History & Staff

We have years 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 

Connell Funeral Home, Inc. was founded by the late Francis J. Connell, Sr. in 1919. Since then the Connell family has served the needs of the greater Bethlehem area with dedication and distinction. Mr. Connell, Sr. based his efforts on a simple philosophy of true care, concern and compassion for his fellow man. Built on this foundation the Connell name has become synonymous with funerals in the Lehigh Valley.

In the 1940's Mr. Connell was joined by his son, the late Francis J. Connell, Jr. This led to the opening of a second location in 1952. Their practice thrived and grew along with the community, continuing on a steady path of expansion, becoming the most often selected funeral home in the Lehigh Valley.

The 1970's brought the addition of a third generation, Patrick and Eugene, who now own and operate the Connell Funeral Home. This led to further growth and a continuing increase in service to the families of the community. With an enthusiastic sense of dedication to the ideals of their predecessors, this generation of the Connell family has guided the firm on a steady path into the 21st Century. The facilities have been remodeled and redecorated several times. The professional staff has grown and everything that is required to serve the wishes and needs of those who call upon us is carefully attended to.

The first decade of the 21st century has brought a fourth generation of Connell's to the firm. Owen J., James M., Jr. , and Matthew Connell have attained their funeral director licenses and have committed to the future of Connell Funeral Home. The addition of this fourth generation of Connell's has once again renewed our dedication to those we serve.

As much as things have changed over the years one thing has remained the same...the basic philosophy of our founder remains our credo...to serve with a true and sincere care, concern and compassion for our fellow man and to provide service beyond the expected...every step of the way.

Our Valued Staff

Patrick J Connell

Patrick J Connell, Co-President

Pat and his wife Chris (Straub) have three children; Anne, Nick and Matt and four grandchildren. Pat graduated from Notre Dame High School, Green Pond in 1967 and attended St. Francis College in Loretto. He graduated from McAllister Institue of Funeral Service, NYC in 1970 and began his career as a funeral director in 1970 working with his father and grandfather. Pat and Chris have been active members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Bethlehem. He has been active in countless community and professional organizations. He is a past president/chairman of Eastern Pa. Funeral Directors Association, Bethlehem Area Boys and Girls Club, Bethlehem Rotary, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, and VNA at St. Luke’s to name a few.

Eugene Connell

Eugene Connell, Co-President

Gene is married to Jan (Pakulski) and has two children, Owen, a funeral director at Connell Funeral Home, and Katie, a Physical Therapist living near Charlotte, NC. Gene graduated from Bethlehem Catholic H.S. in 1971, St. Joseph’s College (Phila.) with a B.A. in Economics in 1975 and Miami Dade Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Funeral Service in 1976. He has been active in local youth organizations, most notably Northeast Little League and, along with his brother Jim, an attorney in Bethlehem, co-chaired the committee that originated the now well established Bethlehem Catholic High School Endowment Fund.

Jan Connell

Jan Connell, Controller

Jan was born in Baltimore, Md. Her father worked for Bethlehem Steel and moved his family from Baltimore to Indiana to Bethlehem over the years. Jan is responsible for the bookkeeping/accounting of the company. She has been very active in the community over the years. She is past president of the former Bethlehem JayCee Wives and the Hanover School PTO. She has given years of dedicated service to Northeast Little League and has served as a Eucharistic Minister and Retreat Team Facilitator at St. Anne's Catholic Church.

Owen Connell

Owen Connell, Funeral Director

Owen finished the mortuary program at Northampton Area Community College in 2001, attaining his Associate Degree in Funeral Sciences. After completing his internship and passing the boards he attained his funeral director licensed in August of 2003. Owen has four children, Aidan, Ian, Ella and Ava.

James Connell

James Connell, Funeral Director

James, a.k.a. Jamie, finished the mortuary program at Northampton Area Community College in 2002, attaining his Associate Degree in Funeral Sciences. After completing his internship and passing his boards he became licensed in November of 2003. Jamie is also a graduate of Wilkes University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science/Business Administration. He played as a Free Safety for the Wilkes football team prior to being an Assistant Defensive Coach for the University. He also played 2nd base for the Wilkes baseball team. He is a 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus and plays softball in the Bethlehem City League in his off time. Jamie lives in Nazareth with his wife Angela and sons, Evan and Caden.

Matthew Connell

Matthew Connell, Funeral Director

Matt finished the mortuary science program at Northampton Area Community College in 2004, attaining his Associate Degree in Funeral Sciences. And attained his funeral director license in 2005. Matt is also a graduate of Moravian College with a Bachelor Degree in Business Management. Matt and his wife Joy have one son, Daniel and one daughter, Samantha. Matt is an avid sports fan, especially the University of Notre Dame.

Jay Mayes

Jay Mayes, Funeral Director

A licensed funeral director since 1982, Jay has been with Connell Funeral Home since 1994. He graduated with a B.S. degree from East Stroudsburg University in 1979, where he was the captain of the basketball team, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1980. Originally from Lehighton, PA Jay and his wife Nancy live in the Bethlehem area. Jay enjoys golf, tennis, world travel and playing the trumpet.

Scott Raab

Scott Raab, Funeral Director

Scott graduated with honors from Northampton Community College Funeral Service Education in 1992 and attained his PA Funeral Director's license in 1993. Scott's focus and responsibility is the sacred, dignified preparation and presentation of the deceased, along with ethical care and service to bereaved families. His main role is an expert embalmer, reconstructive specialist, and talented restorative artist. Scott is the funeral home's OSHA Chief Safety Officer.

John DeStasio

John DeStasio, Operations Manager

John serves as our day to day manager. He makes sure we are properly staffed for all services, have the right vehicles in the right places at the right times and that everything is in order and running smoothly. He also oversees our support staff, which numbers about 15 people. John has been affiliated with Connell Funeral Home for over 20 years as a member of our support staff. He retired after a distinguished career as a Bethlehem Fire Fighter for 29 years and in 2005 joined us full time in his current capacity. John and his wife Ellie live in Bethlehem and have two children, Greg and Marisa. John’s son Greg is a Teacher in the Bethlehem Area School District and also a part of our support staff. In John’s free time, John and his wife Ellie enjoy going to Phillies and Iron Pigs games and also watching Muhlenberg College Softball games where their daughter Marisa is the Head Softball Coach. John is well known in the community and is active in all things involving city youth and recreation.