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Tony’s Antiques & Estate Services

Antique lovers across our region will soon be able to buy items from the funeral arrangements of many late Hollywood celebrities.

If you take a look inside Tony’s Antiques & Estate Services in Blair County, you’ll find antique tables, chairs, lamps, jewelry, and much more.

But they just got in a new unique batch of items.

For example: cherubs that were likely positioned at the head and foot of Marilyn Monroe’s casket almost 60 years ago in Los Angeles.

So, why are these artifacts in little Duncansville, PA?

Joseph Gallagher, a Cambria County native, brought them here.

“So, here I was, a kid from Central Pennsylvania I was born and raised in Cambria County — thrust into working with major motion picture stars,” he told 6 News.

Joseph moved to Southern California in the early 1990s.

He got a job with Pierce Brothers Westwood Village which handles the funeral arrangements of many Hollywood stars.

“Dean Martin, Truman Capote, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Walter Matthau, Rodney Dangerfield, and the list goes on and on,” he explained.

After being a “mortician to the stars” for years, Joseph moved back to Cambria County to take care of his mother.

In the meantime, the folks from Pierce Brothers Westwood Village wanted to renovate, revamp, and redo their interior design.

“I asked the general manager, ‘What are you doing with all that stuff?’ They said, ‘If you want it, take it. If not, it’s going in the dumpster,'” Joseph told us.

He didn’t want those historical items to go to waste.

“So, I got a 35-foot U-Haul and brought this stuff back to Pennsylvania,”

“So, I got a 35-foot U-Haul and brought this stuff back to Pennsylvania,”

“I never thought this kind of stuff would be in Western Pennsylvania.”

That’s what Huston Godwin, a business partner with Tony’s Antiques & Estate Services, told us about the display in their shop.

“I think it’ll really bring a lot of people into the store and a lot of people onto the online bidding,” he continued.

Items on display include a prayer kneeler, French lights, a Catholic Crucifix, candles, and other antiques found in the old funeral service room.

There’s also an old register stand guests could sign when walking into the service.

“The last known service I know it was actually utilized for was President Ronald Reagan,”

There’s even an embalming machine used for late celebrities.

“Marilyn Monroe was probably embalmed using the portable embalming machine,” Joseph said.

The only thing not for sale is an Appalachian oak casket which held Carroll O’Connor who played Archie Bunker in All In The Family.

But, since his family decided to cremate him, the casket wasn’t used following his funeral.

Joseph says the casket was in bad shape until it was refurbished by a local woodworker: Dennis Davis.

“He wanted to burn it. I said, ‘No way you’re burning that,'”

Now it’s part of a unique set up bringing the best of Hollywood to a small town.

“We’re really honored to have it because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,”

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