We love to shine a spotlight on our remarkable funeral partners. Our spotlight for February 2024 is Phoenix Archuleta, Funeral Director (and now Embalmer) for Spangler Mortuary in Mountain View, California. Phoenix's turnkey talents and willingness to support wherever she is needed make her an invaluable asset to her funeral home and the families she serves.

Hi Phoenix, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to provide some A's to our Q's and congrats on your passing your Embalmer's exam! Understanding that you're currently a Funeral Director, do you want to share a bit about your experience?

I meet with families to arrange their loved one’s funeral arrangements, prepare our loved ones for their services, and help direct the services. With our mortuary being family-owned, I do a lot of different things when they are needed and I love it. Whether it is helping our admin file death certificates and permits, meeting with grieving families, embalming/dressing/casketing, or working the services at our chapel, church, or the cemetery, I will do it. I can cremate, but we have enough crematory operators for me to help our families in other ways. 

What is your #1 mission every day? 

I want to help support each family that walks through our doors, even if they decide to use a different funeral home. My mission has always been focused on the families we serve and to help them navigate through the funeral process. It is overwhelming, especially if you do not know what to do or even where to start. To me, if I can help someone by answering questions and providing compassion, I have accomplished my mission. 

Do you have advice for people grieving the loss of their spouse or significant other during Valentine’s Day or other romantic holidays? 

Mostly that it is okay to be sad during this holiday. That it is okay to cry and grieve. I would suggest doing something that reminds you of them or that honors their memory. Each person is a little different in how they grieve. Maybe taking a picnic to the cemetery, or eating at their favorite restaurant, or watching their favorite movie is enough to remember them. You also do not have to be alone. Ask a friend or a family member to spend time with you remembering them. 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

Oddly enough, I love to watch horror and grindhouse films. So far there has not been one that I did not enjoy, but I always take recommendations for more. Other than watching movies, I like to cook and try new recipes. Baking is also fun, but much more work than cooking!

What do you love most about the Eterneva Diamond offering? 

I love that it gives someone a tangible memory of their loved one. The diamonds are beautiful and can be customized in such a personal way. When I was a child, I absolutely loved the idea of being able to have my loved one with me. In fact, my mother made it a point in her will for me to have some of her ashes made into a diamond for a necklace for me to wear. And I love that she wants to be a diamond necklace as she would be right next to my heart, exactly where she belongs.