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Merrill Mefford

As my parents and I were heading down to La Jolla to stay with friends over the Memorial Holiday weekend in 1960, I heard on the radio that a high school classmate had been killed at the hands of another classmate. I attended the funeral and was not impressed with the way she looked. Having taken some art classes in the past, I became curious about the preparation of decedents - I figured I could do better. My dad was in a sportsman's club with the owners of two local mortuaries so I visited both of them to discuss the profession. Both of these facilities were rather small, so I applied for a job at a larger firm in the area but was told they could not use me as my hair was too short (I had a flat top). I was at a crossroads in my life and had to make a decision as to my immediate plans; enlist in the armed forces, the police academy, or get a job at a mortuary. My eyes were not good enough to be a pilot, nor a police officer, so I decided on the mortuary business.

My friend's brother-in-law was working at Rose Hills at the time so my first application was submitted to them. They did not have a position available so I applied to the California College of Mortuary Science (CCMS to some of you) in downtown Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, I was hired to work at Glen Haven Memorial Park and Mortuary in San Fernando on August 1, 1960. The following spring, I was contacted by my friend at Rose Hills who recommended I should apply for a newly-opened apprentice embalmer position. I was hired on April 3, 1961, attended CCMS, completed my apprenticeship and the rest is history. I received my California Embalmer License (5110) on August 23, 1963.


That Was Then

This is Now

I am currently the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau's (CFB) "Manager of Record" for Rose Hills Cemetery, Mortuary and Crematory as well as the cemetery broker for Rose Hills. I have served as President of the California Funeral Directors Association (CFDA) and am currently the vice chair of the CFDA Legislative Committee. Anyone interested in receiving updates on legislation that is applicable to our industry, please send me your email address to merrill.mefford@rosehills.com and I will keep you informed of the current status of bills we are monitoring.

Regina Victoria


Hi, my name is Regina Victoria and I'm very excited to be a new member of the Orange County Funeral Directors Association. I felt so welcomed at the last event that I joined instantly!

After ten years of being a 24/7 caregiver for my blind, recently departed mother (at 98 years of age), I realized the importance of pre-planning for her. She had each of her wishes come to fruition with two Celebrations of Life, one in California and one in Chicago (her final resting place).

Our family company, Chesney Communications, has been in the video production business for over forty years. Through our "Client Video Success Stories" we visit your best pre-planning clients in their home or their business location, conduct a warm and friendly interview, and then offer your funeral establishment several authentic broadcast quality video clips, which in turn you can use in on-site presentations, on your website, and in your social media marketing (you may have heard of the Albert Mehrabian study at UCLA that showed that only 7% of effective communication comes from the written word vs. the 93% via a professional, unscripted and authentic video success story).

Just imagine what having a number of these heart warming endorsements at your fingertips could do to your closing ratio. Additionally, it's an ideal situation to show others who just aren't sure of the necessity of planning. To introduce you to this amazing and affordable service, we're pleased to conduct one of these videos on our dime. To take advantage of this offer, just contact me at (949) 378-5134.

I look forward to your response and meeting you at future events.
Regina Victoria, Chesney Communications
24/7 Phone: 949.378.5134


Client Success Story



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