DeVargas Funeral Property and Crematory, a longtime institution in Española, held a grand opening on Monday (July 22) at its new Taos facility just south of the Sagebrush Inn on Paseo del Pueblo Sur.
“What was the moment a dilapidated eyesore that attracted vagrants is now an icon,” mentioned Taos Mayor Dan Barrone in his remarks at the ceremony, noting the hanging transformation of the prolonged-shuttered building that formerly housed Lujan’s Funeral Residence. Barrone joined Taos County Manager Brent Jaramillo and Father Angelo Marquez as visitor speakers at the function.
Adhering to his welcome and introductions, founder and president Johnny DeVargas introduced the range of Joaquin Gonzales, former director of Taos County Unexpected emergency Clinical Expert services and a latest board member of Holy Cross Health care Center, as normal manager of the new place. Gonzales said, “Johnny’s motto has constantly been ‘families come to start with.’ He reported no subject what their financial predicament, often take care of the loved ones as if it really is your individual. Which is my intention here in Taos. You only get one probability to honor the passing of your loved one, so we want to support you do it the extremely greatest you can.”
Barrone lauded the selection of Gonzales as manager. “I understood Joaquin way back when I was county commissioner and he was head of EMS,” he claimed. “I know he cares deeply about families and that he’s a person who stands by his word.”
The opening marks a new phase in an unfriendly competitors amid funeral house providers in Northern New Mexico, as beforehand described in 2018 in the Taos News (see below). Rivera Family members Funeral Home has been the only these types of organization in Taos for decades, but DeVargas and an additional service provider, Riverside Funeral Dwelling, have been attempting to adjust that.
DeVargas marketed the small business in 2017 to The Signature Group, which was then obtained in 2018 by Park Lawn Company, a Canadian conglomerate that owns some 139 funeral houses throughout North America. Rivera then ran ads touting itself as the only regionally owned and operated funeral provider, which prompted a lawsuit from Forest Lawn proclaiming that Rivera’s adverts experienced harmed the DeVargas brand. It went on to argue that Rivera was in truth a transplanted Colorado relatives that experienced formerly operated funeral properties in that point out. Rivera brought a countersuit, professing Park Lawn was a organization “designed on aggressive expansion and acquisition.”
In mid-2018, DeVargas paved the way for its expansion with ads saying that Taos residents would now have a selection of companies. Gonzales emphasized this theme in an earlier job interview. “We want to give Taos a specialist, compassionate and, most importantly, an affordable selection in funeral services,” he stated. Instead of shying absent from the subject of DeVargas’ ownership by Park Garden, Gonzales extra that he feels privileged to get the job done for a enterprise that is capable to finance a “multimillion-dollar facility in Taos.”