"Family Tradition" article featured in the Press and Journal

Press-Journal/Debra Schell

Family tradition continues at Gingrich Memorials 

by Debra Schell Press And Journal Staff : 9/9/2009

The Gingrich family has been making grave memorials for 89 years.

And, with the recent addition of Andy Gingrich to the business, the family-run Gingrich Memorials is poised to continue into the 21st century.

Jim Gingrich, president of the company, said the family works well together and that their personality traits complement one another. 

“We all have our space, and even though they may get sick of us, we have our own jobs to do,” he said.

Gingrich’s oldest son, Nate, also works for the family business. He started in 2001.

Andy, who has commuted to Middletown by train from Philadelphia since starting the job earlier this year, said he’s happy to work with the family. 

“The best part about working with family is having a boss that you aren’t afraid to give bad news to,” he said.
The family business got its start in 1921, when Harvey Gingrich bought a memorial company owned by H.I. Dougherty in Lebanon.

Harvey Gingrich and his sons, Elbert, Russel, and Mark, all worked in the memorial business. 
In 1951 Russel Gingrich, Jim Gingrich’s father, purchased Luckenbill Monuments in Middletown. The headquarters for the Gingrichs has been in the borough ever since. 

The company specializes in offering personalized memorials.

Andy Gingrich is a recent graduate of  Temple University who worked for a large corporation after graduation. But he felt he would be better suited in a smaller, more family-oriented place. He wears many hats, as do each of the members of the family. 

Sales and using a computer to design memorials are some of the skills he has learned.

 “I learned more in the first eight months here than in years of working for a large corporation,” said Andy about business practices. 

“His heart was always here. He attended conventions and trade shows and our hope was that he would come back, and he did,” said Karen Gingrich, Andy’s mother.

Nate Gingrich does most sales and computer-aided design work for the memorials.

Nate joined the business after graduating from Central Pennsylvania College. 

Karen said that they haven’t had any problems getting along with each other. 

There is a team effort Karen said. 

“We don’t disagree,” said Karen, who does finances for the business. “We all want what is best for the business.”
Jim Gingrich, who oversees daily operations, said that their business is one of the few places where the engraving and 
carving is still being done on site. 

“We still do our own carving, cutting, and lettering,” he said. 

The Gingrichs own seven memorial businesses including: Haldy-Keener in Lancaster, Eitnier in Ephrata, Rice Memorials in New Bloomfield, and Gingrich Memorials in Lebanon, Palmyra, Mechanicsburg, and Middletown.

For more information about Gingrich Memorials go to www.gingrichmemorials.com
Contact Debra at 944-4628 or e-mail dschell@pressandjournal.com.