Sat, Mar 02 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Special To The Star-news
Nestled in Chula Vista's Third Avenue Village is a recent startup company with a positive growth and an ever-expanding heritage of grateful consumers.
Whether in advance planning or at those times of greatest personal need, Village Cremation Service is a vital resource to the community.
Randy Bellamy is an unlikely sort to earn his living as a funeral director, finding his calling after spending his early career with high tech electronic firms in management for Hitachi and other maquiladoras along the U.S./Mexico border.
The expanded global markets and constant travel, although interesting, took him away from his family and left him tired and with a general lack of personal satisfaction. A friend convinced him to try working with a local cemetery as a family service counselor. This allowed for not only more home time but also a way to pursue civic and political duties as president of Bonita Business and Professional Association Kiwanis, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and a host of others.
Randy pursues these interests with a real and fundamental commitment, not the typical perfunctory going through the motions or checkbook participation that is typical today.
This community involvement drove Randy to consider a business model where more of the profits associated with funeral service remain in the community and are not distributed to corporate shareholders primarily out of state.
Using resources like the churches and fraternal halls that already exist to their fullest extent, third party service providers, and independent local business partners who provide services as needed requires a much simpler profile with low overhead.
Economy is accomplished without sacrificing service quality and value to the consumer.
Randy opened the doors to Village Cremation Service in 2011. The ambiance of Village Cremation Service is like a modern local insurance agency, not a tired, maudlin mortuary environment.
From a modest beginning, at times uncomfortably modest, Village Cremation Service is fast becoming a significant force in the local funeral market. Today Village Cremation Service has expanded into more traditional full burial services as well as the cremations that are more prevalent than ever before in the marketplace.
Significant growth is in the advance planning market as Randy says, “In each life we know a storm is coming. It can be smoother sailing ahead for our client families and the people they love with simple advance planning.”
Technology has come to funeral service in meaningful ways.Behind the scenes electronic death registration and filing of health department permits has streamlined that process to a more manageable level.
Communicating with extended families has improved with websites and email. This is expressed in this testimonial from Dan Valentine, stepson of a recent client:
We trusted Village Cremation Service to care of our stepdad’s remains when he passed. I needed to return to my job on (Wednesday) and was not there at his passing Thursday evening. I spoke to my siblings and they told me you did an outstanding job. Your service was professional, respectful and caring. I thank you for your service and help. Your website was professional and I felt comfortable speaking to you on the phone.Your e-mail to me was prompt and truthful. I did not feel comfortable when I spoke with other services in your area. I am a nursing home administrator in Wisconsin. I have been dealing with families at the passing of love ones for 25 years. I have observed funeral directors both great and not nearly great. I thank you again for your professionalism and respect shown to my family.
Sincerely, Dan Valentine
stepson of Ronald Goodwin
We also communicate and receive feedback through social networks like Facebook.
“Randy and his staff handled my father’s arrangements with professionalism and compassion, all paperwork was handled by Randy, no hidden fees. Beautiful services and such a wonderful staff. Thank you,Village C.S.”
That being said, funeral service is still very much more high touch than high tech. Families in bereavement are in turmoil and challenged with communication. “Ceremony is the language of emotion,” states Randy. “If we are able to assist a family within their culture and traditions, we are an important companion in the healing process. We serve traditions from atheists to Zen Buddhists. Things have changed. Families have found creative ways to come to terms with their grief. We often sell a number of memorial jewelry items that display fingerprints or hold small amounts of cremated remains. There is a new and personal approach to services that does not conform to one size fits all.”
It is said that if you stand in London’s Piccadilly Circus for long enough, the entire world will pass before you. The parade of pedestrians on Third Avenue and F Street is Chula Vista’s version of the circus.
Each person who walks by, many having already planned in advance, seem to look up at the Village Cremation Service sign with a subtle nod, a knowing wave or a wry smile that says we are glad you are here but ... not today, Randy.
© 2009 The Star-News