Funeral Planning in Phoenix - Central AZ - Guru Guide

Overview: Phoenix- Central AZ   

With a population of almost 1.5 million, Phoenix is the most populated state capital.  Phoenix funeral homes differ from others in a couple of ways, one is which is they’re allowed to have crematories on the site so cremations tend to be reasonably priced. Also, Arizona funeral homes are permitted to serve food and drink, which means most funeral homes have catering and reception areas.   

Funeral Homes

If you plan to have a traditional funeral in Phoenix with the body present (regardless of whether you choose burial or cremation) you must work with a funeral home to make your arrangements. This area is predominately Christian and the funeral homes reflect that. Most, however, are happy to accommodate all faiths.

Name

Rating

Price Level

Religion(s)

Able Funeral Services

Highly recommended

Low

All Faiths

A L Moore-Grimshaw Mortuaries Bethany Chapel

Highly recommended

High

Christian /All Faiths

Greenwood Memory Lawn Mortuary and Cemetery

Highly recommended

Medium

All Faiths

Preston Funeral Home

Recommended

Medium

Christian

Rude Family Northwest Mortuary

Recommended

Medium

All Faiths

Samaritan Funeral Home

Recommended

Low

Christian / 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


Funeral Homes- Complete List 

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 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.

 

A L MOORE-GRIMSHAW MORTUARIES BETHANY CHAPEL
710 West Bethany Home Road
Phoenix AZ 85013
(602) 2249-2111
www.almoore-grimshaw.com


This SCI-owned clean, modern, and spacious funeral home is a perfect example of a prime “Dignity” funeral home. The lawn is freshly cut and the vegetation well maintained. Upon entering, the entrance is grand and clients are welcome to sit on a couch and enjoy the coffee table books, gaze at the fish tank, or go into the “hospitality suite” to enjoy some cookies.

Chad, who has been with the company for over 30 years, is incredibly knowledgeable. They offer catered receptions (with many different options) in a beautiful large room with a gorgeous vaulted ceiling.
GURU TIP: Although you will pay more for the Dignity brand, you will also get all the associated benefits, which are too many to list here. Be sure and ask about their MEM videos and photo albums.

 

GREENWOOD MEMORY LAWN MORTUARY AND CEMETERY
2300 West Van Buren Street
Phoenix AZ 85009
(602) 254-8491
www.greenwoodmemorylawn.com
This SCI-owned facility is large and conveniently located just off the highway. In Phoenix, this is the ideal “one-stop shop” location. The staff is professional and the facilities are spotless. Interestingly, this cemetery has gotten multiple positive reviews on Yelp and other sites; it even has a Facebook page with lots of likes!

 

Recommended

PRESTON FUNERAL HOME INC
3800 S Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85041                                                                         
(602) 304-0083
www.prestonfuneralhomeaz.com


Reverend Preston and his wife “Lady” Preston run one of the only African-American owned and operated funeral homes in Arizona. The Prestons weren’t at the location the day we visited, but their receptionist was warm and welcoming. She showed us the chapel, which has a large cross in the center and holds about 85 people comfortably.

While the outside isn’t the most inviting, the interior is being redone.
GURU TIP: It was a bit disturbing to see on the front of their General Price List a bold and italicized notice that payment was due 48 hours in advance, which is something I’ve never seen before.

 

RUDE FAMILY NORTHWEST MORTUARY
4033 North 19th Ave
Phoenix AZ 85015
(602) 266-8000
www.rudemortuary.com


Pronounced “Rudy,” this funeral home was founded in 1960 and seems to cater to their local clientele but stressed how important it is to serve all families.

The staff seems flexible and eager to please the clients. They are in a nice location on the main road across the street from CVS. Although located on busy street, the exterior was very inviting.

 

SAMARITAN FUNERAL HOME
1505 East McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 716-5600
www.samaritanfuneralhome.com


Although not eye-catching at first, this funeral home has quite a bit to offer. The clientele is largely Spanish speaking and the bilingual staff is happy to work with all. Eddie, who’s a veteran employee and not a funeral director, eagerly gave a (slightly inaccurate) lesson about all things related to the funeral industry. The best part is the back garden they created for after service gatherings.

Having recently been brought by Lifeplan, they had the money to create this sanctuary and also update the building. (While I was there, the owners were personally doing construction.) Their website is being updated, but they do have a long video about picking a casket and give you a detailed education in the process. GURU TIP: there is a special “Internet Special” rate; be sure to mention it when you go in and save almost $300.

 

Direct Cremation Companies

Again, Phoenix 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
4141 North 19th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85015
(602) 263-7946
www.advantagefunerals.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 & BURIAL CHAPEL
4141 North 19th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85015
(602) 263-7946
www.advantagefunerals.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 it’s 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 and they 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

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 give you a tour of the location. 
 

Hotels

Over 16 million people visit Phoenix each year; needless to say, there are plenty of hotels to accommodate all. Here you can find a hotel to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. We’ve selected a few we think would be best while you are here planning a funeral. Here are just a few in the area:

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

Hampton Inn Phoenix-Biltmore
2310 East Highland Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 468-7220
www.hamptoninn3.hilton.com
There are multiple similar hotels in the area but this one is the best for the money.  It’s conveniently located close to all of the funeral homes that we suggested above, and also within walking distance of multiple chain stores and restaurants. Moreover, unlike other hotels, Hampton Inn offers complimentary complete breakfasts, (much needed) hot coffee and tea all day in the lobby, wi-fi and parking.  $-$$
 

Hotel Palomar – Phoenix Cityscape
2 East Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(877) 488-1908
www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com
There are a few luxurious hotels in the area but we chose this one because it’s urban setting couldn’t be beat. This hotel is located within CityScape, which means it’s surrounded by some of the best restaurants, shops, and entertainment in all of Phoenix. If you would prefer to stay in the hotel, you can unwind and take advantage of their complimentary gym and/or wine on the roof deck during their wine reception hour. Also, Hotel Palomar is pet friendly and will provide a dog bowl and bed for Sparky if he’s traveling with you. $$-$$$
 

Residence Inn Marriott
801 North 44th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(602) 273-9220
www.marriot.com
Although there’s no place like home, the Residence Inn does offer a few extra amenities to make the accommodation more “homey.” Most importantly, these suites all have complete kitchens; if you are in Phoenix for a while this might be an invaluable addition. Also, since you might not want to be alone through this difficult time, this offers enough space for others to either stay with you or come by for a visit. If your “company” is four-legged, your pet can stay for a fee. There is also a complimentary shuttle from the airport.  $-$$

 

Restaurants

Needless to say there are numerous restaurants in Phoenix. 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 Claim Jumper to cater a Shiva, lunch or dinner at your home.
 

The Arrogant Butcher
2 East Jefferson #150
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(489) 993-2501
www.foxrc.com
Part of the Fox Restaurants Concepts group, this is a great choice for those who are looking for something slightly more trendy and relaxed. They have multiple dining options, offering anything from a small area in their main dining room to multiple different size private rooms. It’s worth noting that Fox Concepts has multiple locations around Phoenix; if you’re looking for another type of cuisine, you might want to check out Blanco Tacos & Tequila, Culinary Dropout or Little Cleo’s Seaford Legend.
 

Avanti Restaurant
2728 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 956-0900
http://avanti-az.com
This restaurant offers the old-school Italian comfort food that those in mourning might need.  The rave reviews often mention how the staff is very family-oriented, warm and happy to accommodate their clients’ needs -- it’s not rare for the owner himself to seat you. The ambiance and décor match the “traditional” and old-world cuisine and they also have an award-winning catering service.  They offer multiple menus and will also assist with linens, china, and even flowers.


The Capital Grille
2502 East Camelback
Suite 199
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(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 area but the amenities offered by The Capital Grill make 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.

 

Other Helpful Local Resources

Arizona Humane Society Thrift Store
4240 W Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85019
(602) 242-3180
www.azhumane.org
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 the Human Society.
 

Flo’s on 7th
4116 North 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 254-7861
www.flocrit.org/floson7th
This consignment store is constantly voted as the best in Phoenix. This fairly large store has a nice assortment of both high-end and everyday necessities. Most importantly, you can feel good about donating your goods or shopping here because 100% of their net profits go to directly support Florence Criffton’s program for at-risk youths and their families.
 

Goodwill
4005 North 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 279-5870
www.goodwillaz.org
Goodwill gets mixed reviews, but this one is very highly ranked. Whether you’re dropping off donations or looking to purchase items, all say that the staff is kind and helpful.
 

‘Til We Meet Again
1703 West Bethany Home Road
Suite D005
Phoenix, AZ 8501
(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.