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Profiles of Excellence: Kearney Funeral Services

Ryan Crean and his team help people plan for the future, but sometimes they’re working with families in the midst of unexpected grief
Kearney Funeral Services is a family-owned business that got its start more than a century ago.

Plenty has changed over the years, but one thing has remained a constant at Kearney Funeral Services: a focus on compassion and care that goes above and beyond.

The family-owned business got its start more than a century ago.  Today, with locations in Burnaby, New Westminster, Vancouver and Cloverdale, and fourth-generation members of the Kearney family still involved in operations, those touchstones continue to be a guiding priority.

“We’re very focused on caring for people, for families,” says owner and funeral director Ryan Crean (Kearney). “That’s a priority throughout our organization.  We want everyone to feel that they were listened to, taken care of, treated compassionately and with sensitivity.  That’s part of our legacy, part of the trust we’ve built over the years.”

In some cases, Crean and his team help people plan for the future, but sometimes they’re working with families in the midst of unexpected grief.

“We help people with the process of deciding what kinds of arrangements they want for themselves or their loved ones,” he says. “That can mean people who are coming to us as part of their own estate planning, looking ahead to make plans for themselves.  Sometimes we are helping people a few weeks or days in advance, and sometimes it’s an unexpected loss and we step in at that point to support them through a difficult time.”

Kearney assists in making arrangements that can include a wide spectrum of services, including burial or cremation, or memorial events.  Depending on the circumstances, a family may have very specific traditions and requests, but other times, the staff can help guide choices and decisions.

“These events are very important and how we manage this time can impact how the grieving process takes place,” notes Crean.  “At one time, communities had that’s become less common and so we know how important it is to help guide people to decisions that will allow them to honour and remember the loved one and also the community and family and friends around that individual.”

The proof of their dedication is evidenced in the incredible reputation they have built – and which continues to grow.

“We often hear back from people about how much of a difference our team made for them.  They’ll comment on a specific staff member, sometimes even just a small moment or action that helped them, or that they felt overwhelmed at first but we were able to walk with them through the process,” he says.  “We work hard to build that trust, to help people make decisions that they will feel are the right ones.  These are critical moments of transition and connection, and I’m proud that we can help people with that.”

Crean says he hopes that people will become more comfortable having conversations about their wishes.

“These are the hard things to talk about but it’s also reassuring for family and friends to know that they’ve made plans in advance.”

To learn more about Kearney Funeral Services, visit