Walter J. Sperling, Jr.
Walt never knew anything in life except a call
to serve families. He inherited his compassion
from his parents, with both his mother and
father being licensed funeral directors. He
grew and continued to provide for families the
highest level of service possible. Walt is a life-
long resident of the Pittsburgh area, and has
resided in McCandless for the past 30 years.
He is married to Donna Claire Dorsch and has
three children- Walter III, Desiree and Jarett.
Walt enjoys cooking, baking, and spending
time with his six grandchildren. He is a
member of Saint Catherine Parish and belongs
to the Knights of Columbus #4029, the Elks, Northern Allegheny Lions Club, and
is also a life member of the Teutonia Mannerchor. Walt is a graduate of West
View High School, the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Sciences, and also
attended Saint Vincent College
Donna C. Sperling
Donna Claire began helping her husband Walt in the business upon their marriage. Living above the funeral home on the North Side kept her very busy. Growing up on Spring Hill, Donna did not mind the action and has helped with the business for over 49 years. She was often the voice who answered the phone for families in need, as well as the woman who greeted the families at the door with a smile. Donna graduated from B.T.C., now Point Park University. Donna also enjoys cooking and baking, but her passion is in gardening, painting, and her new hobby- quilting. Her artwork is part of the permanent collection in the Smithsonian Institute. Perhaps her most proud moment was having her art displayed in the White House during Christmas and meeting First Lady Laura Bush. Donna loves having her grandchildren to the house for sleepovers and afternoons in the pool. She is also a member at Saint Alexis Parish and belongs to the Decorative Art Society.
Janet Notaro Sperling
Funeral Director & Bereavement Support Specialist
Like her brother Walt, Janet grew up around the funeral business. Although a
licensed funeral director, she took time to raise her four children- John, Shelly,
Charles, and Troy. She would always work when needed, and helped at the
funeral home when it was busy. When her husband John died in the 1980’s,
she experienced first-hand what a profound effect grief can have, and began
working full time in the funeral home. She focused on helping families during
and after the funeral. At this time, Janet also began partnering with the former
THEOS organization, which helps the bereaved. She enjoys spending time with
her six grandchildren and visiting her family in Florida. She attended Mercyhurst
College and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Sciences.
Jarett D. Sperling M.S.Ed.
LPC Funeral Director / Licensed Professional Counselor
Jay has worked in the family business since the age of sixteen. Having grown up
in McCandless, he now resides in Pine Township with his wife Stephanie and
their three children- Noah, Kinsey, and Gretchen. After attending the University
of Pittsburgh and obtaining a degree in Psychology, Jay went to the Pittsburgh
Institute of Mortuary Sciences to become a funeral director. While working as
a funeral director, Jay experienced firsthand the impact that crisis and grief
has on families. He continued his education at Duquesne University; receiving
a Master’s degree in Community Counseling, as well as becoming a licensed
professional counselor. With this education and his experience as a volunteer at
The Caring Place, Jay started a bereavement support program entitled “Living
Through Grief”. This program now works in partnership with several local non-
profit organizations, including Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry, to provide
bereavement support throughout the Pittsburgh Area. Jay loves watching his
children grow, helping at school events, and playing with them in the backyard.
His family belongs to Saint Richard Parish and he is a member of Knights of
Columbus #4029, Teutonia Mannerchor and Kiwanis Club of Allegheny North.
Jay also is involved with many local area lacrosse teams: coaching for Pine-
Richland Boys Youth Lacrosse, Vincentian Academy Boys High School Lacrosse
Team . He is a principal partner of Arrow Lacrosse, a program to provides
lacrosse programs to local youth.
Stephanie A. Sperling
M.S. Ed Counselor / Bereavement Support Specialist
Stephanie grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. She attended the University of Pittsburgh and received her degree in Psychology. When Stephanie met Jay in college, she had no idea of what is involved in funeral service. Volunteering at The Caring Place, she wanted to be able to help families on a different level. She attended Duquesne University where she received her Master’s degree in School Psychology, then went on to obtain a certificate in Elementary School Counseling. Focusing on the needs of grieving children, Stephanie has played a pivotal part in the opening of the Wexford facility helping with design, color, and the integration of our children’s playroom. She loves being a mother and helping to shape the minds of her three children. Stephanie loves to bake, garden, and also helped Jay build their house in Pine Township. She also enjoys going the Steelers’ games, and is an active volunteer at her children’s schools.
Emily M. Swartz
Funeral Director/Preplanning Specialist
Emily Swartz is originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She is the youngest of three children. Emily attended ballet school in New York, like her older sister and brother. After watching her siblings go on to have successful- but demanding- careers in performing arts, Emily decided that wasn’t the life she wanted. So she chose to break the pattern and pursue a calling to become a funeral director. That is what brought Emily to Pittsburgh. She attended the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Sciences, and received her bachelor’s degree from Point Park University. Emily spends time gardening, painting and walking her dog Charlie. Emily and her husband, Mike, are members of Allegheny Elks Lodge No. 339. She loves living on the North Side and her neighbors in the East Allegheny community. Emily enjoys all aspects of funeral service. She is currently helping many families with their advance funeral plans.
Attendant / Driver
Frank has known the Sperling family for most of his life. A resident of Spring Hill, he lived just a few doors down from Donna and her family. He is also a distant cousin of Walt’s family. Along with driving the funeral coach, Frank also helps with funeral services and during viewing hours.