At Eastside Memorial Funeral Home, Park and Crematory it’s not about mourning death, it’s about celebrating life and being kind to the earth while doing so. Located in beautiful Minden, Nevada and run by an unstoppable mother-daughter duo Irene and Nadia Shahin, the cemetery has continued to impress the families it serves for over three decades. Eastside Memorial Park was the first green cemetery in all of Nevada and the recently added funeral home is Minden’s first green funeral home.
Eastside Memorial has been certified as a natural burial ground through the Green Burial Council and is the only certified green cemetery in Nevada. When celebrating the life of a loved one, families can know that they are being kind to the earth when they choose Eastside Memorial. The Minden Memorial Park achieved GBC certification by prohibiting the use of vaults (partial, inverted or otherwise), vault lids, concrete boxes, slabs or partitioned liners, and by prohibiting the burial of decedents embalmed with toxic chemicals, as well as banning burial containers not made from natural or plant derived materials.
With a large population of baby boomers in the area looking for alternative options in the deposition of their loved ones, Eastside Memorial is a perfect match for their community. Many of the residents planning or helping plan funerals are expressing with confidence that they do not want big, heavy metal caskets and complicated services – they want something simple where the focus is on the celebration of life, remembering love, and spending time with family.
From the very first day, Eastside Memorial has always valued being kind to the earth and aligned themselves with companies that operate similarly. That is why they love working with Esmerelda Kent of Kinkaraco. Irene and Nadia love that Kinkaraco gives them high end silk options and more budget friendly muslin options as well, so they can provide green services to families no matter their budget.
“My parents moved from California to Nevada to retire. Once in Nevada my dad began to work on a development project here in the town of Minden in 1985. The town had a need for a cemetery and worked with my dad to have it developed. The way we got into the industry is not traditional in any sense. The business was not passed down through generations but was created to fill a need in the community,” explains Nadia Shahin, Co-Owner of Eastside Memorial Park and the daughter side of the duo.
Recently, Irene and Nadia noticed that it would make it much easier for the families if they could go to one location to make all their funeral arrangements. With their sights set on a new goal, the mother-daughter team made it happen and opened a funeral home and crematory on their property in 2018.
“There was a need to create one location where families could come and get everything done. So that is why we decided to become a full-service location. We want to help our families as completely as we can and make the process simple – adding the funeral home and crematory really helped us accomplish that,” continues Nadia.
It comes as no surprise that Eastside Memorial has been able to remain successful over the years. Lead by Irene and Nadia, the family business doesn’t just stay up to date with the latest trends – they set them. They have been instrumental with paving the way for green burials to stay relevant and their passion for serving the families of their community shines through each and every day. Their ability to listen to what families really want and deliver services far above expectations ensures Eastside Memorial will remain for some time to come.
“Listening to the needs and wants of the families is what we do best. Making their vision a reality – no matter how untraditional – is what makes us stand out. Every person grieves in a different way, we want to do everything we can to make sure the service is exactly what they want and need,” Nadia states passionately.
In addition to providing green options, Eastside Memorial is also known for their specialized veteran services.
“We hosted a big event this year and brought in the Vietnam moving wall, The Wall that Heals to the cemetery. With the help of our local veteran organizations here in town, we were also able to bring in speakers, fundraise, and orchestrate a fly over. It was a huge event that brought in over 4,000 people and was an amazing experience for all our veterans and us as well. Being able to create a space and an event to help people heal was a really humbling experience and meant a lot to the veterans and families of Minden,” further states Nadia.
Eastside Memorial has a dedicated veteran section in their cemetery. They host events on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day and participate in Wreaths Across America at Christmas time which honors the veterans of their cemetery with a wreath-laying ceremony at each gravesite.
In today’s evolving industry Nadia wants to remind funeral directors and funeral home, cemetery, and crematory owners to take customer service seriously.
“Customer service should always be your number one priority. Putting the families first is so important. You will always be successful if you are in this business for the right reason – to exceed the expectations of the families you serve,” Nadia strongly advises.
Looking forward to the future, Irene and Nadia are excited to get the community more involved in what they do. They will be opening their chapel space up for business meetings, family reunions, and weddings in order to encourage people to spend time in their picturesque space.
“We face the Tahoe mountain range. It’s so beautiful and serene and even though we are a little bit out of the way, our views make up for that. To be here is to be surrounded by nature and natural beauty – and we want to share that with our community every chance we get,” she concludes. FBA