2007-09-26 / Business

Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home handles difficult times

160 years
by JESSICA L. FINCH Associate Editor

Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home Inc., run by, from left to right, Gregg Berwick, Peter Tuyn and Jess Present, will mark its 160th anniversary in 2008. The funeral home has always been located at Main Street and Cayuga Road in the Village of Williamsville, shown in 1946-47. Photo by Joe Eberle Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home Inc., run by, from left to right, Gregg Berwick, Peter Tuyn and Jess Present, will mark its 160th anniversary in 2008. The funeral home has always been located at Main Street and Cayuga Road in the Village of Williamsville, shown in 1946-47. Photo by Joe Eberle Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Handling the multitude of details while grieving can be made easier with help from the experienced.

Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home Inc.'s 160 years of experience can assist a family when the planning of a funeral service seems overwhelming.

Gregg Bennett of Amherst said he is grateful for the times that Beach-Tuyn has helped him deal with planning a funeral.

"They are excellent, they treat you like family and take care of everything for you," he said.

His family has lived in the town since 1907, and Bennett said he has never used another funeral home because of the great job Beach-Tuyn has done.

Having attended calling hours and services at other places, Bennett said he would never deal with another company.

The 160th anniversary of the business will be marked in 2008, and Beach-Tuyn is believed to be the oldest operating funeral home in Western New York and second in the state.

According to Beach-Tuyn's history, Demeter Wehrle, a German immigrant, opened the funeral home at South Cayuga Road and Main Street in Williamsville where it has stayed for 16 decades.

It has changed names throughout the years from Wehrle Funeral Home to Wehrle and Beach to its current name, Beach-Tuyn.

Peter Tuyn has 46 years of experience. His father Edward F. and business partner Stanley Beach incorporated Beach-Tuyn in the 1950s.

The three funeral directors at Beach-Tuyn are Gregg S. Berwick, Jess Present and Tuyn.

Through the years, funeral services have changed and now include more options to personalize them.

"We have seen a change in attitude in bereavement, with personalization of urns and vaults ... they like the options," Berwick said.

Something that families have started using is video, creating a DVD memorial that shows photos of the deceased on a screen.

"It's another way to honor the deceased," Present said.

The home has been expanded since its original design and now has five chapels, offering privacy for the families. While changes are occurring, Beach-Tuyn believes it's important to preserve traditional funeral customs and practices.

Tuyn said the company guarantees personalized assistance, and everything is handled by the Beach-Tuyn staff.

By handling every detail, Beach-Tuyn is able to ensure that the family doesn't have any additional stress with the planning and carrying out of the service.

The staff coordinates transportation to churches and cemeteries as needed. For convenience, an on-premise casket selection room and burial vault display are available.

"We have been an established funeral home for 160 years and plan to serve for many years to come," said Berwick, who has 21 years with the company. "We are independently owned and operated, and continue to be."

By offering all in-house services, families can get the answers they need from the staff member who is handling the funeral services.

"We customize any needs, including financially. And we personally serve each client. You are not going to go through several different people to get an answer," Present said.

Pre-planning is also available, which many people choose so as to not burden their family members when they die. Beach-Tuyn offers the service free and talks with the client about his or her options.

Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home is located at 5541 Main St., Williamsville. For information, call 632-1174.

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