Conveniently located on Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam, Oliveira Funeral Home provides a personal touch that only a family business can.
“We offer a very personalized service designed to honour all faiths, cultures, and traditions,” says Maria Oliveira, who together with her husband, Antonio (Tony), heads the family-run funeral home. “We walk the grieving family through everything. One family might need an hour or two to make arrangements; others may need five or six hours. It doesn’t matter; we always give people whatever time they need.”
Oliveira Funeral Home opened its doors in 2004, but Tony Oliveira has more than three decades of experience in helping people arrange funerals for themselves or loved ones.
“Tony used to work in a family-owned funeral home in Vancouver,” Maria explains. “He worked closely with members of the Portuguese community and developed a reputation as someone who cared and who could honour our culture and traditions. He decided to open his own funeral home to offer a more personalized service to everyone, regardless of faith or tradition.”
Something Tony and Maria insist upon is that the person you meet when arranging a funeral at Oliveira, is the same person you will meet at the service.
“At larger funeral homes,” says Maria, “very often you spend time arranging a service with someone, only to find that someone else is at the service. They don’t know the family or the circumstances of the death at all. We make sure that the person doing the arrangements is there to support the family at the service. There’s a connection and it’s very important.”
Another difference at Oliveira is the compassionate help line. Most funeral homes have them, but usually an answering service is employed after hours to take the call about a death or to comfort a grieving relative.
“We answer our phones 24/7,” Maria notes. “Often people call after midnight – sometimes it’s a care home where a death has occurred and they don’t have the cooling facilities, but it could just as easily be the next-of-kin or a relative needing to speak to someone.
Tony and Mariaalways answer the phone in person after hoursto offer comfort and reassurance to the family. The second generation Oliveiras, already very involved in the funeral home, have also committedto carrying on this important service.
While Oliveira Funeral Home has strong connections to the Portuguese community and Catholic burial services, Maria explains that Oliveira excels at customizing funeral services to meet any cultural, traditional, or religious beliefs.
“We have performed many Muslim services,” she says, “and services for many different cultures and traditions. It’s what we do best.”