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Scottdale man begins new career

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 10:25 p.m.
The Independent-Observer
Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics employee Rob Allison, of Scottdale, has begun a second career as a funeral director, working part-time at the Ferguson Funeral Home. Rachel Basinger | For The Independent-Observer

Scottdale resident Rob Allison has forged out a career at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.

With two children grown up and moved out on their own and one daughter finishing her senior year in high school, one might think that Allison could soon consider retirement and all of the contentment that could bring.

Instead, Allison has added a new career to his repertoire.

After five years of schooling, 60 general education credits, two years at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science school and one year of an internship, he has received his state license to be a funeral director.

Allison is still employed at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics full-time, but now, has added work in funeral service part-time.

He made the decision to go into this line of work, because he knew this would more than likely be his last career change and he wanted to do something service oriented.

“Funeral directing gives me the opportunity to assist families with things they are unable to do for themselves,” Allison said. “We can make what is likely one of the worst times of their lives a little easier and help people to get through it.”

He served out his internship at Ferguson Funeral home in Scottdale, where he is currently employed on a part-time basis.

Rob Ferguson said Allison has been a welcome addition to the funeral home.

“Rob has the personality and qualities needed to do this job that you just can't teach,” Ferguson said. “It's just natural for him.”

Allison said he needs to continue learning and honing his skills.

“I'm fortunate in that I have Rob Ferguson and Bob Brown to help continue my education,” he said. “Those two have forgotten more about funeral directing than I know right now. I will continue to work part-time, but as a state licensed director I am authorized to do everything required for funeral service.”

Allison has no immediate plans to retire from his job at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.

“I enjoy working for (PIA), and as long as I can do both without compromising the quality of my work at the funeral home, I will continue to do both,” he said.

Allison added that what he did to earn his funeral directors license was very time consuming.

“I wouldn't have been able to do it without the support of my wife Rhonda,” he said. “She has been my anchor through it all.”

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.