Kettle Valley Memorial

About Us

Kettle Valley Memorial Services offer unique, distinctive burial or cremation choices. The business was founded January 3, 2019 by Kevin Smith and Joel Lesperance with the sole purpose of serving families the way they want to be served. There is a wealth of information on our website so you can learn more in the comfort of your home. But, call any time for immediate assistance at 250-493-2929.

 


Kevin Smith – Owner, Operator, Funeral Director/Embalmer

People often ask if I got into the funeral services industry because of family lineage. The answer is no. Even from a young age, I wanted to be a funeral director because I felt it was a calling. At the age of 19 I began my career in funeral service washing cars and mowing the lawn at Martin Brothers Funeral Home in Lethbridge, AB. I apprenticed there before moving to Calgary then finally to Penticton, calling the Okanagan my forever home.

Over my 14 years in the industry, I’ve proudly served over 2000 families and gained a massive amount of knowledge in all aspects of funeral directing, embalming, burial, cremation, funeral law, international shipping, pre-arrangements and grave markers.

I am closely connected to the community. While being incredibly fortunate, I feel it’s my  obligation to give back as a proud member of JCI (Junior Chamber International), The Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, The Fraternal Order of the Eagles and The Elks Lodge.

As Chaplain for the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, I offer comfort and support to members and their families at a time of need. One of my proudest accomplishments was receiving the 2020 New Business of the Year Award at the Business Excellence Awards hosted by the Penticton Chamber of Commerce. A funeral business had never won that award before. It was an especially exciting moment for our team. Feel free to contact me directly at 250-493-2929 or by Email.


Erin Paul – Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer

When I was a nurse, I had always had a passion for caring for the dying.  I believe it is an absolute privilege to care for someone who is dying, but also for caring for them and their family, after they have passed.  After looking into the funeral profession, meeting with Kevin in the fall of 2017 and many months of thinking about making a HUGE career change, I took the plunge and have never looked back.  I started out as transfer staff, whilst still working as a nurse and when I made my mind up, I quit nursing altogether.  I knew this is where I am meant to be, and I love my job!!

I started my nursing career at Penticton Regional in January 2009 until June 2018.  I worked the last 4 years of my nursing career on Maternity, working with postpartum mums and babes, as well as medical and surgical patients.  I loved it, but always felt like I was missing something.

What I love about funeral service…… people have preconceived notions of what funeral professionals do.  Most people don’t know what our job really entails, until they need to come to us because someone has passed.  I love being able to talk to people about what we do.  I would love for death to be less of a taboo and a more common topic that people are more comfortable talking about.  As I said above, we are so privileged to do what we do.  We are working with people at one of the most difficult and vulnerable times of their lives.  I take pride in the work that I do, whether it is sitting with a family, in the prep room embalming or just the simple task of vacuuming the funeral home. I want families to have the most positive experience possible and I strive to make that happen.   

My most recent accomplishment – Graduating as a Funeral Director and Embalmer in 2020 and receiving my license in December.  I left a very stable job at 40 years old and took a chance going back to school.  I know lots of people do the same thing, even those older than me, but I am very proud of myself, nonetheless. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me anytime at 250-493-2929.


Karen Block – Celebrant/Funeral Attendant

I am very happy to have recently joined the team at Kettle Valley Memorial.

I’ll share some information about my background and how I have come to once again be part of the team with Kevin and Erin.

I grew up and lived near Drumheller, Alberta most of my life before moving to Penticton with my two daughters. My oldest daughter at the University of Saskatchewan working towards becoming a Registered Nurse. My youngest daughter is in grade 11 with plans earning her Red Seal certification in carpentry with dreams of working abroad building homes for those in need. We love calling Penticton home and appreciate our farming roots in Alberta too!

When describing my career, the most accurate description I can think of is explaining that I have a passion to help support families. Prior to moving to Penticton I worked in Early Childhood Education, though always had a keen interest in the funeral industry. Upon moving to Penticton, I decided to look further into the funeral industry. Kevin, Erin and I worked together in the past and it feels great to be joining forces again at Kettle Valley Memorial.

In 2018 I trained and became a certified Celebrant. A celebrant seeks to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. The goal is to work with families to create a funeral service that is personalized to reflect the personality and life-style of the deceased. This may be via a Funeral Service or Celebration of Life, a Graveside Service or perhaps a more casual gathering for family and friends to honor their loved one. My role as a Celebrant is to provide a different option for families that may not have a relationship with clergy or a specific church.

I also help individuals, couples and families that are interested in pre-planning. If you are looking for any information, pricing, and would like to know what is involved in making pre arranged funeral plans please feel welcome to call, email or stop at our office for more information.