white pine funeral home

Mark Thurston, left, and James Stephens pose for a portrait outside of the White Pine Funeral Home in Logan on Tuesday.

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A new funeral home is coming to Logan.

James Stephens, the managing funeral director at White Pine Funeral Services, said the new operation, located at 753 S. 100 East in the space formerly occupied by Nyman Funeral Home, is expected to open fully in mid-October. According to Stephens, a group of investors closed on the building nearly a month ago and has been working toward a grand opening for the past two weeks.

Stephens said the new owners purchased the building from an out-of-state bank after it went into foreclosure and have no affiliation with prior ownership. Stephens and Mark Thurston have been hired to manage the new location and will be interacting with the public.

“We’re excited to be here,” Stephens said.

Stephens said the new funeral home is also offering services to those affected by the alleged mishandling of pre-need funeral arrangement trusts by the building’s prior owners. Stephens acknowledged the difficulty for a new funeral home to offer totally free funerals, but he said they do want to help those victimized.

“We are just really, really saddened by what happened and can imagine how hard that would be for those families,” Stephens said. “What we can do is offer is our professional services.”

Stephens said funeral costs can be broken up into service fees and merchandise fees. Those with documentation of pre-need funeral arrangements by Nyman Funeral Home will still have to purchase material items, but White Pine will donate their services equal to their prior contracts and up to $4,595.

“We’re asking these families to bring in their contracts,” Stephens said. “We all had this conversation and we all came to an agreement that this is something we can do to help them, and if it costs us a little money we’re not as worried about that.”

Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Stephens graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s in Spanish with the intention of attending business school. He then was offered a unique opportunity to live at a funeral home in Preston, Idaho — an event that totally changed the trajectory of his career.

“Once I knew, I knew,” Stephens said. “I love this industry. I love this job. Serving families is something that just brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Though most people view the funeral business in terms of the dead, for Stephens, the most important thing about his job is working with the living. Comforting people in their time of need and helping them through the grieving process is very fulfilling, Stephens said.

“People need someone with the right personality, with the right mindset and the right attitude to guide them through that process, because it’s not something people go through very often,” Stephens said.

After obtaining a mortuary science degree, Stephens worked a Larkin Mortuary in Salt Lake City for three years before returning to Wisconsin for a time. Stephens said he, the owners and his partner Thurston have worked hard to make this opportunity come to fruition.

“I’ve spent nearly a decade in Cache Valley and I’m super excited to be back,” Stephens said.

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.

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