New funeral home opens in Monte Vista
MONTE VISTA — Stephen Hunzeker has opened a new funeral home in Monte Vista. Mountain Valley Mortuary opened its doors in the historic Romero mortuary building on 4th Street just before the year's start, and Hunzeker looks forward to serving the community he and his family have grown to love.
Hunzeker has been a funeral director for over 20 years and has lived in the Valley for 14 years. He was elected Rio Grande County Coroner in 2017 and has worked in mortuaries throughout the Monte Vista area, becoming a well-known and trusted mortician.
“Having the ability to assist families the way I want to has been a dream of mine. Being able to keep the dignity, respect and focus on the families I hope to serve is one of the main reasons I wanted to do this,” he said.
After Romero Funeral Home consolidated its branches down to their main one in Alamosa, Hunzeker saw the opportunity to bring in his service and is looking forward to becoming even more active in the community.
“Romero Funeral Home consolidated their other branches and being able to come in and take this building over with an option to buy in a year was really great for me. They are still a part of the Valley and they do still offer their services, I just wanted to be able to add to that here in Monte Vista,” he said.
Hunzeker said that serving as Rio Grande County Coroner has been one of his greatest privileges and that he will continue to offer the services of all funeral homes in the Valley.
“We never suggest one over the other and I think that is one thing that makes this Valley such a wonderful place. The partnerships we build through our tight knit community is what makes us stand out,” he said.
“Helping fill a void through compassion and care is our only goal. Having 14 years of experience in the Valley has taught me the ins and outs of community life here and we are happy to be here,” he said.
The facility itself is under transformation but offers several tranquil aspects that are in place to help comfort and surround grieving families. From the outdoor courtyard to the conference room and gallery, Hunzeker has set out to create a place where families and loved ones feel secure.
Hunzeker is also looking to fortify his impact in the community through outreach, education, and support.
“Being in this position gives us the opportunity to be supportive of the community through charitable events. It can be as simple as helping with the local baseball teams or as big as making donations to organizations that are in need. We really want to be a community minded business and that is what we set out to do,” he said.
Hunzeker hopes to keep funeral prices affordable and to seek further education and insurance licensing in the next few months.
“We want to grow and offer what we can to the community we serve,” he said.
In addition, Hunzeker was appointed to the Colorado State Funeral Director’s Board.
“It’s an honor to be able to serve as a rural funeral director and be able to bring a new perspective to the table for consideration as changes are being proposed through legislature. Having a voice on that board is going to be a huge benefit,” he said.
Hunzeker will host a ribbon cutting event soon, and more details about the new funeral home can be found on their website at www.mvmortuary.com.