History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Civil War & Politics

From Abraham Lincoln''s visit in 1861 to President McKinley''s campaign trail, Alliance entertained many notables, such as:  Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and Garfield.

During the Civil War, Alliance was headquarters for a military district and home to J. Ridgeway Haines who founded an underground haven for runaway slaves.

In 1871, the Alliance Review was born; and Morgan Engineering, then the Marchand and Morgan Company, moved to Alliance from Pittsburgh.  But all was not well...

An economic panic hit Alliance in 1873 and was prolonged by the great railroad strike, forcing more than half of the merchants out of business and many families out of their homes.

It was during the second year of economic recovery that Joshua and William opened J.S. Cassaday & Sons. facilities.

Alliance was changing...the first meetings of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and Knights of Columbus took place and Mount Union was incorporated as part of Alliance.

In 1903, just three years after the horseless carriage appeared in Alliance, Samuel Ervin Cassaday became a partner with his brother Daniel.  Two years later, Edgar H. Turkle, Sr., Daniel''s son-in-law, also joined the firm.

Cassaday & Turkle

In 1914, D.B. Cassaday and Edgar H. Turkle, Sr., to meet the increasing demands of the growing city, assumed the funeral business of the firm under the partnership of Cassaday and Turkle.  The furniture business continued as the Cassaday Furniture Company under the direction of Samuel Cassaday and Charles W. Pettis.

Funeral customs hadn?t changed much from past years.  Services were held in the family''s home where an oversized door allowed passage of the casket and pallbearers. Alliance funeral homes supplied caskets, transportation from the house to the cemetery and tables and chairs for use in the home.  The new location at 31 North Linden Avenue was no more than storage area and offices.

Only three years after the founding of Cassaday and Turkle, Edgar Turkle was instrumental in forming the Alliance Rotary Club.  The same year, Alliance greeted another new service organization, the Red Cross.
By this time, funeral homes were also providing Alliance with motorized ambulance service.

One of the First

1926 was a big year for Cassaday and Turkle.  In a progressive move to keep up with the changing needs of Alliance families, the firm bought and converted the D.W. Crist mansion on South Union Avenue into one of the first funeral homes in the state in which services could be, instead of each family''s home.
Constantly finding new ways to improve services, in 1960 a north entrance to the Cassaday and Turkle funeral home was added; and the parking lot was expanded, paved and lighted.

Cassaday and Turkle again brought innovation to Alliance in 1963 when Ted helped set up the Alliance Ambulance Service, making it easier to get emergency service.

Continuing the Cassaday & Turkle Tradition

In 1983 John Christian purchased the funeral home.  Mr. Christian promised to continue to provide the excellence in service that the previous generations had started.  In 1992 the funeral home expanded it''s facilities and to diversify the funeral home by giving the families they serve the ability to now choose from the original funeral home or the new contemporary addition.  After being well received, Cassaday-Turkle-Christian called for another expansion in 1999 the new 2,500 square foot addition adds two new chapel plus a larger ladies bathroom facility and a floral delivery room.

Today the professionals at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral and Cremation Service offer modern conveniences, including Cremation with Confidence, the 10-step process that ensures the integrity of the cremation process, enabling us to guarantee that the cremated remains returned to families are those of thier loved ones.  But even more importantly, they still keep with the tradition of sincere and personal service, attention and respect for the wishes of the family.

Our Valued Staff

John B.  Christian

John B. Christian, Funeral Director/Embalmer, President, Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral and Cremation Service

A native of Belpre Ohio, John enlisted in the United States Navy after graduation from High School during the Vietnam Era. After serving in the military, John attended the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, where he received his Mortuary Diploma in 1975. After serving his apprenticeship he was employed as a licensed Funeral Director and licensed Embalmer in Bristol, Rhode Island. Before moving to Alliance he was also employed at a Funeral Home in Port Clinton, Ohio. Currently John serves on the Board of The Alliance Chamber of Commerce, also as a member of the Alliance Area Development Foundation, the Lexington Ruritan Club, a member of Conrad Masonic Lodge #271 F&AM, a 32nd Degree Mason as well a member of The Tadmor Temple. John is a member of Christ United Methodist Church. He resides in Alliance and has two children, Adam and Ashley.

Nancy K. Castellucci

Nancy K. Castellucci, Licensed Funeral Director

Nancy was born and raised in Alliance. A 2006 honors graduate of Mt. Union College, Nancy became a licensed funeral director in 2008, and earned the title of CFSP, Certified Funeral Service Provider through the Academy of Funeral Service in 2015. In 2016, Nancy became a Certified Funeral Celebrant, to offer another choice for the families we serve. She is involved with many community organizations, including the Alliance YMCA, where she is a member of the board, and served on the Annual Strong Kids Campaign. She is an active member of the Alliance YWCA, past board president, chairman of the Mardi Gras Celebration, and 2014 recipient of the Fulmer Volunteer Leadership Award. Nancy is also a member of the Alliance Kiwanis Club, the Alliance Woman's Club, Coterie and the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce, Women's Division, where she serves as the chair of Civic Affairs. In May 2017 Nancy received the Athena Leadership Award at the Annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner. She attends Christ United Methodist Church, and has two sons Matthew and Russell.

Joshua D  Cioci

Joshua D Cioci, Funeral Director / Embalmer

A native of Alliance, Josh is a 1999 graduate of Bowling Green State University and a 2000 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Josh returned to Alliance in 2010 to join the family here at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home as a Licensed Funeral Director / Embalmer and a Certified Crematory Operator. Josh is a member of the Alliance Rotary Club, the Alliance Salvation Army Advisory Board, Greater Alliance Carnation Festival Board, the American Legion Post 166 and the VFW. He enjoys running, hiking and camping.

Adam Christian

Adam Christian, Funeral Director Intern

A native of Alliance, Adam graduated from Marlington High School in 2000. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. He previously worked for companies PriceWaterhouseCoopers and State Street Bank as a corporate auditor. Adam recently returned to Alliance to join the family here at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home and is in the process of becoming a Licensed Funeral Director and a Certified Crematory Operator. Adam and his wife Bethany have four girls and reside in Alliance. They look forward to becoming involved in the Alliance Community.

Cassidy Stirk

Cassidy Stirk, Advance Funeral Planner

Cassidy was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and is a graduate of Youngstown Chaney High School. She obtained her life and health insurance licenses and also completed training in Advance Funeral Planning through Precoa. She is a member of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division. Cassidy resides in Sebring with her fiancé, Adam and enjoys spending time with her family, dog and cat.

Charles Lee  Gross

Charles Lee Gross, Support Staff

Chuck was born, raised and has lived in Alliance his entire life. After some college, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served two years active duty, with one year in South Vietnam/Cambodia. Upon returning to civilian life, Chuck entered Kent State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. He taught Industrial Arts for thirty-seven years at various schools in Stark County, including: Alliance, St. Thomas, Perry and Minerva. Chuck is married to Catherine Ann, has three children: Tricia Wagner, Amy Regiec and Michael Gross, and six grandchildren. His passions include his family, woodworking, the beach and his Harley

Debbie  Baith

Debbie Baith, Office Manager

Debbie was born and raised in the Alliance area. She is a graduate of Marlington High School and was formerly employed in Hartville for 30 years. In 2007, she was honored to join the funeral home as the office manager. She is a member of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce, Women's Division and Alliance Area Office Professionals. Debbie lives on the outskirts of Alliance and is a very family-oriented person who enjoys walking, biking and vacationing at the beach.

Joyce  Bhe

Joyce Bhe, Administrative Assistant

Joyce joined our staff in 2009 with many years of accounting experience which is now being applied to the funeral industry. She is a native of Salineville, Ohio and resides at Westville Lake in Beloit. Joyce is a member of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce, Women's Division where she served one year as treasurer and currently serves as Secretary.

Kenneth  W. Cox

Kenneth W. Cox, In Memory

December 27, 1926 - September 1, 2011

Joel G. Datz

Joel G. Datz, Support Staff

Joel is a lifelong resident of Alliance, a 1964 graduate of Alliance High School, and also attended Stark Technical College. He is married to his wife Cathy of 49 years and they have two children, Stephen and Angela; and granddaughter, Whitney. Joel retired with more than 27 years of service in the Army and also from Hoover Co. in Canton. He is a member of Abiding Saviour Lutheran Church, Masonic Bodies Conrad Lodge No 271, F & AM with more than 50 years, the York Rite Bodies of Canton, the Tadmor Shrine of Akron, American Legion Post 166, VFW Post 1036 and VVA Chapter 157. He has also been a Commissioner for Stark County Veterans Service for more than 15 years.