Funeral Planning in Mesa AZ - Guru Guide

Overview: Mesa, AZ  

Although significantly less well known than the first and the second largest, Mesa is the third largest city in Arizona (after Phoenix and Tucson). Due to its warm weather, reasonably priced homes and low crime rate, this has become an ideal location for retirement communities and secondary residences. There are many places of worship in this city; Mesa residents used to be largely Christian, but the recent drastic population growth has made the area is much more diverse.

Funeral Homes

If you plan to have a traditional funeral in Mesa with the body present (regardless of whether you choose burial or cremation) you must work with a funeral home to make your arrangements. As mentioned earlier, this area is predominately Christian but most all funerals homes will happily accommodate all religions.

Name

Rating

Price Level

Religion(s)

Able Funeral Services

Highly recommended

Low

All Faiths

Bunker Family Funerals and Cremations

Highly recommended

Medium

All Faiths

Meldrum Mortuary & Crematory

Highly recommended

Medium

All Faiths

Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home

Highly recommended

Medium

All Faiths

Lakeshore Mortuary

Recommended

High

All Faiths

Crematories

Because funeral homes in Phoenix can have crematories on site, there are a lot of cremation options. The places listed below are the most reasonably priced in the area.

Name

Typical Price

Able Funeral Services

Low

Advantage Funeral and Cremation Services

Low

Affordable Cremation & Burial Chapel

Low

Cemeteries

You will work directly with the cemetery to arrange for a plot and the burial, but many of the details like buying a casket and body transportation will be coordinated by the funeral home you choose. Note: Some of these cemeteries have funeral homes on the premises.

Name

Rating

Price

Religion(s)

Location

Greenwood Memory Lawn and Mortuary

Highly recommended

Med/High

All Faiths / Christian

Phoenix

Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary

Highly recommended

Med/High

All Faiths

Phoenix

Green Acres Mortuary and Cemetery

Recommended

Med/High

All Faiths

Scottsdale
 

Funeral Homes

Recommended Highly
 

ABLE FUNERAL SERVICES

1627 North 51st Avenue
Phoenix AZ, 85035
(602) 442-7747
www.abelfuneralservices.com

This funeral home was spotlessly clean, modern, and very forward-thinking. When driving around Phoenix you cannot help but see billboards on the highways advertising Able’s very reasonably priced cremation service. The lovely and helpful ladies who greeted me told me these ads bring in an overwhelming amount of business.

Although I had expected a factory-ish feel, the funeral home has nice dark wood floors and a comfortable seating area, which gives this location a contemporary feel. The direct cremation is quite reasonably priced starting at under $600.

BUNKER FAMILY FUNERALS AND CREMATIONS

33 N Centennial Way
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 964-8686
www.bunkerfuneral.com

This funeral home is fabulous! There are multiple locations but this is their prime site. The building is appealing from inside and out, as is the very large and welcoming sunlit chapel. The grounds are well manicured and the interior is one of the nicest I have ever encountered; it's bright, classy and clean.

On top of everything else, there is a full kitchen at the location; it's equipped with all the necessary appliances along with a small toaster oven, perfect for the fresh baked cookies! Bryce Bunker is incredibly calm, welcoming and personable.

MELDRUM MORTUARY & CREMATORY

52 N MacDonald
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 834-9255
www.meldrummortuary.com

The dark doors on this family-owned funeral are deceiving, making it seem almost uninviting. But upon entering, guests are welcomed into this cozy and clean funeral home by calming music. This funeral home has been family-owned and operated since 1927. They have an onsite crematory and availability for all services. The staff was lovely and seemed willing to accommodate all family wishes.

WHITNEY & MURPHY FUNERAL HOME

4800 East Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-5600
www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com

This warm family-run funeral home is in need of an updated Website. Judging from the photos they posted, before I saw the place for myself I expected it to be dated and possibly verging on creepy. Immediately, I was proven wrong! This funeral home is well maintained and filled with a compassionate, professional, personable, and dedicated staff.

Sean Murphy, the seventh generation owner, proudly showed off the bright main chapel and the other chapel that can be used for a wake or as a reception place where food can be served. Most of the staff has worked there for about 30 years because they love what they do. Unlike other funeral directors, Sean’s true passion for assisting others in their time of need was evident.

Recommended
 

LAKESHORE MORTUARY 

1815 S Dobson Rd
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 838-5639
www.dignitymemorial.com/lakeshore-mortuary/en-us/index.page

This SCI-owned funeral home is situated just off a main road and overlooking a small lake. While the exterior was nice, I was less than impressed with the interior.

The building feels old and the low ceilings, dark furniture and walls make it gloomy (the fish tank in the entrance area does not help much). They have a separate room for receptions, which is already equipped with linen (and plastic) covered tables. 

Direct Cremation Companies

Again, Phoenix/Mesa funeral homes have their own crematories on site. Because of this, they are able to offer direct cremations at very reasonable prices.

ABLE FUNERAL SERVICES

1627 North 51st Avenue
Phoenix AZ, 85035
(602) 442-7747
www.abelfuneralservices.com
When you drive along the highways in Arizona, you cannot help but see billboards advertising very reasonably priced direct cremations at Able Funeral Services. We did write about this location as a funeral home, but most of their business is direct cremation. It’s very clean and highly recommended.

ADVANTAGE FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES

1130 S. Horne
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 833-1716
www.AffordableCremationAZ.com
Part of the SCI conglomerate, this cremation chain is incredibly well organized and professional (they have a BBB rating). They are reasonably priced and operate five crematories.  They also allow the immediate family to spend a brief period of time with their loved one in the Advantage chapel and say goodbye one last time. If you would like to do this, they will wash and prepare the body for you (this does not include embalming).

AFFORDABLE CREMATION AND BURIAL CHAPEL

1130 S Horne
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 833-1716
www.affordablecremationaz.com
This is another part of the SCI conglomerate. It takes a lot to shock us and this location did so- in the BEST way possible! Although from the outside this is not the most warm and welcoming venue, inside you will find a fabulously run, warm location (they have a BBB rating.) All of their cremation packages are very reasonably priced. They also allow a small number of family members to visit with the body in their chapel for a nominal fee. GURU TIP: They have an exclusive deal with United Tissue Network (UTN) whereby if you donate the deceased’s tissues, Advantage will take care of all the details and you will have the cremated remains returned to you for only $195! You get to do an amazingly good deed and get a very affordable cremation.

Cemeteries

GREEN ACRES MORTUARY & CEMETERY

401 North Hayden Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
(480) 945-2654
www.greenacresmortuary.net
Very few locations are able to offer as many special and personalized options as Green Acres. The lush grounds, ponds, and beautiful landscaping set this SCI-owned cemetery apart from others in the area. Established in 1957, this location offers not only mausoleums (both classic and walk in), in ground options, and even a cremation garden. There is a separate garden for those of the Jewish faith who opt to be buried here.

GREENWOOD MEMORY LAWN MORTUARY AND CEMETERY

2300 West Van Buren Street
Phoenix AZ 85009
(602) 254-8491
www.greenwoodmemorylawn.com
This “combination” location offers everything from a Serenity Mausoleum to a Chinese Memorial Garden. The helpful staff will go through all your options with you and even take you on a tour of the cemetery if you would like.

PHOENIX MEMORIAL PARK AND MORTUARY

200 West Beardsley Road
Phoenix AZ 85027
(602) 434-7000
www.phoenixmemorialmortuary.com
This SCI facility is relatively new; it started in 1964. This cemetery was originally called Deer Valley Memorial Gardens, but as Phoenix grew, they wanted all citizens to feel welcome here. It is nicely laid out, modern and well kept. The staff will happily assist you and give you a tour of the location.

Hotels

Although Mesa is a large city, the hotels are limited to reasonably priced large chain hotels. We’ve selected a few that we think would be best while you are here planning a funeral. We also included a hotel not in central Mesa but a favorite in the area in case you want a more luxurious option.

up to 150
$$151 to 250
$$$251 to 350
$$$$351 and up

Country Inns & Suites

6650 East Superstition Springs Blvd.
Mesa, AZ 85206
(800) 830-5222
www.countryinns.com
The Country Inns & Suites is an ideal choice for both individuals and families. The hotel offers many complimentary amenities for a very reasonable price. Guest can take advantage of their free Wi-Fi, breakfast, parking, and 24-hour lobby offerings of coffee, cookies and candy.  Also, guests looking to relax can take a book from their lending library and enjoy a read on the patio. We also like that their suites (still economically priced) have microwaves, mini refrigerators and sleeper sofas. $

Hyatt Place Phoenix/Mesa

1422 West Bass Pro Drive
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 969-8200
http://phoenixmesa.place.hyatt.com
It is no question why this hotel is frequently chosen as the number one choice in Mesa. Although only slightly more expensive than other options in this area, this Hyatt offers wonderful amenities and an amazingly central location within the Riverview Shopping Center. Guests will appreciate the clean and updated rooms which all have mini-refrigerators and free Wi-Fi. The Hyatt will try to star your day off right with a hearty complimentary Kitchen Skillet Breakfast. If you need to unwind, you can try your putting on their green or relax in their outdoor pool and hot tub. $-$$

The Phoenician

6000 East Camelback Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(877) 488-1908
www.thephoenician.com

This is a luxury resort for those looking to take a break from all the stress and pressure. Here, guests can relax and take advantage of the myriad of amenities (spa, driving range, golf course and fitness center), or just unwind with a walk through the well-designed cactus garden. There are plenty activities specially for children. $$$$

Restaurants

Needless to say there are numerous restaurants in the greater Phoenix area. Here are just a few recommended options for venues close to the funeral homes that can accommodate a group. If you opt for a different restaurant, just be sure to call ahead and ask if they can hold a crowd your size; the restaurant might have a private room and/or special menu. Also, you might want to consider a favorite local restaurant or a deli such as Paradise Bakery (there are multiple locations) or Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (there are multiple locations of these as well) to cater a Shiva, lunch or dinner at your home.

Buca di Beppo

1730 S. Val Vista Drive
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 507-9463
www.bucadibeppo.com
This restaurant offers the hearty classic Italian comfort food that those in mourning might need.  They have multiple locations in Arizona, as well as all around the United States, and have mastered both group dining and catering. They are more than happy to work with parties of all sizes and are sure to fill hungry tummies. Guru Tip: They offer gluten-free options as well!

The Capital Grille

16489 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(602) 952-8900
www.thecapitalgrille.com
With almost 50 locations in America, The Capital Grill has mastered the upscale steakhouse chain. There are a few very nice steakhouses in the areas but the other amenities that The Capital Grill offers that made it stand out. It has multiple private rooms to accommodate parties of all sizes. Moreover, these rooms are equipped with presentation technology (including webcast) and live satellite broadcasting. These facilities will be helpful if certain guests cannot physically make it to celebrate the life of the deceased.

Olive & Ivy

7135 East Camelback Road
Suite #195
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 751-2200
www.foxrc.com
Part of the Fox Concepts food group, this is a great choice for those who are looking for something slightly more trendy and relaxed. This restaurant is a favorite location for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. They have multiple group dining options, offering anything from a small area in their main dining room to multiple different size private rooms. It is worth noting that Fox Concepts has multiple locations around Scottsdale and Phoenix; if there is another type of cuisine that you are looking for, you might want to check out Blanco Tacos & Tequila, Culinary Dropout or Little Cleo’s Seaford Legend.

Tommy V

7303 East Indian School Road
Suite #195
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 427-2264
www.tommyvscottsdale.com
This restaurant is a praised for its airy relaxing atmosphere, delicious food, and exceedingly kind staff. Although there is not an overly extensive menu, there is enough variety to please everyone. They have both private dining rooms and semi-private dining options. GURU TIP: If you need somewhere to unwind, you can come here and enjoy live jazz Friday and Saturday nights.
 

Other Helpful Local Resources

Deseret Industries

1020 West Broadway
Mesa, AZ 85210
(480) 964-8738
www.deseretindustries.org  
Run by the Church of Latter-Day Saints, this thrift store motto reminds customers to “Give stuff a second chance.” Clients love the well-organized selection of goods that are all offered at very reasonable prices. It's worth noting that they have (and will gladly accept donations of) much more than just clothing, furniture and goods are welcome as well!

Foothills Animal Rescue Resale Boutique

23030 North Pima Road
Phoenix, AZ 85255
(480) 585-5777
http://foothillsanimal.org/boutique
Everyone here at Everplans LOVES animals. Lucky for us, we can happily recommend this thrift store because it not only offers lots of merchandise at very reasonable prices, but also gives 100% of the proceeds to our four-legged friends.

Goodwill

1046 South Country Club Drive
Mesa, AZ 85210
(480) 844-0906
www.goodwillaz.org
Goodwill’s get mixed reviews, but this one is very highly ranked. Clients were impressed by both the size of the store and the inventory that it had. Both those who are dropping off goods and those purchasing all say that the staff is beyond kind and helpful.

White Dove Thrift Shoppe

1255 West Guadalupe Road
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 491-1361
www.whitedovethrift.org
How could we not recommend a thrift store where the proceeds go to benefit hospice? The options in this shop, which has multiple locations, are as fabulous as the cause. The items in this location are slightly more high-end than those found in other local thrift stores. All of the locations gladly accept multiple gently used items mon-sat 9-5.

‘Til We Meet Again

1703 West Bethany Home Road
Suite D005
Phoenix, AZ 85015
(602) 242-6700
www.tilwemeetagainaz.com

This isn’t your typical store at the mall.  Pat Kerivan brilliantly opened this shop in the Phoenix Mall that offers unique caskets, urns, jewelry keepsakes and pet keepsakes. Although the shock value was what got him the publicity, he’s selling distinctive products that some point we will all need. Guru Tip: Don’t be scared! This store is worth checking out. We have seen plenty of caskets, but these are truly distinctive and very reasonably priced.