Carved from a humble beginning, today Flores Funeral Home stands among the Valley’s oldest businesses and among the most respected mortuary establishments. Epitacio Flores was originally a cabinet maker who began using his carpentry skills to make wooden caskets. Flores Funeral Home began in 1913 when Epitacio and his son, Jose R. Flores, founded “Agencia de Inhumaciones, E. Flores y Cia” which translates to “Burial Agency, E. Flores and Co.” As the business grew, they purchased a Model-T Ford; Epitacio handcrafted a curtained, glass-sided box on the back of the vehicle, creating their first hearse.
Following his father’s death in 1935, Jose took over as sole owner and renamed the business “Flores Funeral Home.” Eventually Arturo, Adalberto, and Jose Jr. – Jose’s three sons – joined the family business. In 1959 Jose R. Flores, Jr., became the first Flores to become licensed as an embalmer. He took over as funeral director in 1964, formally incorporated the business, and moved it to its current location. His two daughters, Veronica and Connie, followed in his footsteps. Veronica I. Flores received her embalming license in 1989 and became the first female funeral director in Mission. In 2005, Connie O. Flores became the fourth-generation member of the family to become owner and CEO of the company. She and her husband, Ricardo Renteria, continue to run the business today. It is the oldest continuously operating business in the City of Mission.
Flores Funeral Home provides a choice of traditional funerals, viewings, and burial services; cremations with memorial services; direct cremations; and/or immediate burials. While all funeral homes pride themselves on excellent service, Flores believes that the “value proposition” is what sets them apart. Excellence in the value of the services provided means the highest quality experience possible for clients and their families. Funeral director Ricardo Renteria takes every call, meets with family members and makes sure everything is coordinated according to their wishes. Nothing is outsourced or left for them to figure out. Flores uses only the best brands (Batesville and Matthews Aurora), offers “white glove services” for funeral and burial services, and pays top dollar for their licensed embalmers who work in a state-of-the-art moratorium.
Renteria says, “A wedding takes six months to plan; with a funeral, you have three days. This is the last time the family will see their loved one. We make sure the services we provide are of the highest possible quality because we want that moment to be meaningful. We want them to be able to have closure, to say goodbye.”
According to Renteria, the funeral industry has shifted in three major ways. First, in the olden days, funerals were more about the deceased; today, it’s more focused on the family. The largest emphasis for funeral homes is helping the family grieve, to get closure, and to say goodbye. Second, in the last two decades, there has been an industry-wide shift from traditional burials to cremation. The rising costs of burial plots, along with shifting religious and popular views, has largely expedited the move toward cremation services. Third, the post-COVID world has forced the industry to modernize. Customers do a lot more price-shopping online than before. Flores has adapted by modernizing their website, social media presence, and incorporating video streaming into their service model.
Mission was founded in 1908; Flores Funeral Home was established in 1913. Renteria continues, “We’ve grown with Mission. Our family has been here and been involved with the city for a long time. Generations of the Flores family have served with the Chamber of Commerce. The people of Mission know us because we’re a part of the community. We take pride in that.”
In the 100-plus years that Flores Funeral Home has been in business, some families have been customers since 1913. Over the years Flores has fostered many deep and lasting relationships with churches, cemeteries, and other local institutions. They are a deeply integrated member of the local community.