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

Samuel E. Coston Funeral Home, Inc. located at 427 Lincoln Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pa., was established by Samuel and Wanda Coston in 1963. The funeral home primarily services Allegheny County. Samuel Coston, an entrepreneur at heart, received his mortuary license in the 1950's while working at Cain and later Gambrell Funeral Homes, both in the East Liberty neighborhood 

of Pittsburgh. 

After managing Gambrell Funeral Home, Mr. Coston opened The Samuel E. Coston Funeral Home after the death of Mr. Gambrell. As business increased, the Costons built a 100-seat chapel in the mid 1970's. In 1978, Wanda acquired her license to help cultivate the growing business and four years later, Samuel retired from the Post Office to dedicate his time to the business. 

In 1992, the funeral business began to flourish with the addition of the second chapel which accommodates   
150 people.

From 1995-1999, the average number of services per year totaled 112. In 1999, Samuel's grandson, Roland J. Coston-Criswell, graduated fromMortuary School and began working in the business.

By July 2002, Roland was promoted to manage the business and in December 2005, acquired the business. Since Roland has been working in the funeral business, the average number of services performed per year between 2000-2004 has increased by over 100%. 


Our Valued Staff

Roland J. Coston-Criswell

Roland J. Coston-Criswell, President/Supervisor

Email: rcriswell@costonfuneralhome.com

Roland J. Coston-Criswell presently serves as the President of Coston Funeral Homes, Inc. He is a licensed Funeral Director and manages all day-to-day operations along with directing funerals and handling at-need and pre-need arrangements.

Mr. Criswell is the grandson of Samuel and Wanda Coston, the original owners of the funeral business, which was established in 1963. His mission as a Funeral Director is to provide ministry to the bereaved, support the community and to provide service with integrity.

He is a graduate of Shady Side Academy and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science where he is a guest lecturer. Roland is also a graduate of Geneva College with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Development with research honors. He is currently active with NeighborHOOD United and is a board member for the Brightwood Civic Group. He is a member of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and the F.R.O.G.S. (Friendly Rivalry Often Generates Success). Roland is married to Bethany Criswell.


LaShawn Mills

LaShawn Mills, Support Generalist


Bethany Criswell

Bethany Criswell, Business Administrator


Danielle Colquitt, Funeral Director Intern
Keisha Lawson, Student Trainee 

                                                           Our Valued Staff