Noblin Funeral Service expands to LL

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Robert Noblin Jr. figured the time was right to open a funeral home in Los Lunas, his second in the county.

"There have been several feasibility studies," Noblin said. "One thing they showed was about 90 percent of northern Valencia County residents wanted a funeral home in the area."

Based on that, he opened Noblin Funeral Service in Los Lunas in Adobe Village. It was a good move, he said.

"The response has been more than we expected," Noblin said. "Since March 1, we have served 15 families. Ten of those said they would have gone to Albuquerque if we weren't here. We anticipate this location will do about 75 calls (funerals) this year."

He said he's also had seven to 10 families a week come in to discuss pre-arranging funerals.

Noblin bought the then-Riverside Funeral Home in Belen in June 2005 after becoming disenchanted with the new corporate ownership of the funeral home he'd worked for since high school in his native Fredericksburg, Va.

"I started working there in high school as a part-time summer job," he said. "They paid my way through college to get a degree in Mortuary Science. I became licensed at the age of 21, the youngest ever in the state of Virginia."

A few years later the local owners sold the funeral home to a corporate chain, and he decided the corporate style wasn't for him.

"I looked around and found Riverside for sale," he said.

At the time, Riverside was one of three homes in an independent group. The others were in Bernalillo and Albuquerque.

Noblin said this caused confusion, having two funeral homes with the same name but different ownership so close together.

"Finally, in the middle of last year, I made the decision to change the name," he said. "I felt that people here knew me well enough that they'd realize it was still locally owned."

Since buying the funeral home in 2005 and expanding to Los Lunas, Noblin said he has increased his staff from two to 11; put about $150,000 into renovations in Belen, including its historic 100-year-old chapel; and put thousands into the Los Lunas home.

Noblin said his approach to the business relies on "service and value. We have every option imaginable for every financial situation."

He said the Los Lunas facility is a "complete funeral home" with all services available on-site. That includes a casket and urn selection room, an embalming area and a chapel.

"We have a licensed funeral director available 24 hours a day, and every family will be cared for by a licensed funeral director," he said.

For the future, Noblin recently ordered a new Cadillac hearse for the Los Lunas facility and he plans an on-site crematory. That may be incorporated with plans to build a standalone location for the Los Lunas home within two years.

"We already have a site in mind," he said.

Noblin Funeral Service in Los Lunas Los Lunas is in Adobe Village, 2211D E. Main St.; 505-866-9992; www.noblinfuneralservice.com


Contact Dana Bowley