About Our Family

Essentials is operated and supported by Krystal and her family. We are a small but mighty team dedicated to caring for our community and serving our families. We are pleased to introduce our family to you!

Krystal Riddel, Funeral Home Director

Krystal Riddell

Owner/Manager
Class 1 Funeral Director (2007)

Krystal grew up living throughout the Niagara Region. Through her school years, she attended Orchard Park Public School, AN Myer and Thorold Secondary School. Immediately following high school, she moved to Toronto and attended Humber College, to become a Licensed Funeral Director. Krystal completed her internship and continued to work at the George Darte Funeral Home, in St. Catharines, for 10 years.

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During her time spent there, she had an invaluable experience, as she learned and developed an extraordinary level of standards and care that she was honoured to extend to the families she helped.

As Krystal grew into the role of being a funeral director, she proudly contemplated different ways she could effectively give back to her community. Currently, Krystal is President of the Niagara District Funeral Service Association and she recently has been nominated onto the Board of Directors with the Green Burial Society of Canada. Krystal is dedicated and involved with the Rotary Club St. Catharines South, where she is an active rotarian, board member and President Elect. She is the past Chairperson of Spiritual Development and a member of the Catholic Women’s League. Krystal also contributes time and support to the Tool Box Project- Niagara, Hospice Niagara, and to other important community organizations.

Through the years, Krystal has had a deep desire to be a leader in her profession and within her community. She is extremely passionate about helping families in their time of need, and is committed to serving all families with the highest level of professionalism and care. For Krystal, this profession has never been “a business”, it has always been about helping and taking care of people in all capacities. Over the past 15 years, Krystal has seen first hand the change in economical times and funeral traditions. She believes in the importance and need to offer an effective and affordable death care service.

Krystal is married to her husband, David. Together they have two beautiful and mischievous boys; William (who wants to one day be a funeral director) and Alexander (who aspires to be an engineer). Also, not to forget their furry family member,  Flynn!

We are proud to have created a family owned business, and consider it a great honour to have the opportunity to look after those in need of help. Our sole purpose is to always look after our community in any way possible.

Hannah Beckett

Class 1 Funeral Director (2018)

Hannah and her family reside in the small town of North Pelham and live in a house built by her Great Grandparents many years ago. Surrounded by her close-knit family, she became interested in Health Sciences and Funeral Services in high school and attended Humber College in Toronto directly after graduating from E.L Crossley in 2016 and graduated Humber College in 2018 with her Funeral Directing license.

Hannah has a strong passion for continuously learning from experiences and the people she meets. She strives to be part of her community through organizations such as Girl Guides of Canada, whom she has been with for 15 years now, volunteering for local markets, or helping the Shorthills Firehall with their events and fundraisers. She is very eager to assist families through Essentials. Hannah is honoured to provide exceptional services to each family as if they were her own, and to encourage a personalized and unique service for each individual.

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Nicola Gordon

Class 1 Funeral Director (2020)

Nicola was born and raised in Welland. When choosing a profession, being in a career that made a difference in the lives of others was an unwavering must. While visiting a funeral home, the care, and attention to detail concerning the needs of everyone in attendance made a lasting impression on her. In her graduating year at Welland Centennial Secondary School, she participated in the co-operative education program at a funeral home in Fonthill. This experience cemented her desire to become a Funeral Director. She moved to Toronto to study Funeral Services at Humber College in 2018. Nicola continued to gain valuable knowledge, and grew into a Funeral Director through her internship at Dennis Toll Funeral Home in Brantford. After graduating from Humber College in June 2020, Nicola returned to the Niagara Region to be close to her family.

In Nicola’s spare time she enjoys being with her family and friends, travelling, playing music, and being involved with her church, Faith Welland, where she volunteers as a youth leader and is happily part of their music department.

Nicola is passionate about helping others, and wants to be able to make a difference in people’s lives when they need extra care and attention, especially when someone experiences the loss of a loved one. She is honoured to serve families in Niagara and looks forward to her role as a Funeral Director at Essentials.

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nicole gordon

Melaina

Through her young life, Melaina grew up in Chippawa. She was raised in a family of seven; Phildean and Sergio Gava were the parents of five, David, Melaina, Andrea, Rick and Steven. Her time is spent with Gary Barkhouse (her partner in life) and being a mother of three; Krystal (David) Riddell, Brittany Rea and Xandinn Barkhouse.

Melania is also very proud of her title “Nonna” to William and Alex. Melaina contributes her experience to planning, marketing and day to day operations of Essentials. You will find her friendly smile as she provides assistance as a receptionist, and also assists Krystal during funerals and memorial services.

It is with great pleasure she joins her daughter, Krystal in starting our own family business.

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Rebecca Darlene

We first connected with Rebecca in her role as a Funeral Celebrant, as she walked alongside families in their time of loss, creating personal and meaningful end-of-life ceremonies. She joined our team at Essentials in November 2019, assisting us in the office, and she found that she enjoyed learning the different aspects of funeral care.

Rebecca is now enrolled at Humber College in the Funeral Pre-Planner program and is looking forward to supporting families with advance arrangements.
Rebecca’s husband Steve and their two sons, Jeff and Zach, have been an encouragement to her as she has expanded her role in funeral care. As a family, they make special memories each summer when they go camping and they always enjoy playing their musical instruments together.

Rebecca is so pleased to be a member of the compassionate and dedicated team at Essentials, doing what she loves to do best – helping families.

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Cathie Cretney

Cathie joined the Essentials family as a supportive team member, in February 2020. She has a passion for serving families who are grieving the death of a loved one. Cathie and her husband, Bob, have been the chaplains at Lookout Ridge Retirement home in Fonthill since it opened in 2008. In her spare time, Cathie enjoys spending time with their 9 grandchildren and playing the piano. It is a privilege for Cathie to be part of such a compassionate team, who serves Essentials’ families with great care, honour and respect.

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