Twin Falls woman hopes to shed dark reputation from funerals

After years of hard work, back in 2013 Heidi Heil of Serenity Funeral Chapel and Life Celebration Center had finally reached her goal of opening a full service funeral home but, even with the full facility she said she was still mostly preforming cremations. 

Heil said a lot of her customers were having their loved ones cremated and then walking right out the door, taking their business to a place where they could grieve in their own way. 

“People want to have a party,” said Heil. “People want to celebrate."

Heil said in Southern Idaho, 60% are choosing cremation over burial and that number is expected to jump to 80% by 2035. Cremations are much less expensive, giving families more flexibility.

"They don't want the religious ceremony anymore. I mean there are people out there that do and still prefer burial, but that’s not the demographic I've been catering to,” said Heil.

Heil said she is now adjusting her business to give the people what they want. 

"When they say when I die I want a party, were going to give it to them,” said Heil.

Heil is in the process of purchasing a satellite facility in Twin Falls that will serve as an events center open for any occasion, but specializing in life celebrations.

"Death can be a very beautiful thing and a life is something that should be celebrated,” said Heil.

The plan is to also have a neighborhood bar for the community attached to the events center appropriately named the Last Call.

"I'm not bringing the bar to the funeral home. I’m taking the funeral home to the bar,” said Hell. "We’re going to have spirits with spIrits."

While Heil said she plans to maintain her chapel, she’s adding the new facility as another option for her customers so she can continue bringing light to an otherwise dark time.

“I knew this was the direction I wanted to go years ago,” said Heil. “It’s vision and it’s good economics, good business.”

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