Richard J. Fluehr Jr., 59, a fourth-generation funeral director in Philadelphia and Bucks County, died Friday, Aug. 16, of complications from a stroke at Cooper University Heath Care in Camden.
Born in Philadelphia, he was a lifelong resident of Bensalem.
Mr. Fluehr graduated in 1978 from Holy Ghost Preparatory School, where he lettered in baseball and basketball. He completed the mortuary science program at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey and became a licensed funeral director in 1982.
Mr. Fluehr was the great-grandson of John F. Fluehr, the original Fluehr Undertaker, who established a funeral parlor in 1898 in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. The family opened a funeral home in Northeast Philadelphia in 1930 and another in Bensalem, just north of the city line, in 1959.
Mr. Fluehr was based at both locations throughout his career but spent most of his time at the Bensalem site, his family said. He worked steadily in the business from the time he was 15, serving grieving families in Philadelphia and Bucks County for 44 years.
He made friends with the families he counseled and with his peers in the funeral industry, his family said. The guiding principles of his business were sincerity, integrity, and compassion. “They were the values that were passed down by his father and grandfather,” the family said.
Joseph A. Fluehr III, a second cousin who runs an unrelated funeral home in Bucks County, said Mr. Fleuhr was highly regarded by the community. “He was a very professional person, well-liked, and the consummate funeral director,” he said. “He cared for the people he served 24/7. He worked very hard. His passing is too early, too soon.”
Mr. Fluehr married Joan Foy Fluehr, his high-school sweetheart, in 1984. They had two daughters whom they raised in Bensalem.
When not working, Mr. Fluehr was an avid Philadelphia sports fan. He held season tickets to Eagles football games for many years. He was also a loyal fan of the University of Scranton’s Lady Royals basketball team.
“I played there,” said his daughter Lindsay. “Once I started playing, he never missed a game. It was almost like a social group for him.”
Earlier, he enjoyed following his daughters’ sporting events at Nazareth Academy High School. He would be there for games regardless of bad weather or the distance he had to drive.
“His girls were the apple of his eye,” Joseph Fluehr said.
Mr. Fluehr was a fourth-degree member of St. Charles Borromeo Knights of Columbus Council 4279, St. John Neumann Assembly.
In the last several years, Mr. Fleuhr enjoyed relaxing at his house at the Jersey Shore and walking the boardwalk with his wife.
Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by another daughter, Courtney Fluehr-Zinman; his father, Richard J. Sr.; two sisters; and many nieces and nephews.
A viewing from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, and 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at the Fluehr Funeral Home, 864 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, will be followed on Friday by a noon Funeral Mass at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 1731 Hulmeville Rd., Bensalem, Pa. 19020. Interment will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Resurrection Cemetery, Bensalem.