Our Story

Roy Bard Sheetz was born in East Petersburg in 1895. He served as a medic and ambulance driver in Europe during World War I. His face-to-face encounter with the war deeply affected his life, and led him to an acute understanding of death and dying. After returning from the war, like his father, he also attended a week seminar in Harrisburg and became a licensed funeral director. On September 14, 1921, he and his wife, Rebecca Siegrist Sheetz, purchased the Mount Joy location; 16 East Main Street in Mount Joy where he operated a funeral home and furniture store. His ad in the Mount Joy Bulletin from 1923 promoted his business as “Purveyor of Fine Furniture, and Funeral Directing.” 

In 1932, the Great Depression forced the closure of the furniture store, and Roy focused on funeral directing. Roy operated this facility until his father's death in 1948. In the post World War II era, state funeral regulations became more stringent, permitting a licensed funeral director to work in only one location. Roy was forced to close the funeral home in Mount Joy and relocated to the Sheetz Home for Funerals in Lancaster.

Roy and Rebecca’s sons, Gerald Roy Sheetz, also known as “Jerry” and Richard A. “Dick” Sheetz, carried a family tradition forward in the third generation. From their childhood on, they were actively involved in their father’s funeral business in Mount Joy. After studying at Franklin and Marshall College, going into battle on Okinawa as U.S. Marine, and then going on to complete a degree in Mortuary Science at Eckells Mortuary Academy in 1949, Jerry began to lay the groundwork for re-opening the Sheetz Funeral Home in Mount Joy under his own licensure. In 1956, Jerry and Mary “Reich” Sheetz opened the Gerald R. Sheetz Funeral Home located on 21 West Donegal Street.

They achieved one of Gerald's lifelong ambitions, when he and Mary re-purchased the original homestead at, Mount Joy. On 17 November 2006, Jerry Sheetz died. His family celebrated his life and they buried him in the Mount Joy Cemetery where his final resting place has the vantage of surveying the beauty and wonders of Lancaster County. He remains loved and remembered by his family and friends. Moreover, his legacy, the business he shared with Mary and their devoted service to the greater Mount Joy community lives on most immediately through their son Jonathan.

In 1985, Jonathan R. "Jon" Sheetz graduated from Boston College with a degree in Liberal Arts; and in 1986, Jon graduated from New England Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences. Jon served his apprenticeship at the Fred F. Groff Home for Funerals, Lancaster, PA. He joined the Sheetz Funeral Home in 1987, and represents the fourth generation of his family to serve the Mount Joy community as a funeral director. He is married to Donna McNamara Sheetz and they have three sons, Peter, Stephen, and James. Jon is engaged in community service as a member of the Mount Joy Rotary Club and Vice President of the Youth Fly Fishing Team, U.S.A. Perhaps, the tradition that Jon is most proud to carry on is “teamwork,” an ideal imparted to him by his parents. His teamwork attitude extends to his business practices as he seeks to engage the needy and willing in creating the ideal and fitting remembrances for those who leave this life before us.

© 2016 Sheetz Funeral Home