Fairhaven Blog

Things of interest around Fairhaven.

Fairhaven President Marla Noel Honored at Age Well Senior Services’ Captain’s Ball Gala

- Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary is proud to announce that company president Marla Noel has been honored by Age Well Senior Services. The honor, recognizing Marla’s many contributions to the senior-care nonprofit through her work at Fairhaven and with the O. L. Halsell Foundation, was bestowed at the organization’s 14th annual Captain’s Ball fundraising gala on Saturday, March 1, at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel.

Marla accepted her award from Doug Zielasko, president of Age Well; Dr. Marilyn Ditty, CEO of Age Well; and Dr. Bart Asner of Monarch Healthcare, who sponsored the event. The night’s other awards went to Edwards Lifesciences and to Steve Geidt, CEO of Saddleback Hospital.

“It is wonderful to be recognized by Age Well alongside such an esteemed group of honorees, all working toward improving the quality of life for Orange County seniors,” said Marla. “Through a multitude of services that provide hope and wellbeing for seniors and their families, Age Well is a nonprofit I am proud to support.”

An experienced CPA with an MBA from Chapman University, Marla joined the Fairhaven family 19 years ago, and her continuing involvement in community organizations has grown and enhanced Fairhaven’s longstanding reputation. Along with her involvement with Age Well, Marla serves as the vice president of the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana, acts as the treasurer of the board of Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County and is a member of Woman Sage and the Irvine Rotary Club. She also established the youth-oriented Mortuary Explorer’s Club for young people interested in the industry.

Fairhaven Gets Involved!

- Monday, October 28, 2013

Fairhaven staff are not only committed to their jobs but to their community and worthwhile causes as well! In this collection of photos you'll see just how dedicated they are!

Fairhaven's Annual Flashlight Cemetery Tour



On the evening of October 24, 2013 Fairhaven hosted approximately 200 Explorers and other Youth Groups for a tour of Fairhaven Memorial Park by flashlight. This is an annual event with Explorer Clubs from all over the county who come, possibly thinking they may see ghosts. Instead, they learn a lot about the history of Orange County, since most of the Orange County Pioneers are buried at Fairhaven. Ruth Velez, from Fairhaven, gave the students some history of the park, to add to what the students learn about the famous people interred at Fairhaven. Lane Calvert, Director of High School Youth Programs for the Orange County Boy Scout Council and Past District Governor for the Orange County Rotary Club talked to the students about Exploring opportunities in the County. Staff  (from left to right - Floral Manager Edel Cabrera, Network Administrator Charity Gallardo and Service Director Gerald Ford) volunteered to conduct tours, give out cookies, hand out flashlights, and direct traffic.

Alzheimer's Walk at the District in Tustin


On Saturday morning October 26, the Fairhaven Family joined together to walk for the World without Alzheimer's. We had a table with candy and some gifts for some who came by (staff from left to right - Floral Manager Edel Cabrera, Family Service Counselor George Lopez, Family Mortuary Counselor Elizabeth Torres, Public Relations staff Sarah Yi, Fairhaven Memorial Services Counselor Jennette Sullivan and President Marla Noel) and enjoyed the walk around the District to support the cause. The Fairhaven Family raised over $3,000, and had fun walking as well. This is truly a family event, because it is a significant family concern for many of us. In one of the photos, where you see people holding flowers in the air, the flowers represented everyone who has been directly affected by this horrible disease. It was an impressive sight. 

President Marla Noel said, "I am proud that we had so many of the Fairhaven Family supporting such a significant cause."



Juvenile Diabetes Walk

The gathering was in support of author of the book The Savvy Diabetic, A Survival Guide. JoAnne Luafer Milo wrote from her heart, to help others who are plagued with this disease. The Irvine Rotary Club was there for her as well as many family and friends. "Despite this disease, JoAnne is one of the most upbeat people I know," professes Fairhaven President Marla Noel.

Fairhaven Encourage Employees to Strive for the American Dream

- Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Our Grounds Manager Jay Rodriguez and his crew were featured on the Fox 11 News on Friday. Jay inspires his crew by motivating them to get an education and helping them stay physically fit. He believes that encouraging them to do so will help them improve their lives and give them access to the American dream. This uplifting story captures how we serve from the heart, not only to our customers, but to our employees as well. Join us in congratulating Jay and his crew on their amazing story!


Fairhaven Beats the Heat with Fire Safety

- Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fire extinguisher safety training is given annually by the company that services Fairhaven's fire extinguishers. Glen from Orange County Fire Protection does a great job teaching the staff about fire extinguishers and the proper way to use them. He's fun as well as informative!

In addition to Glen's annual training visit, the Safety Committee has fire escape route maps posted throughout the building. Each map has fire extinguisher locations and exits marked on them. The Safety Committee also does quarterly fire drills. Sometimes the Safety Coordinator places a big orange cone with the word "FIRE" on it near an exit in an effort to train staff what to do if their normal exit is blocked by fire. It's part of Fairhaven's commitment to providing a safe work environment.

Just remember PASS...Pull (the safety pin), Aim (at the base of the fire), Squeeze (the trigger) and Sweep (the nozzle from side to side)!

Here are some photos of our team during the training.

Staff Shows the Fairhaven Spirit During Customer Service Week

- Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Treats and fun abounded the week of June 3 as Fairhaven’s staff participated in a great Customer Service Week. The event is a weeklong celebration thanking the staff for their dedication to the company credo of honoring and embracing each family as if they were their own. Everyone showed their company spirit as they took part in the Route 66 Road Trip – Going the Extra Mile themed events.

The week kicked off on Monday with Breakfast on the Go for the staff. Breakfast sandwiches and drawings for prizes were the name of the day! On Tuesday, the big Customer Service Luncheon served up mouthwatering BBQ from Johnny Reb’s with ice cream cake for dessert. The staff played Guess the Number of Candies in the Jar and a Route 66 Trivia game with prizes for the winners. As always, a motivational speech from Gary O’Sullivan got everyone pumped up to go the extra mile in everything we do for our families.

The awesome lunch was followed up the next day at the Monthly Staff Meeting where breakfast burritos and fresh fruit preceded a visit from Credoman and Credo Genie, the staff’s own Customer Service Superheroes. On Thursday afternoon, Road Snacks in the form of nachos and Slim Jims drew the staff to the lunch room for a fun-filled break. The week’s events drew to a close on Friday with Drive-Thru A&W Root Beer Floats. Each event also hosted a Daily Drawing for Customer Service prizes and the monthly marble draw at the staff meeting had a big winner!

Route 66 Road Trip signs and landmarks decorated all the staff areas. Special posters of staff members who have Gone the Extra Customer Service Mile adorned the staff hallways. The Historical Landmark Employees included staff members who have been at Fairhaven more than 20 years, 10-20 years, or 5-10 years. The employees who have gone the extra Customer Service Mile included past winners of the Customer Service Award, those who’ve earned multiple Customer Service Pins, and past winners of the Employee of the Year or Counselor of the Year awards. The recognition of these staff members helps everyone remember that they can go the extra mile too just by living up to the company motto and serving from their heart!

The entire staff had a great time and the festivities left the staff pumped up and ready to go more than the extra mile for the families we are privileged to serve in 2013 and beyond.

Meet the Staff: Jerry Martinez

- Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Not only does Jerry Martinez assist people with pre-planning their funerals, but he is also an author, speaker and self proclaimed romantic.  Retired from the aerospace industry, he is now a Family Service Counselor at Fairhaven Memorial Services in Mission Viejo and Family Mortuary in Santa Ana, but this is only part of his story. 

Jerry grew up hearing the stories of his ancestors. As he passed along those stories to his children and grandchildren, he decided to write a book telling the tale of his family, which was nicknamed, “The Leeche Clan.”

His first book Leeche de Coyote is a non-fiction retelling of his family’s long ancestry from España to Coyote, New Mexico where Jerry was born. Jerry’s grandson encouraged him to document his family’s story by writing the book and when asked about his grandson’s reaction to it being published, Jerry said that he “loved it!” and “was proud to be part of the “Leeche Clan.” Jerry also shared that he wished his mother had been able to read the book, as he believes she too would be proud of the published version of the Martinez history.

His second book, A Timely Conflict is a novel based on the life of Jerry’s great grandfather Luciana Herrera. Winner of the “Latino Books into Movies” award, A Timely Conflict combines historical facts, action and adventure with the love story between Luciana and Estella. When asked who he would like to portray his grandfather in a movie version, Jerry named Emilio Estevez as a possibility; and for the lovely Estella, Jerry would like that role to go to one of his nieces.

Jerry is currently collaborating with a friend on his autobiography and is planning a third book about another of his ancestors and their life story. He has promised to let his Fairhaven family know about any upcoming book signings and I, personally, cannot wait to read a Timely Conflict as Jerry would not give away the conclusion. I really want to find out how Luciana and Estella’s love story ends!

Jerry describes himself as a quintessential New Mexican and although he now lives in Orange County, he still considers Santa Fe his home. When he is not serving from his heart at Fairhaven or writing, Jerry lectures in Hispanic Studies at Soka University. He discusses a time in history when Santa Fe was without government and without religion and shares about the timely arrival of both.

Sitting down with Jerry was an enjoyable experience; he is articulate and passionate about his ancestral history as well as his own experiences. Jerry worked as a meat cutter during college. After graduating with an accounting degree, he went on to work at TRW as a program business manager. Jerry speaks favorably of the people he has met throughout his life and the impact they have had on who he is. He is a person who does not think back on his own life with any “I should haves,” but embraces the “I dids!”

It’s easy to see that Jerry, with his love of people, outgoing nature and service-oriented attitude, would be a perfect fit for Family Mortuary’s and Fairhaven Memorial Service’s pre-planning staff. 

Meet the Staff: Lou Carlson

- Tuesday, January 08, 2013

After nearly 21 years of service at Fairhaven Memorial Park, Family Service Counselor Lou Carlson can truly be said to exemplify our motto of “We serve from our hearts.” He has served families at their time of need as well as in advance of need here at Fairhaven. He has officiated at many local weddings including numerous ones at Waverley Chapel and he is deeply involved in his community. He also serves as Fairhaven’s Master of Ceremonies for the Easter and Memorial Day events and is always an ambassador for the company.

A native of Washington State, Lou came to Fairhaven with a background in service. Raised in the Episcopal Church, where he met his wife Karen, Lou later became an ordained Eastern Catholic Priest in 1979 after completing seminary at Saint Thaddeus Eastern Catholic Seminary in Everett, Washington. Lou and Karen made the decision to move to California in 1985 while sunning on the beach in Hawaii as a blizzard raged back home in Seattle! When he met the Family Service Manager at Fairhaven, she thought his background made him an excellent candidate to be a Family Service Counselor.

Lou’s office shelves are filled with mementoes collected over the years from the many families he’s been privileged to serve. Families would often make a special trip to Fairhaven to bring him something to remember them by; a Hannukah menorah, a display of silk tropical flowers, a piece of original art by a child and a small collection of books on various religious traditions are among the many gifts of love he’s received from families. Those families are one of the reasons he’s been here so long.

Among the other reasons for Lou’s longevity are the staff and atmosphere at Fairhaven. During his tenure he’s watched the current management team build a company spirit of teamwork and collegiality while constantly striving to offer outstanding “internal” as well as “external” customer service. He cites the credo of “honoring and embracing each family as if they were our own” as a goal he embraces and shares with each and every one of his co-workers. Lou also mentions the beauty of the park and the facilities as one of the reasons for his long tenure. It would be difficult to give up working at a place where a mere glance out the window provides scenes of serenity and peace.

Lou doesn’t stop serving others when the workday ends. He is quite active in several local charitable and community service organizations, activities which his wife wholeheartedly supports. Currently, Lou is Treasurer of the Vietnam War Museum of America Foundation, a Garden Grove organization committed to opening a world class museum about the Vietnam War. He also serves as the Chancellor of the Priory of Our Savior (Los Angeles) of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, a Christian charity that financially supports several area youth programs, as well as orphanages in the Holy Land. SMOTJ is an international charitable organization which has a seat at the United Nations. He is the State Chaplain for the Sons of the American Revolution and will become their national Chaplain in July 2013. He’s also served on the boards of the Santa Ana Historical Society and the Heritage Museum of Orange County.

Despite all his community involvement, Lou finds deep personal satisfaction in serving families at times of great need and great joy in their lives. He has discovered that guiding families through the tumult of emotions at the death of a loved one builds strong relationships that last for many years and bring families back to Fairhaven Memorial Park the next time they have a need. He’s made a multitude of friends over the years through his position as Family Service Counselor.

It’s the happy, joyful times in a family’s life that also bring fulfillment to Lou as a wedding officiant. He enjoys meeting with the bride and groom and offering basic marital advice and assistance with planning the ceremony. On the day of the wedding, when the bride and groom are nervous and scared as the wedding begins, Lou finds satisfaction in being able to smile at them and soothe their fears. He especially loves the weddings he’s conducted at Waverley Chapel on the grounds of Fairhaven. He says that the venue lends itself perfectly to the special needs that some weddings demand from special flowers to live music, wild decorations, video taping and more.

With all the many ways Lou Carlson serves Fairhaven’s families, Waverley Chapel’s brides and grooms, and the many community organizations and charities he’s involved in, you’d think he wouldn’t have time for much else. However, he has a giant DVD collection and a large library of history and theological books that he makes regular use of when he’s ready to relax. He even finds time to travel on occasion!

Even after nearly 21 years of service, Lou’s dedication to Fairhaven’s families shines through with every funeral and memorial service he helps arrange.  He says he will never forget the privilege he’s been given by God to serve humanity at an hour of their greatest need in this beautiful place, with great co-workers and a dedicated management team to support and provide encouragement not just to the staff but to every family that walks through the doors.

Recent Posts



    Recent Tweets