New Riverside Funeral Home opens its doors in Los Lunas

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That day comes for us all, and when it does, the caring professionals at Riverside Funeral Home in Los Lunas are here to help make that difficult time pass a little more smoothly.

Ungelbah Daniel-Davila-News-Bulletin photo: The staff at Riverside Funeral Home in Los Lunas opened the new business in December. Pictured, from left, are Selma Martinez, funeral director and manager; Charles Finegan, funeral director and owner; and Barbara Rierson, funeral service intern and administration assistant.

“Our goal is to provide affordable dignity,” said Charles Finegan, funeral director and owner of Riverside Funeral Home, which opened in December 2011.

At Riverside, he says, the funeral, burial and cremation packages offered are all inclusive and at a price Finegan feels the public can afford, making them, he said, the most economic funeral home in the state of New Mexico.

“When you come to us, you get everything,” he said. “We don’t tack on everything.”

He says at big, corporate-owned funeral homes, employees are trained and encouraged to upgrade sales, tacking on costs for every extra detail such as crucifixes and prayer cards, but at Riverside, he said, they are “down to earth people” who don’t try to pressure anyone and one way that they do that is by providing packages.

One package they offer, priced at $2,995 plus tax, is for a full service traditional funeral, which includes the basic services of the funeral director and staff, embalming, dressing, cosmetics, casketing, one-day visitation, evening Rosary or prayer service, funeral ceremony, local use of hearse, transfer of remains from the place of death to the funeral home, register book, 100 prayer cards or memorial folders, one crucifix, 20g non-gasketed steel casket, casket flower arrangement and a memorial DVD.

There is an additional cost for certified copies of the death certificate, Finegan said.

The Riverside Funeral Home also offers some innovative products, such as a whole line of “green,” environmentally-friendly products such as willow, bamboo or seagrass caskets, and biodegradable urns that will dissolve in water.

The funeral home also offers QR codes for headstones, a mechanism, similar to a bar code, which an individual is able to scan with their smart phone to generate a full obituary and photos.

Finegan says the whole concept of funerals is changing and they aren’t as traditional as they used to be, especially with cremation becoming a popular and more economical option.

The price, at Riverside, for cremation with no viewing or ceremonies is $895 plus tax, which includes the cost of transfering remains to the funeral home, cremation fee, transfer to and from the crematory and state cremation permit. There is an additional cost for an urn, and certified copies of the death certificate.

Selma Martinez, funeral director and manager, said Finegan and his staff are always learning and going to conventions and training to bring state-of-the-art concepts back to the business.

“Charlie does an excellent job of keeping us up-to-date,” said Martinez.

Riverside is also a safe and compassionate place, says Barbara Rierson, funeral service intern and administrative assistant. She said for her, the feeling she gets from knowing she is helping people and is what makes her job special.

Rierson said coming to a funeral home is not something the average person has to do very often, so it is important to create an environment where they can feel comfortable and trustful.

“When the people are grateful, that makes you feel good,” Rierson says. “When people are so grateful, that’s a big deal …”


-- Email the author at udavila@news-bulletin.com.