Retired Philly funeral director steps in to help arrange burials for kids killed in fire

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 This donated casket that will hold the remains on one of the four children that died in the Gesner Street fire in Southwest Philadelphia.(Image courtesy of Sarah Glover/NBC10)

This donated casket that will hold the remains on one of the four children that died in the Gesner Street fire in Southwest Philadelphia.(Image courtesy of Sarah Glover/NBC10)

Funerals are being planned for the four children killed in a Southwest Philadelphia fire last month.

A former Philadelphia funeral director is doing what she can to help the grieving families by raising funds and working out the details for the burials next weekend.

Twin sisters will go in single grave

Patricia Quinn and her husband sold his family’s Philadelphia funeral home business years ago in 2006. Now she is using her knowledge and her connections to help others. Through a nonprofit she started called Final Farewell, Quinn is helping plan and coordinate details for the funerals of the four children.

“The two twin sisters will go in one grave, and the two boys will go in another grave. Because they were two separate families,” she said.

Quinn said Final Farewell was able to provide the caskets and the burial plot.

“We got other colleagues to donate the hearses and limos and also reached out to Greyhound to donate a bus,” she said.

Quinn said a flower shop donated flowers, and she reached out to another business to donate the gravestones.

The motivation to help

Quinn said since her husband’s family was already in the funeral business,  they couple realized with their experience they had the ability to help others during some trying times.

“This was how we could give back,” she said.

Final Farewell has also helped the families of ill children.

“I was born with cerebral palsy. I had six surgeries free of charge at Shriners Hospital. My husband had cerebral palsy, and I couldn’t imagine having a kid who was suffering with a life-threatening illness and the parents have to struggle to pay medical bills,” she said. “Then, God forbid, the child passes and now they have to come up with funeral expenses.”

So far, more than $20,000, including services and goods, has been donated by Final Farewell and other businesses to arrange the funerals.

Donations are still needed — especially contributions of food for the gathering after the Aug. 16 ceremony.

More information on how to help is available at finalfarewell.org.

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