SEASIDE — Funerals can be difficult, but one Seaside funeral home hopes to remove some of the stress with its recently remodeled facility.

Caldwell’s Funeral & Cremation Arrangement Center was renovated in 2012. The footprint of the building is the same, but the interior was completely reworked to fit Caldwell’s needs. A new wheelchair ramp was added.

“We took this thing down the bare floor,” owner Renee Caldwell said. “New electricity and everything. This was from July to December of last year. Brand new roof — everything.”

The building had been the office of the Seaside Signal newspaper, a church and possibly a bus depot, Caldwell said. The layout didn’t suit the needs of her business or her clients.

“It just wasn’t very workable,” she said. The funeral home has a lot of memorial services for people who have been cremated but still needs to be able to do services for those who are buried.

“My main interest in this facility was to have a place where we could do both types of services easily,” she said. “So we could have a casket up front or we could have a memorial service.”

The new chapel accommodates 50-75 people. Caldwell can rent larger venues if needed.

Funeral Receptions

The new layout also means Caldwell’s can have receptions in the same facility.

It’s a good size for Seaside, she added. There’s room for the service and then room for tables and a reception afterward. She’s working with local businesses to provide catering for receptions.

Details

Caldwell is also pleased with the selection room, where loved ones can select caskets and urns. It’s among the many details people face when someone dies.

“There are quite a few details to get everything ready,” Jamieson said.

“That’s why they’re paying us — for the job,” Caldwell said. “To make sure everything is handled on a timely basis — flowers, obituary, death certificates, permits.”

Caldwell’s accepts pre-arranged plans from other funeral homes.

“Gladly,” Jamieson said.

Kudos To The City

Caldwell said she was unable to enlarge the building beyond its original footprint because of parking issues.

“But the city was great to work with,” Caldwell said. “They tried their best to accommodate us. I had an architect, and he was there with the city the whole time, and it really worked out well.”

The reception has been positive, said Larry Jamieson, licensed apprentice funeral director.

“People come by all the time and mention how nice it looks,” he said.

Experience

Caldwell has been in the business since 1976. She and her husband, Jim, purchased Caldwell’s Luce-Layton Mortuary in Astoria. They opened the Seaside location in 2003.

He passed away in 2005.

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