A Ten Year Discovery of Community

Ten years ago on May 27, 2007, Lake Ridge Chapel opened its doors for the first time .  It’s as true now as it was then: Lake Ridge Chapel & Memorial Designers opened to meet the growing needs of the community.  With a leadership team formed with individuals from other funeral homes in Texas, each Funeral Director had a vision of what was missing in order to better serve families  who were experiencing the loss of a loved one.  Together the team designed  a building that would provide a new and innovative way of providing funeral services in Lubbock.

Lake Ridge Chapel 2007-2017:  Part 1. The Memorial Designers’ Building

The story of the first decade goes well beyond the construction of the building, but the custom tailored facility is an important character in the story, with detailed plans involving new innovations that Lubbock had never  seen before and have yet to be copied successfully.  The character of the building  serves  as a recurring theme as it houses the goods and services provided by Memorial Designers, as well as a beautiful chapel providing a comforting  place to honor and  celebrate lives well lived.

The people and services that solidified Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers among our community of families we have been blessed to serve now for a decade.  Starting with a small group of three Memorial Designers sharing the workload, our Designer community has grown to include various individuals with specialties that draw on their individual gifts and talents.

In 2006, the 9-month construction process was started, but the story goes back even further.  As early as 2005, the incorporating documents were lodged by Santos Moreno, and a long process filled with God’s divine mercy slowly unfolded.  As with many life experiences, it is not always the first plan that comes to fruition.  The process involved many twists and turns, more than can be mentioned here, but finally the plot of land was presented that now seems impossible to imagine otherwise.

Lake Ridge Chapel 2007-2017:  Part 2. Cremation with Confidence

In the process of finding the right land, great effort was made to ensure the building would provide services that would set Lake Ridge Chapel apart.  A challenge faced was where to place the cremation facility.  Typically funeral homes will hide their crematory in a warehouse or location away from the public.  Not only can this add to the separation anxiety of losing a loved one, but these hidden cremation locations are often not kept as presentable when they are seldom seen or inspected.

One pride of Lake Ridge Chapel is Cremation with Confidence.  The crematory is on display from a viewing room where a final ceremony can take place before The blinds are closed, the family leaves, and then the cremation takes place with confidence.  We ensure our facilities match the dignity of the loved one being cremated.  The urns and containers are another detail that matches the thought put into the construction of the building around this service. The remains are placed in a purpose-built cabinet in the Ceremonial Room until the family comes to receive them.

One Memorial Designer to work with our Cremation service is the Preneed Counselor.  Guiding families through the process, the Counselor provides packages to ensure the remains of the deceased will be safely attended while always paying attention to family budgets.  Lake Ridge Chapel believes in providing quality products and services at various price points to add full value to the needs and expectations of the family.

Lake Ridge Chapel 2007-2017:  Part 3. Enter the Building, Meet the Designers

The cremation facility was not the first aspect of the building to be built.  It was added later after going through the painstaking process to ensure its intended quality.  The first aspect a visitor will notice about the building, finished 10 years ago with its open house this month in 2007, is the beauty of the outside in sturdy brick, built by Teinert Construction.  Upon entering the building, generous natural light floods in from the courtyard, and a hygienic floor in warm white tile reflects the sunlight.  Without sunlight, the courtyard is bathed in the warm glow of the stylized lamps, adding to the combination of tradition and technology that define Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers.

We have more Memorials Designers than we did ten years ago.  For the next parts of our 10-year Anniversary article, we’ll introduce you to some of the types of Memorial Designers you may encounter at Lake Ridge Chapel.  Leading up the service, the Steward, in charge of transporting the deceased, may be seen outside near the vehicles.  During the service, the Greeter, a sturdy figure outside the brick building, is there to warmly welcome family and friends.  Cross through the building entrance and the First Impressions team acts as a concierge to improve the visitor’s experience from his or her first moment inside the doors.  The sunny interior is often matched with an offer of coffee or tea from a First Impression member.

Lake Ridge Chapel 2007-2017:  Part 4. Technology and Logistics Designers

The use of technology is there only to enhance the warmth of the staff and the building.  While visitors will see the concierge use the telecom system to summon the expert required for their visit from the expert’s office, Lake Ridge Chapel uses technology to complement the building in funeral services as well.  If family members need an overflow room or a private room to grieve during the service, flat screen monitors with a live feed of the service are wired into the hallways and meeting rooms around the Chapel.

Other technological aspects of our funeral services have always set our Memorial Designers apart, and in some cases Lake Ridge Chapel remains the only family owned funeral home in Lubbock to provide these services.  Online webcasts of the celebration service are available, providing the ability of family and friends unable to attend in person to be present.  In the family’s time of grief, we love to help celebrate the life of their loved one with other multimedia such Life Tribute DVDs  with images and music provided by the family.

For these services we have the Logistics team to thank.  This group of tech-savvy Memorial Designers constantly update the technology we use at Lake Ridge Chapel.  For ten years now we have enjoyed providing new ways to facilitate sharing the service after families leave our building.  The website link to view the funeral service is stored on our website where the obituary is listed.  This option provides a timeless resource for sharing the memory of a loved one with families that span interstate and international borders.

Lake Ridge Chapel 2007-2017:  Part 5. Restorative Artists and Stewards

Lake Ridge Chapel has been blessed since we opened in 2007 with a dedicated team of Restorative Artists.  While the Logistics team we read about in Part 4 is creating the Life Tribute DVDs for the service, the body must be embalmed and prepared.  Far more than a mortician or an undertaker, our Restorative Artists use special balms and cosmetics to present families with their loved one in a way that brings brightens their appearance.

Whether the loved one is transported by our Stewards to a gravesite or if the family has chosen cremation, the Stewards, our Memorial Designers who drive the deceased, play a greater role in the process of Memorial Design.  They also shepherd the sensitive process known as Removals.  Imagine the dignity a Steward must have to be granted with the trusted role of moving a beloved family member from where they took their final breath to the Restorative Artists, where the life is restored to their faces for a final celebration of life.

Lake Ridge Chapel 2007-2017:  Part 6. Catering and Service Worker Diversity

Just as true now as it was ten years ago, funerals can be stressful.  We feel intentional language is important, and so we called our funerals “celebration of life services”.  Skeptics may say it’s semantics, however we truly embrace the opportunity to celebrate life.  Lake Ridge Chapel was also the first to offer catering and hospitality as a part of the event to make things run more smoothly.  Our goal is for families to feel like their gathering is a comfortable situation.  A beautiful spread of food can add color as well as comfort to any visitation.  The Memorial Designers serving our families come from backgrounds in hospitality, teaching, funeral homes, and public servants.  

Our catering is one tangible aspect of the collective experience at Lake Ridge Chapel, where many dishes for a reception come together to create a beautiful banquet.  Each Memorial Designer is like a special ingredient who adds their own flavor, and together we can serve better than we are able to alone.   Some of these people, our “ingredients”, have been in this ‘recipe’ we’ve created in Lubbock and the surrounding community since our first day ten years ago.

Our Service Worker team has grown in number recently to accommodate the services we are able to provide.  As solid as the building and plentiful as the food in our catering, our Service Workers come with a variety of backgrounds and specialties to care for our guests in the best way possible.  In the ten years we’ve now been in business, some of these Service Workers serve as Director’s Assistants, leading the effort to put our best people in the right place at the right time, offering our families an effortless experience.

Lake Ridge Chapel 2007-2017:  Part 7. Doves and Lake Ridge Ladies

Like the doves we release, another exclusive Lake Ridge Chapel service, our celebrations of life send family members off on their own into Heaven.  Also like the Rock Doves we release, we know they will fly back to their coop with homing instincts.  Similarly we hope families and survivors of loss will return to the care of our Memorial Designers.  With ongoing support services like Lake Ridge Ladies, we know that life doesn’t stop for most after the funeral.  

Widows keep coming back to Lake Ridge Ladies events thanks to our Continuing Care team.  The original leadership team of Lake Ridge Chapel knew ten years ago we wanted to provide this service to the community in a way that our Memorial Designers found was lacking otherwise.  We are blessed to have seasoned professionals to captivate an audience and provide quality programming to fill the void in our families’ lives when a loved one dies.  We are equally blessed to have our Special Care team when the absence fueled by grief is too painful to fill.  Sometimes we must first heal the cracks in our broken vessel to allow new experiences to fill that space left behind.  

Lake Ridge Chapel 2007-2017:  Part 8. Your Community in The #Next10Years

Just as our building is built to last and survive another ten years and beyond, Lake Ridge Chapel is building a firm shelter between individuals in the community, within and without our own Memorial Designers.  If you haven’t already, come in for a tour and see how you can use our building for your community event, like a Bible Study or Book Club.  We host several free events, and we want to see these opportunities continue and expand.  Our building is a part of the Lubbock community and we send you an open invitation to come in and share our most recent renovations.  Visit a member of our First Impressions team to see how we can help you grow community programs and services.

Speaking of community, how has yours changed over the last decade, and what do you think yours will it look like in the next 10 years?  What will happen in your life?  What will happen in the lives of your family and friends?  How will Lubbock grow and change?  Just think, we’ll have the Buddy Holly Center for the Performing Arts and Sciences, we’ll find Lake Ridge Chapel in middle of the Outer Loop, and Lubbock will have its own Aquarium!  

Will your faith be stronger?  Will you have the opportunity to finally meet your Maker?  We’d love to hear what you have to say.  Join our conversation on Social Media with the hashtag #Next10Years.  Thank you for making the first ten years of Lake Ridge Chapel a collective celebration of lives well-lived.  We look forward to the next ten years being an even bigger part of the growth of your family and the success of your community.

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