John has been an associate with us since September 1981. In addition to being a licensed funeral director and the Vice President of the company, John holds Cremation Certifications as a Crematory Operator, Crematory Administrator and a Cremation Counselor. He serves York County families from our Red Lion, York and Lewisberry locations.
John is also a Certified Celebrant. If you are not a member of a church or if you simply do not wish to have a religious service, he can help you. As a Certified Celebrant, John works with families to create a meaningful tribute that reflects the personality and life-style of the deceased. He received his training and certification from the In-Sight Institute.
Your comments about our staff: Matt, John and the entire staff did an excellent job with my father’s service.
Would you refer us to others? Yes. Everyone was extremely helpful through all aspects of this confusing and emotional time.
Charles R. Kelley, Jr., son of Charles R. Kelley, Sr.
Your comments about our staff: Mr. Katora helped during a very difficult period and through family dynamics. He was excellent.
Would you refer us to others? Yes. Service was excellent. Friendly staff. Knowledgeable.
Charles J. Snyder, son of Estelle D. Snyder
Your comments about our staff: Arrangements for the funeral were made long-distance, and Matt was extremely helpful in making the process go smoothly. Matt, Scott and John were all both caring and professional, as was the rest of your staff at the funeral. They are all a credit to your fine organization.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, I was totally satisfied with the help, care, and professionalism of all your staff.
Dave Stetler, son of Daniel Stetler, Jr.
Your comments about our staff: John and staff (From John to Megan and everyone in between), very professional, helpful, kind and courteous.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, every time I have had any communication with the funeral home, it has been more than exceptional service. John is beyond exceptional!!
Tammy Barclift, daughter of Pauline J. Warner
Your comments about our staff: Our experience from the beginning with John Katora helping with the preplanning for Mom, to the day of Mom’s service with Nathan Ray, was very good. Nathan and the staff involved were very helpful in planning and coordinating the second service for Mom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All went well and the Chapel in Milwaukee praised the work done in York. Thank you all!
Additional comments: Thank you all for your efforts! God Bless.
Henry L. Guenther and Peggy L Guenther
Would you refer us to others? Yes, John Katora was very professional, and a gentleman, and everyone that gave us service at all, was very professional in every way. Thank you.
Sincerely, Glenn Grove and family for Betty J. Grove
Your comments about our staff: They were outstanding from the office staff, to Betty and Nate, as well as John and assistants.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, if you want your final arrangements to be done by professionals, then Heffner Funeral Chapel would be the ones to handle them.
John Mingora, husband of Charlean Mingora
Your comments about our staff: Everyone went out of their way to make sure we understood everything and made us as comfortable as possible.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, my father-in-law worked at Heffner’s before his death. He spoke very highly of everyone. His opinion weighed heavily with us.
Additional comments: Thanks to John Katora for spending an evening with us for prearranging Uncle Tom’s funeral. Nate and the intern were very gracious to the family. They prepared the identification viewing for us at a moment’s notice. Thank you all.
Robie and Donna Rawhouser, family of Lee T. Amsbaugh
Your comments about our staff: As an employee of Heffner's, it gives me an opportunity to let others know that you will get 110% top of the line service when using Heffne's. In the last few years, funeral arrangements were made for my husband, cousin, brother-in-law, and just recently, my sister, and you can be assured that there is nothing they will not do for you and your family. The anxiety you may have just melts away when you talk with anyone on the Heffner staff, and the absolute cleanliness of the establishment, vehicles and crematory is very noticeable. You are in good hands with Heffner's. Thank you so much John K.
Gloria J. Becker, sister of Kathryn E. Fritz
Your comments about our staff: John Katora was wonderful. He made sure the ceremony met our needs. He went out of his way to ensure that we didn't have to worry about anything. He delivered flowers and dropped off our son's belongings.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, we have been to many funeral parlors and none compare to the Red Lion Heffner parlor. The beauty, size and atmosphere make losing a loved one bearable.
Heather Goebeler, mother of Cannon J. Goebeler
Your comments about our staff: On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give John Katora a 10. "Thank You".
Gerald Zumbrum for Jean A. Shaner
Your comments about our staff: I didn't have anything pre-arranged Mr. Katora took care of everything, for which I will be eternally grateful.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, many people at the service commented to me that it was a very inspiring memorial.
Norma E. Cutshall, Mother of Stephen E. Cutshall
Would you refer us to others? Yes, knowing John Katora (and I did request his services) from Dad and church, I can't say enough "good things" about how he treats our family through these difficult times. John is excellent and so is the rest of the staff, so very kind and considerate. I've dealt with your home on many different levels, because of church and my duties there. I thank you!
Beth Lefever, daughter of Mary A. Lewis
Your comments about our staff: Everyone was very courteous and helpful. John was wonderful and fulfilled all requests. This was not an experience I wanted but your company and personnel made it manageable. Thank you.
Michelle Powley, daughter of James Krishinger
Your comments about our staff: The staff was most courteous to all our family nothing was too much trouble to help make our situation comfortable for all of us.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, Mr. Katora met with the family went over procedures at the funeral home, church visitation, and trip to the cemetery. We did not have a feeling we were being pushed a listening ear was given to our concerns. We were very pleased with everything.
Barbara C. Beck, widow of Dean Beck
Your comments about our staff: John Katora is wonderful.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, I would refer Heffner, but even more I would refer John Katora at Heffner's.
Shane O'Neil, son of Gary M. O'Neil
Your comments about our staff: My Mother loved working at Heffner's because of the people. She thought of each person there as family. The attentiveness, caring and thoughtfulness of each member of the staff was exceptional. I understand now, why she loved going to work. Thank you for everything you did to make this experience as comfortable as possible.
Additional comments: It takes a special person to understand the death, dying and grief processes. Every member of your staff and directors treated me and my remaining family members with compassion. Every detail was managed carefully. John is like a brother to us. He was always available, going way beyond what would be expected if he saw his calling as a job. He's passionate about his work and handles every detail with the highest degree of professionalism. I am unable to name each person on the Heffner staff who assisted me through this process, but I will be forever thankful.
Yvonne S. Gentzler, daughter of Ardoth Gentzler
Your comments about our staff: Excellent!
Would you refer us to others? Yes, everything looked awesome and John, our director, could not have been better!!
Brent Morrison, son of Paul B. Morrison
John Katora did an excellent job in handling this matter. He should be commended.
Gregory Peters, son of Bernard Peters
John Katora did a wonderful job! He is the best funeral director we have ever worked with.
Angel Kern for Lester L. Yingling
Your staff is excellent! Thank you, John, for an excellent obituary you went above and beyond! Todd, you were superb at everything you did to help me you are outstanding and made things beautiful! Thank you. Thanks to everyone for your hard work.
Nancy Bender, wife of Howard R. Bender
John was always compassionate. If I had a question, as I looked away for him, he was always there. He thought of everything for us. It was as expected.
Would you refer us to other? Yes, the place is clean, nice rooms, and plenty of space for the amount of people we had.
Pauline J. Warner, wife of Dennis R. Warner
Mr. John Katora was very helpful in our time of need. He explained things to us. Even though this was a very difficult time for my son and me, he made things a little easier, and your office staff was terrific.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, people have commented how beautiful the service was there. I wish I wouldn't have had to use your services this soon in my life, but I'm glad you were there to provide these services. Thank you John.
Joan Sweitzer, wife of Dennis Sweitzer
The staff provided exceptional customer service. The staff in my opinion went way beyond the call of duty. In a time of needing help and advice, they served us with warmth, dignity and respect. They were courteous, sympathetic and I would highly recommend this facility, using this staff.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, I would highly recommend this facility and staff due to the exceptional customer service provided at the time of need. John provided excellent direction, and without him, we could not have gotten through the funeral.
Dawna Lee Smeltzer, daughter of Daniel L. Jones
I asked for John K., as he was superb in the way he handled my sister who passed 02-01-07. I cannot say enough when it comes to John and his professional and "very caring" nature, as I am sure you are very much aware of. The two ladies, one was an intern that picked up my Mother, respected our wishes. They also were wonderful as was all the other staff we came in contact with. And how you do the CD's is so wonderful. Thank you so much.
I have been in many funeral homes and I must say yours is by far the most calming atmosphere, none of the eerie feelings that you get from other places. I do hope that the other homes that you own are as wonderful and calming as your facility on Kenneth Road. They don't have to be the state of art facility but the staff and surroundings can make it just as nice. Again, thank you for employing people as wonderful as John.
Would you refer us to others? Without a doubt I would recommend you to everyone. As a matter of fact, I started telling people about how great your staff and facility is since my sister's passing. That is why I knew that when my Mother passed you were the one and only place I was going to call. Just walking in your front doors is such a calming atmosphere to come into in the time of need. Thank you.
Maggie Hicks, daughter of Wanda B. Wooters
Your comments about our staff: John was very helpful, he took care of all the details.
Name Withheld by Request
John and all of your personnel were great.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, I couldn't ask for anything better. Thank you so much for everything.
Jeanne Gross, wife of Harry Gross Jr.
They were very kind and considerate. They guided us every step of the way. John was especially thoughtful.
Doris Witta, friend and executor for Gloria F. Grove
We visited your Red Lion office on short notice to make funeral arrangements (without an appointment); John Katora was extremely helpful and understanding. John was very patient and thorough, answering questions.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, under any circumstances, we would recommend your services.
Nancy and Keith McCleary for Virginia L. Nameck
Your staff was great, and John could not have been kinder or more helpful.
Would you refer us to others? I have already advised two couples to see Heffner and make pre-arrangements. It was a Godsend.
Jacqueline Bowman, wife of John D. Bowman, Jr.
John led us through a difficult time/process. He did a great job of making us aware of choices/options that were available. It truly shows that your organization really cares!
David S. Sites, nephew of Donald R. Fritz
John and the staff were patient and kind. They helped me with decisions that were so difficult. I am truly grateful.
Would you refer us to others? Doug's memorial was professional and personal. I feel he was honored as I wished.
Jessica Patton, wife of Douglas Patton
John Katora was an incredible blessing during a difficult time. From our first meeting at the Nursing Home to the final details of my Mom's remains, John was courteous, attentive, thoughtful and caring. Except for a few personal decisions such as flowers, John handled every detail and removed the burden from my shoulders.
Would you refer us to others? Although a little more expensive than other funeral homes, it was money well spent. The staff, services, and facilities are excellent. I would not hesitate recommending your business to friends and family.
Ronald Baum, son of Judith M Baum
John Katora helped us in a very professional manner. He is an excellent person in this type of work. I enjoyed working with him.
Niece of Erma Kehr
We were very pleased to see John's face, on the day Miriam passed. John was who came to Miriam's home, when her husband James E. Mitzel died 15 years ago, and she was pleased with everything you did for them for James. Matt and John could not have handled anything any better for us. We appreciated everything they did for us to make Miriam's funeral easier on us. Our daughter-in-law, Karen Anderson, works for Comfort Inn hotels as their Sales Manager, and she was also very impressed with how we were taken care of, she said everything was "top-notch". Thank you again to everyone!
Rodney Anderson, for Miriam Mitzel
Any staff that my family came in contact with was very pleasant and right away gave the impression that they would help with anything that they could. John Katora put us very much at ease, was very professional, yet gave us ample time to make decisions, sometimes with some guidance. He made this time for us much more bearable. Steve's service was respectful and dignified which I feel was partly contributed to your beautiful facility. He would have been pleased. I don't feel there was anything I would have wanted any different. And all the little extra things that you do are wonderful. Thank you.
Carol Durs, wife of Stephen A. Durs
John and his staff made this entire period of time as comfortable and pain-free as could possibly have been. Thank you.
Verna E. Price, spouse of James R. Price, Jr.
John, Sandy, Lou and Betty were all a great help and comfort. Nothing was too much trouble. There were always accommodations upon request or if a "barrier" popped up. These are wonderful people caring people.
Name Withheld by Request
John went the extra mile to make sure everything was as planned. He was always available when needed. His love and concern for people's needs makes him the best in his field of employment. I pray he takes care of me when the time comes. He has arranged several family services for us.
Glendora M. Stump, wife of Joe Stump
Everyone was so helpful. John was great. He is a very caring person. He showed my sisters and I what a professional was like years ago. You don't see that nowadays. I could tell that some of your staff had things to do, but would stop and listen as long as we wanted to talk. Thank you.
Dave Johnson, son of Mary M. Johnson
John Katora was above and beyond all that we wanted. He went out of his way to help us with an out-of-state transfer and ceremony.
Nancy Duncan, daughter of Mary J. Duncan
It is almost 4 months and I am going to try to write a comment worthy of the courteous service you showed my family. It started with the morning John came for my husband. The kids all wanted to be part of those last minutes and John showed them how- and it did not stop until everyone that wanted had put a shovel of dirt on his grave. From the night of the viewing to this day, I have heard comments about the beautiful service - the most unusual and different funeral I have ever been to - people say it was a most appropriate tribute to my husband. Everything the kids and I suggested John would say, "We can do that." Thank you for everything. In His Love,
Bev, Beverly Keesey, wife of Harold Keesey
I have worked with John for my mother's and father's funerals and he does a great job. I would recommend him to anyone.
Kelly Grimm, daughter of Bettie J. Grimm
John could not do enough for me and my siblings. He was more like a concerned friend. I have dealt with John on three occasions now and it would take a lot to match his style, humbleness, kindness, concern and understanding. My Mother was a hard working, strict and loving woman. She did without years upon years to provide for her family. When the flower car and hearse pulled out front of us as we left the church, my family and I called out, "Mother you are going home in style." After all her hard work and unselfishness, we could do something beautiful for her to meet her Lord. I personally again want to say a very heartfelt Thank You so very much to all the employees, full and part time. At such a time as this whether sudden or long suffering, you need all the help, understanding and tenderness extended to you. Your company surely understands this and proceeds with our grief in mind. Your traditions are exactly what a person needs at this time, Mr. Heffner. With gratefulness and appreciation,
Shirley M. Haugh for Emma V. Sweitzer
John did a great job. He was extremely helpful and attentive. Your staff helped us thru a very difficult time.
Dr. David Cohen, father of Michael Cohen, U.S. Marine
Very helpful, in every way, office staff, spacious room; not crowded. John was super.
Helen M. Ashton, wife of Roy E. Ashton
Everyone was awesome! John Katora was just perfect. You made a really difficult time much easier for our family. Thank you.
Michele Record, daughter of Wendelin Gangwer
I wish I could think of a word to describe John Katora, he was absolutely wonderful, caring and understanding in every situation and was there at all times for my entire family. The words to describe your staff and funeral home I think would be: beautiful, wonderful and caring people. You showed every respect to our family and friends. I have the utmost respect for everything about you.
Mrs. Mary Walker wife of Edward Walker
Would you refer us to others? Yes, because of the way you are there for the person who has lost a loved one and the help and understanding and doing all that is possible for that person at the time of their loss. I really appreciated everything that was done for me and the family in the loss of my husband. This Funeral Home was made in Heaven, sent down from above, placed on earth, to be there for all who have lost a loved one and needed the help and understanding that is given by the people who serve the public. John Katora was one of those people. Thank you all ever so much.
Marlene Christiansen, wife of Hubert Christiansen
John Katora was so sympathetic and compassionate with me. Being a widow at a young age he was such a help to me. I cannot praise him or anyone who helped me enough. Please give him and his staff my thanks.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, the location, the beauty of the funeral home itself, and your staff are enough for me to refer you to anyone. Also, they had made my husband look just like he was sleeping, so at rest, which truly helped my children as well as myself. So many others had made that comment to me, both here and at Johnstown.
Rebecca L. Yagodich, wife of Robert S. Yagodich
John Katora is extremely professional and a very understanding and compassionate person. He did a great job! Thank you.
Sue Stewart/Sally, sisters of Thomas Sauer
John Katora did an excellent job for as sick as my mother was. He gave me peace of mind after I got to view her before the service. What a beautiful job. I had a lot of nice comments from our family and friends about how beautiful the funeral was. Thank you so much.
Would you refer us to others? Yes. Nobody ever wants to go through losing a loved one but John really made it easier with all the kindness and care that was shown from start to end. I can't tell you how much that was appreciated.
Dorne Becker, daughter of Clara Becker
When John came to get Bruce he showed such dignity in handling Bruce. Matt was very helpful in making the arrangements. The service was beautiful. Everything was displayed the way we wanted.
Kathy Shaffer wife of Bruce E. Shaffer, Jr.
John and George were so caring and thoughtful. They made my necessary arrangements and service easier for me to handle. These men are truly exceptional. I too, wish to remember Nate, who handled my husband's service and arrangements. He also is exceptional in his caring and support.
Would you refer us to others? Yes - I have now dealt with Heffner's three times my husband, Ron Minch, Sr., my Father, Clarence Edward Hartman and my Mother, Mary Hazel Hartman. Each time you people have treated me with the utmost courtesy and caring.
Cheryl Minck, daughter of Mary Hazel Hartman
Todd, John & Barb, (Sorry, names are a blur), You exhibited a compassionate (but not patronizing) attitude toward my needs.
Jim Frey, son of Mildred Frey
I have been absolutely pleased and content with the service of your firm both for my Mother's funeral service and for my Daughter last November. Nothing was overlooked! The staff (Todd and John) are exceptional individuals and attend to your every need or wish!
Would you refer us to others? I already have arranged for my own needs in the future and have referred others to you.
Bonita L. Julius, daughter of Mary T. Trone
John, Matt, and Dick were wonderful to work with. Everyone was so caring and very professional.
Would you refer us to others? Yes, definitely because the manager handled everything in an excellent manner from start to finish. He made sure that everything was just right.
Nita C. Barot, daughter of Jaya Brahmbatt
The night they came for Vern at our home, I felt very confident, knowing he was in good hands. Thanks to Nate and John, very professional, caring and compassionate. John and all those who worked the funeral and committal service did an excellent job. Equal credit goes to the office staff. I received a lot of positive feedback, which made me feel proud, that I am part of the Heffner family.
Ardie, wife of Vernon L. Gentzler