Kevin Michael Mason, NYS Licensed Funeral Director / Manager & Life Celebrant
Kevin is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Simmons Institute of Funeral Service (1983), Master's College of Divinity, and working on obtaining his CFSP designation. He opened the Kevin M. Mason Funeral Home in June of 2008. The vision was to establish a family centered funeral home with compassion, dedication, reverence, unparalleled service and affordability being the hallmarks of the business. Today, these characteristics remain true. Kevin was selected by the Priest at the Church of St. Casimir to be a Knight, and past president of the entertainment committee. He has served on the churche's finance committee and served multiple terms as a parish trustee. He was also selected by the Diocese of Buffalo to be part of the pilot program to examine the possibility of linking neighboring churches. He established the Kaisertown Clothing Renewal Drive - providing winter clothing to the area needy. He volunteers for the Kaisertown Coalition, the Kaisertown Friend's Association, The area food bank and community watch program. He has chaired the Kaisertown Coalition's National Night Out and the Kevin M. Mason Funeral Home has sponsored this event for several years. For decades, he alongside a group of dedicated volunteers initiated the Church of St. Casimir's Bingo, Meat Raffle and other fundraisers.In 2018 Kevin started "A Christmas Message", collecting Christmas cards for residents in area nursing homes. To date, over 7,000 cards have been delivered. This program was so successful that various organizations and businesses have contributed their resources and time in helping collect and distribute the cards.
Kevin believes very strongly in community, faith and family. He has also volunteered for the food pantry at Parkside Lutheran Church, former member for the Hospice Buffalo Speakers Bureau, Board Member for the Buffalo Bark Yard, a fifteen year volunteer for K.A.T.S. (Kids Adjusting Through Support), a children's support group, which he served as president for twelve years. He has volunteered for the Buffalo Junior League, served as Vice President for the Five Points Block Club and active in the North Buffalo Block Club Association. He is an active member in the Erie-Niagara Funeral Director's Association. He is the founder of Stepping Stones Through Grief, which is a series of coloring and activity books for children and families alike who are navigating through the grief journey. He is also the founder of G.O.A.L.S; Going On After Loss Successfully. G.O.A.L.S is the Kevin M. Mason Funeral Home monthly support group which has received recognition and referrals from many agencies. He is currently, (and hopes to complete by 2022), writing a novel on his experiences as a funeral director. He is an animal lover and has two rescue Chihuahua dogs named Cody and Hudson. He donates his time and resources to the Buffalo Animal Shelter. Kevin enjoys cooking, wine collecting and gardening. He and his family have opened up their home for many garden walks. When there is spare time, you may find Kevin on the golf course or on the water. He views being a funeral director not as a job or even a career, but as a ministry...a calling from God. for me, "there is no greater service to mankind that helping one in their grief journey".
Daniel R. LaRussa, Certified Grief Counselor and Family Concierge
Daniel has many years experience working in area funeral homes. He joined our team in 2010 as a certified grief counselor and family concierge. Our monthly support group is G.O.A.L.S, (Going On After Loss Successfully). We also offer individual and family grief counseling as well. Dan, who is also an art therapist, will often have participants do art therapy as part of their healing in their grief journey. Dan will also have guest speakers and music therapists participate in sessions as well. He provides individual attention to each participant in knowing that people grieve differently. There is no charge to participate in our support groups. Our philosophy is that we are here to help anyone in their personal grief journey. To speak to Dan or obtain additional information we invite you to call the Kevin M. Mason Funeral Home at (716) 362-0199 or (716) 408-0495. Dan is also an avid antique car buff, having collected many 1950 - 1980's cars for his collection. He has taught art therapy classes and enjoys Buffalo architecture. He has volunteered for many local organizations including the Kaisertown Coalition, the Church of St. Casimir, Friends of the Night, Parkside Lutheran Church, Hospice Buffalo, the Junior League,
and the Buffalo Bark Yard. He is an avid reader and most especially enjoys reading about history of Buffalo and architecture.
Daniel P. Marinola, Funeral Cortege and Family Concierge
Daniel wears two hats at the funeral home. First, during visitation or services you will find Dan assisting families at the front door or where ever needed. He is a "people person", and has been known to engage conversations ranging from anything about Buffalo to woodworking. And, secondly, Dan leads our funeral processions and he assists families to and from their vehicles. Our cortege route is skillfully mapped out by Dan no matter how far we are traveling. Dan has an extensive collection of Antique cars, especially Cadillac's. He has served as President of the Buffalo Area Cadillac Club and is still an active member. Dan also DJ's at local events, including the National Night Out for the Kaisertown Coalition. He enjoys traveling, reading and tinkering with old engines. After he retired he wanted to spend time helping others and this position is a perfect fit for Dan. "Who would have thought I would be helping helping families at a funeral home?. But, I will say doing so has truly humbled me and I have met some wonderful families and even forged relationships".
Catherine Ann Taberski, Administrative Assistant and Family Concierge
Catherine, originally from the Kaisertown section of Buffalo, spent over thirty years working as an administrative assistant in banking and the legal arena. After retiring she soon became bored. While attending calling hours for a family member, she asked Kevin if there was a need for office or support staff at the funeral home. She soon became part of the Kevin M. Mason Funeral Home staff.
She is vital in assisting with office/clerical support and now assists during calling hours and services. You may have had some of her homemade pastries, cookies or brownies during your visit. Catherine is always looking for unique ways to help families. For example, she is a master seamstress and makes handkerchief's with the initials of the deceased or pocket squares for the gentlemen and gives them to the families. "I was looking forward to retirement and when I did retire, I found I was missing something. "I never thought I would be working in a funeral home, but the staff here are incredible and so dedicated. The best part is working with the families who are so appreciative. For the first time in a long time I can say how much I love what I do. I've come to realize that the smallest gestures usually have the biggest impact on our families".
Jesse Ostempowski, Certified Staff Grief Therapy Dog
Jesse is a thirteen year old Siberian Husky who's parents are Peter and Linda Ostempowski. One day while delivering Christmas cards for our Christmas message program, Linda asked Kevin if there would ever be a need to therapy dogs to visit families at the funeral home. This has been so successfully received by families and visitors alike. Jesse will sit quietly or if she senses you are visibly upset she will place her head on your lap. We always ask families if it is okay to have Jesse visit for a while and no one has ever said no. It's remarkable to see Jesse help adults and children alike. After services we have had families come by the funeral home to drop off doggie treats and even just to say thank you. Jesse had a biological sister named Jada who was also a Certified Therapy Dog and always accompanied Jesse. Jada passed away suddenly on Saturday March 20, 2021. Her presence and antics are deeply missed. May she rest in peace.