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Funeral Planning in Tempe AZ - Guru Guide

Overview: Tempe, AZ  

Home of Arizona State University, this city is bustling. Mill Avenue provides a lovely pedestrian shopping and entertainment area for the large population. Due to its warm weather, reasonably priced homes and low crime rate, this has become an ideal location for retirement communities, secondary, and primary homes. There are many places of worship in this city; Mesa residents used to be largely Christian, Protestant, and Mormon, but the recent drastic population growth has made the area much more diverse.

Funeral Homes

If you plan to have a traditional funeral in Tempe 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.



Price Level


Able Funeral Services

Highly recommended


All Faiths

Bunker Family Funerals and Cremations

Highly recommended


All Faiths

Meldrum Mortuary & Crematory

Highly recommended


All Faiths

Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home

Highly recommended


All Faiths

Carr-Tenney Mortuary



All Faiths



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


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.






Greenwood Memory Lawn and Mortuary

Highly recommended


All Faiths / Christian


Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary

Highly recommended


All Faiths


Green Acres Mortuary and Cemetery



All Faiths



Funeral Homes

Recommended Highly


1627 North 51st Avenue
Phoenix AZ, 85035
(602) 442-7747 

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.


33 N Centennial Way
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 964-8686

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.


52 N MacDonald
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 834-9255

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.


4800 East Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-5600

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.



2621 S Rural Rd
Tempe, AZ 85282
(480) 967-2104

SCI-owned and not the nicest of the bunch. Although it has the façade of a nice funeral home and there are lovely plants outside (including orange trees in the parking area), the inside is musty and worn. On the plus side, they are family-oriented and have a small area set up with books for children.

They also have a small room for catering with high tables and white linens.

Cannot Recommend Yet


405 E Southern Ave
Tempe, AZ 85282
(480) 967-1643 

This funeral home is in need of an update. Unfortunately, the dark and unwelcoming building turned us off right away.

Direct Cremation Companies

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


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


1130 S. Horne
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 833-1716 
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).


1130 S Horne
Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 833-1716
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.



401 North Hayden Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
(480) 945-2654
Very few locations are able to offer as many special and personalized options as Green Acres. This SCI-owned “one-stop-shop” is willing and able to cater to all client needs. They have a beautiful multi-denominational chapel, and offer options for funerals and cremations. Clients will appreciate the lush grounds, ponds, and beautiful landscaping. Established in 1957, this location offers 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.


2300 West Van Buren Street
Phoenix AZ 85009
(602) 254-8491
This SCI-owned facility is large and conveniently located just off the highway. 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!


200 West Beardsley Road
Phoenix AZ 85027
(602) 434-7000
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. 


Although Tempe 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 that's not located in central Mesa in case you want a more luxurious option.

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

Country Inns & Suites

808 North Scottsdale Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281
(800) 596-2375
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, shuttle to airport, and 24-hour lobby offerings of coffee, tea, and cookies.  Also, guests looking to relax can take do so in their heated outdoor pool. We also like that their suites (still economically priced) have microwaves, mini refrigerators and sleeper sofas. $

Residence Inn Tempe Downtown

510 South Forest Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 967-2300 
It is no wonder why this hotel is frequently chosen as a favorite in Tempe. It's an ideal choice for those looking to replicate the comforts of home. The Residence Inn offers spacious studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites. All the rooms have a fully equipped kitchen, but if you don’t want to cook for yourself, you can enjoy their complimentary breakfasts and social hours. There is free wifi as well. $-$$

Tempe Mission Palms

60 East Fifth Street
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 969-8200
The Tempe Mission Palms is frequently chosen and the favorite hotel in Tempe. Guests might originally select this hotel for its modern location, but it offers much more. Clients can unwind and take make use of the hot tubs, modern gym, rooftop pool, tennis courts, and basketball hoop. Note, the hotel charges a $14.95 “Hospitality Fee” at checkout to cover a number of services including Internet. $$


There are numerous restaurants in the greater Phoenix/Tempe 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.

The Arrogant Butcher

2 East Jefferson #150
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(489) 993-2501
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.

The Capital Grille

2502 East Camelback
Suite 199
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 952-8900 
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.

House of Tricks

114 East 7th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 968-1114
This upscale restaurant is a praised for its airy cozy inviting atmosphere, delicious food, and exceedingly kind staff. The food is seasonally inspired and there is something on the menu to please everyone. What makes House of Tricks truly unique is that they have a gorgeous intimate outdoor space as well as indoor private dining areas. GURU TIP: Try to give them at least 24 hours notice if you will be requiring vegan meals.

La Bocca

699 South Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 967-5244
This sophisticated yet relaxed restaurant is much more than just a pizza place. All the ingredients for these delicious pizzas, sandwiches, entrees and salads are all locally sourced.  Their Brick Yard building is ideal for private events as they have screen mounted monitors that can be used to show either a college of the pictures of the decease or a favorite movie of his. 

Other Helpful Local Resources

Deseret Industries

1020 West Broadway
Mesa, AZ 85210
(480) 964-8738 
Run by 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 is 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
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.


4005 North 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 279-5870
Goodwill locations can 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 kind and helpful.

White Dove Thrift Shoppe

1255 West Guadalupe Road
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 491-1361
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
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.