“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.”
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