History & Staff

We have generations of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Our History

The year was 1884 when J. William Snyder, the first generation of Snyder funeral directors came to Irwin as a young man and began an apprenticeship with his uncle. L.H. Taylor, who conducted a furniture and undertaking establishment.  The business was located in the 400 block of Main Street and moved to its present location 521-527 Main Street in 1918. The undertaking establishment itself started in 1869. L.H. Taylor purchased the business from Samuel Critchfield who occupied a building in the 300 block of Main Street. Mr. Taylor retired from the business and was succeeded by four different owners. Mr. Snyder remained with each firm and was in charge undertaking and funerals.  Eventually the business was owned by a man J.C. Snivley. Mr. Snivley incorporated the business under the name Peoples Furniture and Undertaking Co., at which time Mr. Snyder purchased half interest becoming sole owner after Mr. Snivley’s death.

J. William Snyder lived with his wife Mary in the Borough raising two sons the elder of which J. Howard Snyder, was the only Irwin resident killed in action during WWI. The local VFW Post 781 was named in his honor. J.W., as he was known, was a licensed embalmer and undertaker and worked well into his 80’s. He died in 1959 at the age 90.

In 1936, William N. Snyder, youngest son of J. William and Mary, became the second generation of the family to become a licensed funeral director. A graduate of Collier School of Embalming of New York City, he married the former Louella Beck of Youngwood and was a lifelong Irwin resident. He was active in the local civic and church affairs and the operation of the funeral home until his death on his 68th birthday in 1971.

Following WW II, William N. Snyder Jr., only child of Bill and Louella became the third generation funeral director of the firm. A graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, he became a licensed funeral director in 1949.  He was married to the former Elizabeth C. Shaw of Irwin and they had eight children. He was also active in many local civic and church affairs as well as the daily operation of the funeral home into his 80’s. After having worked with his grandfather, father, sons, daughter, and grandson he died at the age of 87 in 2011.

In 1967 Snyder Funeral Home expanded their operations to include the E.A. Forgie Funeral Home in nearby East McKeesport. The Snyders operated the Forgie Funeral Home for Ruth L. Forgie until her death in 1986, at which time they acquired full ownership. The business is operated today as the Forgie-Snyder Funeral Home.

In 1983 William R. Snyder, oldest son of Bill and Elizabeth became the fourth generation funeral director of the firm. He also graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science becoming a licensed funeral director in 1983. Married to the former  Dawn Kisner of Sheridan Terrace, they have three children and reside in Irwin. Bill has been active in the community and manages the operations of both funeral homes.  He has assembled a unique and caring staff that includes his wife Dawn, Son J.W., and daughter Jessica, Forgie-Snyder Funeral Home Supervisor David Mahlstedt, Pre-arrangement Specialist Kim Cramer and assistant “Dutchy” Wojtowicz.

Bill and Dawn’s son J.W. Snyder, named after his great, great, grandfather, graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 2009 becoming the fifth generation funeral directors in the Snyder family.

Our Valued Staff

  • William Snyder

    William Snyder Funeral Director and William Snyder Funeral Home Inc. Supervisor

    Bill has been a licensed funeral director since 1983 having graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He has been involved with many community projects over the years and currently is a member of First Presbyterian Church, Irwin, the Norwin Rotary Club and Shidle Lodge No. 601, F. & A. M. Through his involvement with the Forgie-Snyder Funeral Home in East McKeesport he is also past president of Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association and is currently a member of the Westmoreland-Indiana-Armstrong County, Pennsylvania State, and National Funeral Director’s Associations. He and his wife Dawn have three children and are lifelong Norwin residents.

  • J.W. Snyder

    J.W. Snyder Funeral Director

  • David E. Mahlstedt

    David E. Mahlstedt Funeral Director and Forgie Snyder Funeral Home Supervisor

    David joined the firm in April 2014, and supervises the Forgie-Snyder Funeral Home in East McKeesport. David, his wife Tricia, and their two wonderful children are long-time residents of Forest Hills and are members of Saint Maurice Catholic Church. David was a member of the U.S. Army Old Guard unit from 1990 till 1993. During this time, he was involved in many ceremonies with Late President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. He was part of the military escort for foreign dignitary visits that included laying wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and their visits to the White House and Pentagon. He also participated in hundreds of military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. including the funerals for the active duty Army deaths that occurred during the Persian Gulf War. After his military service, he enjoyed a long and successful career in transportation sales throughout North America. During this time his travels took him to 49 of the 50 states and most of Canada. Remembering his military service, he desired to return to the funeral process to help families during their time of need. He completed his funeral director training at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 2012. There he earned an Associate’s Degree with honors in funeral management, as well as becoming a CANA certified cremation operator. He is a current member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association and the Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association.

  • James F. Filia

    James F. Filia Funeral Director

    Jim has been a licensed funeral director since 1973, graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science serving as vice president of his class. Jim has been involved in the East Allegheny Community for over 40 year, He was a past Borough Council member in Wilmerding, Member of Wilmerding Lions Club, Community Improvement Advisory Committee in Wilmerding, Past board member of the East Allegheny Business Association, member of the East Allegheny Athletic Association as a Executive Board Member, sponsor and a coach. Jim is a members of St. Jude the Apostle Church in Wilmerding and a member of the Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association. Jim operated the James F. Filia Funeral Home in Wilmerding for over 38 years before deciding to semi retire and join the Forgie-Snyder Funeral Home. Jim and his wife Mary Kay have 2 children, 5 grandchildren & 1 great grandson.

  • Dawn M. Snyder

    Dawn M. Snyder Office and Support Staff Manager

  • Delberta Wojtowicz

    Delberta Wojtowicz Assistant