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!
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.
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. Throughout the years, Krystal was involved in organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of St. Catharines- Thorold & District and she contributed to the Campaign for the United Way St. Catharines & District. In 2016, Krystal made a decision to join the Bocchinfuso Funeral Home, in Thorold. With Thorold being a special place to Krystal, she was honoured to be able to work in her small home town community. During her time there, Krystal was shown the responsibilities of operating a small family owned business, and the importance of community involvement.
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. Krystal is dedicated and involved with the Rotary Club St. Catharines South, where she is an active rotarian and board member. She is the past Chairperson of Spiritual Development and a member of the Catholic Women’s League, of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church. She also contributes time and support to the Tool Box Project- Niagara, Hospice Niagara, and to other important community organizations.
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 bringing our family owned business to life.
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.
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.
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.
Born and raised in Fort Erie, he graduated from Ridgeway Crystal Beach Highschool. Following secondary school, David graduated from Niagara College’s Culinary Skills Program and joined the Canadian Forces. Shortly after this time, David met Krystal. Throughout the years, Dave supported Krystal’s passion for her career, and began to admire her dedication and compassion for the families she served. David will partake in various roles at Essentials, such as assisting Krystal with day to day operations, marketing and bookkeeping. He is honoured to be part of our family owned business, and he looks forward to helping families and serving our community.