Indigent or Unclaimed Cremated Remains Funeral

Feb 2, 2012 | 5 comments

Bernalillo Cremated Remains Funeral

A unique funeral for the burial of the cremated remains of 178 citizens of Bernalillo County took place yesterday. The cremains, some of which dated back decades, had been unclaimed and sat in small cardboard boxes on shelves at Riverside Funeral Home.

Some of these people had no family, some were homeless, some had homes but no family, or their families couldn’t afford the $485 fee to claim the cremated remains. While that is far less expensive than a typical funeral, even that amount was beyond some families’ finances.

Rather than scatter the unclaimed remains on undeveloped land west of town, Riverside, the Bernalillo County Purchasing Department (which oversees the indigent cremation program), and the Evangelico Cemetery (part of the Atrisco Land Grant) pooled their resources to provide a dignified burial.

Evangelico Cemetery Gate

Riverside provided two caskets to hold the boxes of cremated remains. The caskets rested at the bottom of a hand-dug grave. The county provided sprays of flowers and memorial programs that listed all the names of the deceased. Charlie Finegan, owner of Riverside Funeral Home, and the cemetery are donating a headstone and an individual will pay for a flat marker that will list all the names of those laid to rest.

The 15-minute service (shown in its entirety on the attached YouTube video) included prayers by Deacon Edgar Torres, the Reverend Dave Goodnight, and Reverend Bruce Paul Gibson. Comments were also made by Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz, Charlie Finegan, and Judy Gallegos, an individual who wanted to honor those who have no one to remember them.

The songs “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful” were beautifully sung by county employee Jesse Lopez, accompanied by Larry Gallegos on guitar. Remarkably, the dove release was caught on camera! Approximately 45 people attended the service. Several people tossed flowers and handfuls of dirt onto the caskets in a farewell gesture.

Lisa Sedillo-White, Purchasing Director with Bernalillo County, said that some cremains were claimed after an article about the upcoming funeral appeared in Monday’s Albuquerque Journal. The Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) sends unclaimed bodies into the care of the county. In turn, the purchasing office contracts with Riverside to handle the cremations.

“Charlie Finegan went above and beyond with this funeral,” said Sedillo-White.

Going forward, when the county gets bodies from OMI, they will post names of these individuals online to help families who turn to the Internet to search for information. In the coming months, names will be posted at Bernco View, the official transparency portal on the Bernalillo County website,

One woman had been cremated 20 years ago, in 1992. Here is the list of all the names provided by the county, alphabetized by first names. May all of these citizens of Bernalillo County rest in peace.

Cremated Remains Grave

Indigent/Unclaimed Cremated Remains
New Mexico Mortuary/Riverside Funeral Home

(Name and Date of Cremation)
Abundio Vargas 8/4/2009
Angelio Perez 3/13/2008
Alex Portello 1/26/2009
Alvaro Gonzales 7/16/2008
Andrae Fritz 6/8/2007
Angel Gonzales 12/28/2007
Antonio Gomez 10/26/2008
Barry Kwiatkowski 12/12/2008
Basil Boswell 4/4/2008
Bea Gauthier 5/20/2008
Bessoe Love 12/18/2008
Bill Daniel 1/6/2009
Billy Martin 6/22/2006
Billy White 1/19/2007
Bishnu Karmaker 4/20/2009
Brad Jones 10/2/2009
Carmelita Walsh 5/17/2007
Carol Armstrong 11/22/2008
Carol Settles 8/25/2009
Caroline Ford 6/2/2008
Ceclia Armendariz 11/23/2007
Celestino Herrera 1/7/2009
Charles Boyer 1/10/2008
Charles D. Wyatt 4/29/2008
Charles Nelson 11/28/2007
Ginger McDonald 12/11/2007
Cliff David Osborn 4/22/2009
Curtis W.Long 4/25/2008
Darwin Reed 10/11/2006
David Allen Smith 10/6/2008
David Fields 1/24/2007
David Franks 8/22/2008
David Galvan 8/9/2007
David Grindle 4/30/2008
David Hatley 6/22/2009
David Morales 8/8/2007
David Reasin 3/20/2007
Dean Phillips 1/4/2008
Debra S. Boo 4/28/2009
Dennis William 6/22/2006
Derill Howell 7/1/2009
Dwight Garkins 6/13/2007
Earl Switzer 6/20/2007
Fay Gavin 11/25/2008
Fidel Lucero 5/27/2009
Filipe A. Silva 6/18/2009
Florence Pantusa 9/28/2009
Floyd Lasher 8/21/2008
Forrest Butler 10/16/2008
Frances Anderson 2/4/2009
Frank Benvenuto 10/27/2008
Fred Amdahl 2/8/2007
Fredrick E. Ott 9/22/2009
Gary Graham 5/18/2009
Gary Lundy 3/13/2008
Georgia Copeland 4/30/2009
Gerland Frank Snellgrove 11/23/2007
Gertrude Franklin 5/2/2009
Gordon Vanburen 11/14/1999
Harold Morrison 6/29/2007
Hermine Casaus 5/27/2008
Huembrto Vega 2/28/2008
Hugh Sheeran 9/1/2009
Irene Ndreu 11/23/2007
Jack F. Dempsey 3/25/2008
Jackie Smith (2 Boxes) 11/19/2009
James H. Kibler 10/26/2007
James Harrington 10/19/2007
Jeanne Albert 5/15/2009
Joan Mc Can (2 boxes) 2/29/2008
Joann Parsons 8/13/2008
Joe Hughes 11/4/2009
John Altieri 12/28/2008
John C. Bonacci 6/3/2009
John Ewing 10/12/2007
John Hayes 3/18/2009
John Hevener 1/16/2007
John M. Makin(2boxes) 9/17/2009
Juan Hevener 1/16/2007
John Paul Warneski 2/4/2008
John Sorensen 8/23/1999
John Tebo 12/22/2008
John Williams 7/10/2008
Johnny Tapia 11/29/2007
Jose Labrado 10/30/2007
Jose Lujan 2/2/2009
Joseph Morlan 5/19/2008
Joyce Madden 1/8/2009
Juan Cavazos 6/24/2009
Judith Cruz 11/3/2009
Judy Brockman 8/1/2008
Judy Holmes 12/30/2008
Karen Smith 1992
Kelly Akridge 3/4/2009
Kenneth Morrison 9/24/2009
Kenneth Stevens 11/30/2008
Kenneth Yandle 10/1/2009
Kirk D. Wonner 11/19/2009
Lee Mikeal 10/8/2009
Leonard Mora 6/21/2007
Leonard Martinez 9/16/2009
Lenora Robertson 12/19/2008
Malachy Libbers 4/10/2009
Manuel Cavalier 11/4/2009
Margo Perez‐Lebreton 5/2/2007
Maria Masse 9/18/2009
Marianne Origilo 6/7/2007
Marilynn London 3/30/2009
Marquita Reeder 5/25/2007
Mary Terreault 12/12/2008
Maxx Sheild 5/15/2008
Melanie McCarty 7/16/2007
Merle Cooksoy 9/1/1999
Michael Brannen 8/4/2008
Michael Hall 9/22/2008
Michael Huber 10/12/2007
Michael James Loeding 3/14/2008
Michael Maldonado 1/17/2007
Miguel Aragones 6/12/2007
Mildred Baldonado 11/21/2008
Mildred Kyle 8/4/2008
Modesto Garcia 11/25/2008
Naomi Kahn 1/31/2008
Norbert Weghoffer 9/22/2008
Noreen Weifenbach 7/9/2009
Oscar Preston 9/27/2009
Patrick Dermody 1/16/2009
Patrick Wyscarver 10/13/2007
Patrocino Galban 7/30/2009
Paul Candelaria 10/31/2007
Pedro Garcia 8/5/2009
Peter Jones 9/1/2009
Preston Hughes 9/21/2009
Ramon Martinez 1/19/2007
Ranbir Chand 9/4/2008
RandyFerguson 7/30/2007
Raul Perez 1/24/2009
Raymond Lucero 3/3/2009
Richard Bixby 10/29/2009
Richard Franke 12/29/2009
Richard Hagge 10/16/2008
Richard Louis Ghidro 5/14/2009
Rita Robinson 8/31/2009
Robert Balley 5/1/2009
Robert Edmondson 1/17/2007
Robert G. Cosner 12/28/2007
Robert Moore 11/28/2008
Robert Nick Rubio 9/3/2008
Robert Ratigliano 2/12/2009
Ronald Suknot 2/22/2008
Ronnie Lee Mcnulty 11/4/2009
Roy Bennett 1/10/2008
Roy Combs 2/12/2009
Ruben Strothers 8/9/2007
Ruby Mayfield 5/24/2007
Ruby Smith 5/19/2008
Russell Cottrell 10/8/2009
Samuel Dimas 10/13/2008
Saul Kaye 8/11/2008
Scott Turnham 4/30/2011
Senon D. Chavez 2/7/2008
Shepard John Nedeau 3/27/2009
Stephen K. Logan 8/23/2007
Stephen Lippas 9/6/2007
Susan D. Cottrell 7/23/2009
Terry Mason 11/24/2008
Theodore Boyce 6/26/2007
Theodoro Ward 10/4/2009
Thomas Brannon 9/2/2009
Timothy Franklin 8/1/2008
Tony Duran 8/3/2009
Trisha Smith 7/30/2009
Troy Trabosci 5/29/2009
Troy Turkal 1/18/2008
Virginio (Phil)Serrano 12/30/2009
Weldon Jones 8/26/2009
Wendell Jones 2/28/2007
Wendy Keeler‐Aragon 6/19/2009
Wesley D. Fontaine 9/30/2009
William Garner 1/8/2009
William Parrish 7/31/2009
William Shaw 8/25/2009
William Tritthart 5/8/2008

A Good Goodbye