Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy funeral home has been a fixture in Santa Monica for more than 75 years. In addition to providing services to the community, it once prepared the remains of former President Ronald Reagan. Today, the funeral home provides at-need and pre-planning services in a new location on the ground floor of the office complex at Broadway and Cloverfield. It also offers a Concierge Service where advisors will come to your home for added convenience.
"Our new location, paired with our Concierge Services, is more accessible and better meets the needs of the changing community," said Stanley Scott, manager. Increasingly, people are choosing cremation as an option. Recent reports show a 63 percent increase in cremation. In addition, especially in Santa Monica, there is a preference for green burial options. These changing dynamics and their close partnership with Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park, eliminated the need for a separate funeral home.
Meeting with Scott and Family Services Counselor, Letitia Garcia, shed some light on what goes into planning a life celebration. "Pre-planning and making decisions about your own life celebration is one of the kindest things a person can do for those left behind," Scott said. "It eliminates the added stress of making plans while dealing with grief and loss."
Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy can help with every step of the planning process, either when a death occurs or in advance. With advance planning, when the need arises, all loved ones need to do is make a phone call.
According to Scott, 70 percent of the public makes advanced arrangements. His goal, however is to help "protect as many people as possible." He explained that this means helping individuals collect the information their relatives will need, such as bank account numbers and social media passwords. It also means having people think about and record what sort of service they want.
"We know that the loss of a loved one is among the hardest things you will ever face. Our goal is to ease the burden on grieving families as much as possible," Scott said.
Gates, Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy serves the unique and diverse needs of the many cultures in the community. Their professionals guide families every step of the way-from choosing between traditional burial planning and cremation, designing a religious ceremony or a celebration of life, and deciding on cemetery property. They even offer grief support services.
Scott said that they believe each person's life is special, and a unique life deserves a unique celebration. Their funeral directors specialize in creating one-of-a-kind tributes that celebrate a person's passions, interests and individuality. In his years in the funeral industry, Scott has seen all types of personalization, from dressing participants in favorite football team colors to handing out bowling pins.
When it comes to meeting with families about the inevitability of death authenticity and caring is essential. Whether meeting in the office or in the client's own home, they must be ready to respond to some of the deepest questions about the meaning of life and death. As Scott said, "It's a ministry in itself."