to his family was his greatest gift. He enjoyed the many hours spent with his grandchildren and great[1]grandchildren. Left to cherish Don’s memory are his soul mate of 63 years, Carol Jordan Ashton; children, Donald Ashton, Jr. (Michael), Randy Ashton (Lisa), Terri Sharp (John); brother, Richard Ashton and sister, Betty Conn; grandchildren, Lyndsay Rice (Jeremy), Alec Sharp (Haley), Alexa Ashton, Demi Ashton, Gage DeLorenzo, great grandchildren Ayva, Waylon “The Duke” and Jace, as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.   Arrangements have been entrusted to the ANDREW D. FERGUSON FUNERAL HOME. A memorial service celebrating the life of Don will be held on Saturday, October 21st at Trinity United Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends from 9:00-11:00 followed by a service with Pastor Frank Vargo officiating.   Donations in memory of Don can be made to Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, 79 W. Fayette Street, Uniontown, PA 15401.   Memories and condolences can be shared with the family at and on the funeral home Facebook page