Personalized Memorials Portray Stories of the Deceased for Future Generations. Full-time memorial designer is first in funeral home profession.

David Montgomery designs a personalized memorial for Christopher Salove that portrays the memories and hobbies remembered by the Salove family.
David Montgomery designs a personalized memorial for Christopher Salove that portrays the memories and hobbies remembered by the Salove family.
Does a name, date of birth and death, summarize a life? Memorials get personal with the funeral home profession’s first full-time memorial designer. The director of memorial designs, David Montgomery, creates memorials for Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery located in Lakewood, WA.

“Personalized memorials are a vehicle to tell a story about a loved one,” said David Montgomery, director of memorial designs. “I’ve managed the creation of hundreds of memorials over the past 16 years that range in complexity and size; however, all the memorials share a common thread – a window into the life of a loved one.”

Personalized memorials are created through a collaborative process between Montgomery and families to help him better understand the personality and values of their loved ones. The outcome is a one-of-a-kind memorial tribute to an individual or an entire family. Personalized memorials are available in many different styles, from a flat memorial with a photo to an elaborate memorial depicting the person or a favorite hobby.

Designing a Custom Memorial Heals

In September of 2012, Dave Salove, who later joined Mountain View Memorial Park & Crematory as the general manager, started the process of memorializing his deceased brother, Christopher Salove. “There is no comfort looking at images or videos of a loved one if there isn’t a physical place to go,” said Dave Salove, general manager of Mountain View Memorial Park & Crematory. “Having that physical place brings importance and remembrance to my brother’s life. The memorial wasn’t for my brother; it was for the entire family and future generations to remember the traits that made him who he was.” 

Dave Salove, with input from family members, collaborated with Montgomery to create a 36 x 36 inch black granite memorial illustrating his brother’s life. The design portrays a scene that juxtaposes Christopher Salove’s favorite horse as a child and his favorite dog as a young adult within the same setting. The memorial also includes a carving of Christopher Salove’s cowboy boots that had a distinct curled up toe and a collage of 16 photos cast on a 12 x 12 inch piece of bronze. 

“It’s an afterlife image of my brother,” said Dave Salove. “The process of creating my brother’s memorial continues to be one of the most personal experiences I have ever had in my life.”

“It is so rewarding to create personalized memorials,” said Montgomery. “It makes me feel like I have achieved something special for that family and also helps the families and individuals heal through the process.”

David Montgomery designs personalized memorials for a family of cemeteries, funeral homes and crematories with locations throughout the United States including: Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery, Chapel of the Chimes Hayward, Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, Sunset Lawn Chapel of the Chimes Sacramento and Skylawn Funeral Home.


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