735 East Avenue Hilton | New York, 14468 | Phone: (585) 392-7100 | Fax: (585) 392-4017
Our dedicated and supportive staff are here to guide you through this difficult journey. We take pride in doing our absolute best to ensure your needs are met.
Douglas G. Sholette - Owner / Funeral Director
I was born in Ogdensburg, New York, a small town in the northern part of the state that borders Ontario, Canada on the St. Lawrence River. The city has a population of about twelve thousand people, with a lot of industry, and four funeral homes. Living on the river made for a very exciting childhood, fishing and exploring as much of the river as possible in my little wooden boat. It taught me respect of nature, animals and other people who also enjoy pastimes at the river.
My parents had four children; I am the youngest, with three sisters and two nieces whom I love and have tremendous respect for. While growing up, I was self-employed, doing odd jobs for people around town, including one of the local funeral homes.
Upon graduating from high school, I attended Daemen College in Buffalo majoring in physical therapy, but realized it was not for me. The funeral director for whom I did odd jobs asked me to help him with a funeral and to consider a career in funeral service.
In the fall of 1990 I enrolled at the State University at Canton for the program, enjoyed being there and did well in the curriculum. At Canton, I was involved in many activities, including a group called The Mortuary Science Association.
This group was involved in many community events, as well as coordinating many college functions, which included a class trip to the Medical Examiners in Toronto. For my senior project, a classmate and I went to various health fairs in the area to educate both young and old about this fascinating profession.
After graduating from Canton, I attended Clarkson University for business management, but I put those plans on hold to finish my requirements to become a licensed funeral director. I have been licensed since 1993. In that year, I came to Thomas E. Burger Funeral Home, where I stayed until 1999. I learned a lot about funeral service and helping people through difficult times, with the help of Mr. Burger. I procured employment back in my hometown for several years, but returned to the Burger Funeral Home in 2011.
I am a past President of the Rochester Genesee Valley Funeral Directors Association. Some of my interests outside the funeral home include golfing, fishing, hunting and the outdoors. Most of all I love water sports, including power boating, waterskiing and swimming.
This job is both challenging and rewarding, but it is very gratifying when a family is appreciative of the information, comfort and compassion shown to them at one of the most difficult times of their lives.
Thomas E. Burger
- Founder / Funeral Director
I was born in nearby Brockport, New York June 13, 1946. My ancestors settled in western Monroe County (Town of Greece) when the area was first settled as early as 1791 and the early 1800's (Town of Parma).
I attended Hilton, New York schools and graduated from Hilton Central High school in June 1964.
I had early aspirations of becoming a funeral director in high school especially after witnessing the terminal illness and funeral procedures following the deaths of my grandfathers. I was never encouraged by those already practicing in the field, something that I have made sure I would never do after establishing my own business. The doors and office of the Burger Funeral Home have always been open to anyone expressing an interest in funeral service.
I attended and graduated from Cornell University June 1968 with a B.S. Degree. I taught school in Buffalo, New York from 1968 until June 1973 obtaining a M.S. in Education from SUNY @ Buffalo. I still had strong desires to become a funeral director and enrolled in Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, New York, graduating in September 1974. While attending Simmons School, I was very fortunate to be able to live and work part-time at the John G. Butler Funeral Home in Syracuse, New York where I served part of my New York State required residency. In September of 1976, I officially opened the
Thomas E. Burger Funeral Home Inc. in Hilton, New York.
Tom is also a collector of vintage post cards. Click here to see Hilton & Hamlin's past as portrayed by old postcards.
Kristi Forsythe - Office Manager
Cindy Bryant - Memorialization Specialist
Mary Lissow - Memorialization Specialist
Brian Coleman - Assistant and Headstone Specialist