To our valued families and friends, this blog was created to be informative for you, the consumer and bring you to better understand the funeral industry while making aware those things that could jeopardize your decision making process.
First things, please pardon my spelling, now that it is out of the way.....
I have a very good friend of mine, I consider him a good friend for as well I am very close to his mother. I started in the funeral industry under their supervision at "Williams San Diego Memorial Chapel" I refer to Miss Williams as Miss Sheila or "Mother" I am grateful for the introduction and opportunity they gave me by allowing me to serve under their business and teach me the ways. As much as I learned from Miss Williams, I learned just as much from her Son who is the Owner of "Sugarland Mortuary" in Sugarland, Texas. I learned a great deal from Mr. Williams. At a young age of 29, he taught me not so much as how to work in the funeral industry, but how to be a humble servant and man in such a grandiose environment that he has created for himself to serve the people. Mr. Williams has a immaculate palatial funeral home. Let there be no bones about it that every and anyone that comes to him for his services has a true understanding that "You get what you pay for". Mr. Williams had his facility built from the ground up with funds he worked night and day, very very hard in the two facilities he established in Oakland California prior to his return to Sugarland Texas.
At Sugarland, you pay. But it is with the understanding that this is what you asked for. He is not one that is trying to sell you something that is not, nor is his facilities and services less than the appearance of his business. He is very exclusive and elaborate. Some may say "over the top" I do not because those that choose to frequent his facility for "end of life" arrangements are well to understand that his pricing reflects the amount of capitol and effort he has put into his business. I remember when I worked for his Mother that there was no secret that this was his life's dream. And as much as he is fulfilling his dream, he has NEVER put himself above his Mother, who owns San Diego Memorial Chapel, or myself, knowing that I can still turn to him for advice if need be, and I do, I feel very comfortable doing this. What a good, good man he is. As much as he has grown at such a young age he never, ever felt that himself, his staff, his business nor his environment grew to big for anyone including a little guy like me trying to help people. He has told me on more than one occasion, "Miguel, just help people, it will come back to you" He said it is those in the industry that get to large for their pants and forget that they too started small will be doomed to failure, It is those that choose to grow or reach the top on the backs of others that are doomed to fall, maybe not fail, but fall"
I remember when Mr. Williams would come down from Oakland CA. to San Diego how he would tell his Mom about his dream. It is exactly how he said it would be. And as big and grandiose as it is, he always has time to take my call. What a great guy, there are so many that could learn so much from him in this industry. They have so much to share and offer if perhaps they were a bit more humble. But unfortunately there are but a few "Mr. Williams" in this industry.
I was told in a conversation with a person that I had no idea the type of background or environment they came from when introduced to this industry. Well, my point being here is "Never make assumptions about anyone else's training or experience. Some of us choose to be where we are and do what we do because that is what we CHOSE TO DO!
You see, its not about the cost, the charge, or the price. Its not about the Bronze casket or the Mahogany casket or the Stainless Steel casket. Its not about the Motor Escorts or the Marble Vault or the $600 in roses arrangement. It is about what you pay for, and at a facility such as this, this grand Funeral Parlor of impeccable taste and style, I would expect you to pay $7,000 for a funeral service and you WOULD GET $7,000 worth of funeral service. I have yet to find ANY location near my business that comes close to this facility, it's style or its service.
Lets review, should you choose to pay that much for funeral services, ensure that you are receiving service that goes above and beyond THESE expectations, nothing less. If your working with a funeral home that cant offer you services and facilities as good as these and your pricing is above $7,000. Perhaps you should negotiate or search for a place that is willing to negotiate. I am not saying that you need to disqualify the standards of the location you are at, but perhaps they need a little bit of a rude awakening that their standards are maybe a little lower than they assume. Compared to Sugarland that is.
Mr. Williams once told me, "Miguel, almost every funeral home owner wants to get to the finish line, but none of them appear to want to run the race" Well, I'm finding this to be the truth, some cut across the lawn, some never even leave the gate and just wait for the first lap to come around and some never even show up. Don't be one of those. I told him I wont, besides, His Mom would beat the crap out of me!!!
My friend is very proud of his facility, rightfully so. It is not the type of facility I would own or operate. It is not me. He understands that. This is not the client base I want to serve. He is very secure with that as well. He has no insecurities with the other little mom and pop funeral homes in the area. He is not out to "Shut them down". He is a good man, and as long as she is living I will always refer to his Mom as "Mother". For she did right by raising her son to be such a successful and humbled servant. What a good man, a great man that does good things to help people, not for recognition or to "fluff" his ego, but because it is the right thing to do...
Oh, by the way, Donell told me I could use the pictures from his website, were tight like that..... We go back a few years.