Frank F. DeBor
Founder - DeBor Funeral Home
Frank Ferdinand DeBor was born on February 9, 1914, on Pittsburgh's South Side. His parents, Frank M. and Anna DeBor, both worked for the Beinhauer Funeral Home, located on West Liberty Avenue. Anna was the grand-daughter of Louis Beinhauer, the founder of the Beinhauer family business. Young Frank and his family lived for a while in Beechview, then settled in a home on the Beinhauer estate along West Liberty Avenue.
In 1932, Frank graduated from South High School, were he was a member of the basketball team. After high school, he went to the University of Pittsburgh for one year, then transfered to the Cleveland College of Mortuary Science, where he earned a degree in 1936.
Frank was very involved in the Beinhauer business, arranging and conducting funerals. In 1939, he took on a position as an instructor at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, where he met his future wife Mary Josephine McCaster, of Johnstown. During this time he continued his work with the Beinhauers.
During the war years, Frank served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and the Continental Service, spending time in both Okinawa and Korea. After his service days, he returned to Pittsburgh and his duties at both Beinhauers Funeral Home and the Pittsburgh Institute.
On September 17, 1949, Frank and Mary Josephine were married. Mary Jo, also skilled in the mortician's trade, came to work at Beinhauers as an apprentice alongside her husband.
In 1950, Mary Jo and Frank F. DeBor, now both licensed practitioners, left Beinhauers to start their own funeral parlor. After settling on a location at 1065 Brookline Boulevard, which would double as their family residence, the couple set about the task of beginning this new business venture.
DeBor Funeral Home opened it's doors in 1951. During the first year of operation, the mortuary conducted approximately twenty funerals. A cunning and charismatic businessman, Frank F. DeBor was also a riveting speaker and a dedicated family man. He became very active in Brookline community affairs, involved with several local and civic organizations.
Through these contacts, and plenty of hard work, the DeBor Funeral Home business quickly picked up. The enterprise became so successful that Frank was forced to give up his teaching position at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1953.
Mary Jo and Frank F. DeBor had four children, Mary Dale, Beth Ann, Madeline Louise and their youngest, Frank David, born in 1960. During his years in Brookline, Frank held several distinguished positions. He was, at varying times, president of the Brookline Community Council and the Brookline Chamber of Commerce, as well as Commander of the American Legion Post #540. He was also the president of the Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association in 1950 and 1962, and a member of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association.
In addition to his other civic and professional activities, Frank was instrumental in the founding of the Brookline Little League Association in 1951. DeBor Funeral Home was the first business to sponsor a team in the program, a tradition that has carried on to this day. In 2012, the DeBor family entered their 62nd year as a team sponsor.
Frank F. Debor, after twenty-nine years as the head of the DeBor family business, retired in 1979 at age sixty-five. During his retirement years, Mary Jo ran the funeral home, while Frank enjoyed time with his family and spent winters with his daughter Beth Ann in Florida.
Frank F. DeBor passed away on March 7, 1984, after a long illness. His beloved wife, Mary Josephine, joined him four years later, on May 26, 1988. After the passing of his mother, Frank David DeBor took over the family business.
Frank David DeBor grew up at the funeral home and was indoctrinated into the mortician's practice at an early age. He attended Brookline Elementary School and St. Edmunds Academy in Squirrel Hill.
A graduate of Central Catholic High School, Frank earned a degree from Washington and Jefferson College, then spent a year studying at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. After a two-year apprenticeship at DeBor Funeral Home, he received his practitioners license in 1984, shortly before the passing of his father.
After assuming the role of Director of the funeral home, Frank David went on to Duquesne Law School, where he graduated in 1992. He has been managing the DeBor Funeral Home since 1988, and under his skilled leadership, the business has been as successful as ever.
Married in 1990, Frank and his wife Susan have three children, David, Lucille and Alie Jane. Continuing the tradition of community service, the DeBor family remains active in many community functions, and their charitable contributions to civic, church and recreation activities in the Brookline community is deserving of the highest recognition.
Written by Clint Burton - January 23, 2013
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