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

Our History

Constructed in 1853 as a private residence, the Panebaker Funeral Home has served the families of the Hanover area since 1954. In 1953, Paul W. and Geraldine P. Panebaker purchased the home and along with Mr. Panebaker’s brother, renovated it to become the funeral home which opened in 1954. 

The Panebakers operated the funeral home until 1986 when they sold their business to Craig and Renate Johnston. After more than 20 years of ownership and hard work of the Johnstons, the ownership of Panebaker Funeral Home transferred to the family of Michael and Kristin Newman. A strength of Panebaker Funeral Home has been and continues to be the role of a husband and wife serving as a team for those who have suffered a loss.

Our Valued Staff

  • C. Michael Newman

    C. Michael Newman Supervisor & Funeral Director

    Mike, a third generation funeral director originally from Southwestern Virginia, graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, GA in 1986, and has been a licensed funeral director for more than 30 years. Mike served two terms as President of the Cremation Association of North Carolina, an association dedicated to maintaining high standards for the funeral and cremation industry and served on the Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association from 2012 to 2016. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Hanover, Patmos Lodge #348 F&AM and the Exchange Club of Hanover.

  • Kristin K. Newman

    Kristin K. Newman Funeral Director

    Kristin grew up in Lancaster, PA and is the daughter of a United Methodist minister. She graduated from Taylor University with a BS in Elementary Education and then obtained her AAS from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 1996. Kristin is currently a member of the National Funeral Directors Association's Professional Development Committee. She is an active member at First United Methodist Church of Hanover, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Hanover Area Historical Society.

  • Kasie J. Watkins

    Kasie J. Watkins Funeral Director

    Kasie, a licensed funeral director originally from North Dakota, is a 2015 graduate and former Class President of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. As an Insight Institute Certified Celebrant, Kasie is able to provide meaningful and personalized life celebration services to families. Additionally, Kasie is a licensed life insurance agent and Cremation Association of North America (CANA) Certified Crematory Operator. She is a member of the York County Beekeepers Association and the Hanover Area Young Professionals. In her spare time, Kasie enjoys yoga, being outdoors, and planning her wedding with her fiancé, Matt.

  • Jeffrey A. Spielman

    Jeffrey A. Spielman Funeral Associate

    Jeff graduated from St. Joseph's Paramedic Institute in 1986 and retired after 25 years of service from Hanover Hospital as Captain of the Advanced Life Support Operations. He continues to have a commitment to the Hanover community, serving on the Penn Twp. Civil Service Commission. A native of Hanover, Jeff and his wife Shari are members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church. He has one son, stepdaughter and a grandson. They enjoy traveling in the family motor coach and saltwater fishing.

  • Fred L. Sentz

    Fred L. Sentz Funeral Associate

    Fred retired from the Borough of Hanover as a Professional Firefighter and EMT in 2015 after more more than 35 years of service and is a life member of Clearview Fire Company and Littlestown Alpha Fire Department. He is a member of The Knights of Columbus McSherrystown Council #2551 as a Third Degree Knight, where he has served on the Board of Directors for several years. He and his wife Sandie have a daughter and are members of St. Vincent dePaul Church. His past time is spent hunting, gardening and spending time with his grandson.

  • Crystal Rhone

    Crystal Rhone Continuing Care Coordinator

    Crystal serves as our Continuing Care Coordinator in assisting family members following a death by providing information, education and social support. She also facilitates our "Coffee with Crystal" program which meets monthly to help those who are journeying through grief. She received an Associate's degree from Penn State - DuBois and earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Crystal and her husband Josh have two children. She enjoys the outdoors, sports, spending time with family and friends, and simply enjoying the life that God has given her.

  • James W. Barnhart

    James W. Barnhart Funeral Associate

    Jim spent 34 years in public education as a teacher and administrator. He also supervised student teachers through York College for 10 years. Jim is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ. He has four daughters and nine grandchildren. Jim enjoys playing golf, hunting, and playing his trumpet at church and in two dance bands. He also plays "Taps" at military funerals with the Hanover Allied Veterans Honor Guard.

  • Thomas E. Wheeler

    Thomas E. Wheeler Funeral Associate

    Tom was employed by Utz Quality Foods as a route salesman for 25 years and for the past several years as a mail courier. He is a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus Hanover Council #871. He is a life member of Penn Township Emergency Services, Penn Township Ambulance Club, and the Hanover Fire Department Station 3 at Clearview. Tom and his wife of 50 years, Joyce, have two children. He enjoys spending time with his four grandchildren and watching them play basketball and soccer.

  • George L. Zimmerman

    George L. Zimmerman Funeral Associate

    George is a retired Physician Assistant (PA-C) having served the Hanover area community for over 40 years. He earned his PA credential at the Pennsylvania State University / Hershey Medical Center. He is a veteran of the US Navy where he served as a Hospital Corpsman, past president of the Penn Township Lions Club, former scout leader and a member of The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Conewago Chapel). He and his wife Patti are the proud parents of three children and enjoy spending time with their four grandchildren.

  • Jerry Walker

    Jerry Walker Funeral Associate

    Jerry retired from Black & Decker after 43 years of service. A native of Hanover, he and his wife, Sharon, have two children and one grandson. They are member of Hope Baptist Church and enjoy antiquing and going to classic car shows. Jerry is a member of the Hanover Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #1406 and the AmVets Post #22.