Featured in Nevada Business Magazine: Face to Face Rick Noel

Walton’s Funerals & Cremations

Type of Business: Funeral Home, Cemetery & Crematories
Based In: Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Gardnerville, Susanville
Hails From: Puyallup, WA

Years Org. has been in Nevada: 63
Years w/Organization in Nevada: 20
Employees in Nevada: 39

Who has been instrumental to your success?

There’s no doubt learning all aspects of the funeral profession from my father set the stage for me to become a true funeral professional. Certainly, I learned from others in the industry, especially during my studies in Mortuary Science and my internship, but my dad was the most instrumental. He also taught me to have the great work ethic that I have today.

How did you get into your profession?

My father has been a funeral director/embalmer for 62 years. My early years were spent living in the funeral home in the Puyallup/Sumner area of Washington state, where my dad owned three funeral homes, a mausoleum and two crematories. As a result, the funeral profession was a natural career path for me.

What career advice would you give to someone just starting in your industry?

I would advise new professionals to make sure to keep their hearts right towards those they’re serving. Every family deserves to be treated the way we would want to be treated ourselves and every decedent deserves to be treated with dignity and respect at all times. There’s no higher calling in our profession than this.

What was the most difficult experience you encountered as a leader?

As a leader, the most difficult experience I’ve encountered was my termination of a very skilled, well-liked employee. Under the circumstances, I had no choice in the matter but to terminate.

What is an assumption people make about you that is dead wrong?

Since I’m in the funeral business and death is truly a serious matter, many assume I’m such a serious person that I must not have a sense of humor. They are gravely wrong for sure. It’s true that I’m genuinely serious when I need to be, and I choose to be since it’s the right thing to do. However, when I’m not in a work-related situation, I tend to make humorous comments, usually about death though, whenever the opportunity presents itself.

What do you hope future generations can learn from your professional journey?

I wish them to learn anything and everything that will inspire them to become true funeral professionals. I desire their first objective is to make a difficult time easier in some way for each grieving family and at the end of the process, they can witness healing begin to take place.