The stories behind the people that come to work at Bartolomeo & Perotto Funeral Home are quite intriguing. Really! There are some fascinating stories. Who knew we would have a State and National Federation Natural Powerlifter record holder working as a Funeral Assistant and Service Driver? Admit it, you’re scanning your brain trying to place him if you’ve been to our funeral home. You kind of can’t miss John Harnischfeger’s ginger looks and powerlifter physique. But don’t let that fool you, he’s a standup individual. Though he spends on average, six days a week at the gym training for the World competition, and could bench press Dave Perotto 30 times or more, he’s got a lot to offer than just a “pump you up” persona. John’s been working in funeral care for more than 23 years and is very approachable and friendly. And we wouldn’t have it any other way with the families and friends who walk through the doors of the funeral home.
John also has a long and happy history with his wife Ellen. It may be surprising to know that he was the personified “high school sweetheart.” Maybe it was the freckles or that undeniable Harnischfeger appeal that kicked in and charmed her into dating him at the tender age of 16, but they made a connection which remained well past high school graduation. He later married his high school sweetheart and they’re still together today, 25 years later. You may see their son Andrew at Wegmans or one day see their daughter Brooke in scrubs working as a Nurse once she graduates from St. John Fisher. She’s been warned she may be taking care of her parents one day!
The Harnischfegers enjoy traveling and embark on what they call “mini vacations” with and sometimes without the kids. I’m sure there are many Generation X-ers that can relate, as we try to make ends meet, raise families and still try and fit in some together time. They have discovered a new-found world in hanging out with their kids as they are becoming adults themselves. There’s something about seeing your offspring finally reach that summit of beginning to find themselves and leaping off the springboard into a new coming of age milestone. Like all proud parents, they relish seeing each new step taken.
What else is there to tell you about this dedicated BP staffer? In his “real life” John is a career firefighter, beginning his journey into firefighting as volunteer with the Ridge Road Fire Department right out of high school. His father was also a volunteer, inspiring him to make firefighting a way of life. John is very passionate about what he does and has recently celebrated 25 years of service. So you might say it wasn’t such a far stretch for John to continue serving his community in his off hours at the funeral home. His first experience working in funeral care came about years ago, working for a Fire Commissioner who also happened to own a funeral business. About 13 years ago Funeral Director, Bill Padulo encouraged him to try filling in with some hours at Bartolomeo & Perotto and he’s been here ever since. We’re lucky to have him!
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