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  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.

Judith Ritcey – Certified Funeral Celebrant/Pastoral Care Minister

I am an ordained, Pastoral Care Minister and Wedding Officiant through Clergy Support Memorial Church and a certified Funeral Celebrant. I am honored to become part of the Kettle Valley Memorial Family.

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I studied and received my Degree in Health Record Sciences. I married, my childhood sweetheart and we raised our family on the beautiful east coast. We moved to Penticton in 1988 and we realized that it is indeed “a place to stay forever”. Over the years I have been very active in the community through various organizations and as a volunteer at the Penticton Regional Hospital and other community events. I am a member of two local choirs and the Executive Director of the Penticton Kiwanis Music Festival.

I originally studied to become a pastoral care minister and then a wedding officiant. Through my pastoral care studies, I learned so much about caring and helping people through difficult times and how very important it is to have a pillar of support during these times. I realized that I wanted to work and help people at one of the most difficult times of their lives, the death of a loved one and so I continued my studies to become a Funeral Celebrant.

I would like to help families who have lost a love one by creating a Celebration of Life that is unique and very personal. Whether this is a more spiritual ceremony with prayers and hymns, a non-religious service which might include poems readings and music or a combination of the two. Sometimes poems and readings can help put into words some of the complex emotions which surround saying goodbye to a loved one, and I hope that my knowledge and experience can be a useful guide, helping you decide what to choose. I also can also officiate at the graveside service if the family wishes.

I want to work closely with families to make sure that their vision for the service is carried out. I can do this by spending some time with the family to get to know them and to get a good sense of the person their loved one was. I ask them to share stories and important memories of their love one, and find out more about their life, character and values. Once I have had this opportunity and understand your preferences for the service, I can suggest some ways in which it could be carried out and create an Order of Service for you.

Choosing how to honor your loved one at the end of their life is a personal and emotional decision. I hope that I can help you honor their life in a beautiful and memorable way.