LARRY LEE HANSEN, Owner/Funeral Director
Larry Hansen was raised in Rupert, ID, where his family owned and lived above their funeral home, Hansen Mortuary. Larry attended mortuary school at the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, and upon graduation he returned to work with his dad, Arvin, at Hansen Mortuary. They later purchased a second location in Burley, ID. Larry and his wife, Sheri, have four children and two grandchildren. Seven years ago, the Hansens moved to Sandy, UT, where Larry became involved with Serenity Funeral Home. It was his ultimate goal to move his family to St. George, and that came to fruition five years ago. Larry and Sheri love living here in this amazing community. Sheri works for the Washington County School District in Human Resources.
Larry is a triathlon competitor and began his love of racing 28 years ago. Larry says it’s important to have a hobby and something to take your mind off work. He has competed in the Spudman Triathlon in Idaho every year for the past 28 years. He is a two-time Ironman 70.3 finisher, and has completed two St. George Marathons. The year 1999 was busy for Larry, as he competed twice in the Iron Man, 12 triathlons, and 8 mountain bike races. At the time, he was rated #4 in his Rocky Mountain bike division.
RUSSELL ATKIN, Owner/Funeral Director
Russ was born and raised in Cedar City, UT. He graduated from Cedar High School in 1994 and began his funeral service apprenticeship in 1999. Russ graduated with a degree in Mortuary Science from Cypress College in 2000, and worked the following year at Cannon Mortuary in Salt Lake City, UT. Russ has been a funeral director in St. George since 2002 and an owner of Serenity Funeral Home and the Cremation Center of Southern Utah since 2009.
Russ and his wife, Jacqui, are the parents of five children. Russ has more hobbies than free time, and enjoys scuba diving, canyoneering, trials bike riding, 4-wheeling, hiking, hunting, participating in an occasional 5k or triathlon, and spending time with his family.
The demands of being a funeral director can be intense, but Russ truly enjoys helping people and strives to be a source of comfort during a difficult time.
Skyla Sheldon, Apprentice
Skyla was born in Great Falls, MT, but grew up in Moab, UT. Skyla’s father is Mearl Sheldon, owner and funeral director at Spanish Valley Mortuary in Moab. Mearl served an LDS mission with Larry Hansen and later apprenticed alongside Larry under the direction of Larry’s father, Arvin Hansen, at Hansen Mortuary in Rupert, ID. Larry is pleased to have the opportunity to now have Skyla as an apprentice - kind of a full circle moment!
As is common in the funeral business, Skyla grew up living in her family’s mortuary. She enjoyed playing sports of all kinds - basketball, softball, volleyball, and soccer - and graduated from Grand County High School in 2016. Skyla attended Dixie State University and graduated in 2019 with a B.S. in Biology with minors in Psychology and Health Psychology. She has three older brothers, is the only girl in the family, and so far is the only one to pursue a career in funeral service. With Mearl’s encouragement to join the family business, Skyla began apprenticing at Serenity Funeral Home in October, 2021. She also attends Arapahoe Community College and is working towards her degree in Mortuary Science.
Working and attending school full-time doesn’t leave Skyla much room for hobbies, but she enjoys going to the gym, participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, snowboarding, and water skiing, hanging out at the family cabin, watching the sunrise (or sunset), and drawing. Skyla says she loves the funeral profession’s variety of tasks and enjoys meeting and being able to help people through the grieving process.
Trent Hansen, Funeral Service Professional
Trent was born and raised in Burley, ID, where he graduated from Burley High School. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. Louis, MO. Trent enjoyed that part of the country; however, he also learned that he likes to avoid cold weather at all costs. After returning home, Trent made the decision to pursue a career in the funeral industry. He attended the College of Southern Idaho, and later moved to Dallas, TX, where he furthered his education and worked for UT Southwestern Medical Center in their body donation program. Trent had many duties, including setting up cadaver labs for the medical students.
After leaving Texas, Trent moved to the Salt Lake City area with his family and worked in the funeral profession for several years. He then relocated to St. George where he is employed as a Funeral Service Professional for Serenity Funeral Home of Southern Utah. He loves the area - especially the warm weather! Trent enjoys his work and says he likes being able to help people make decisions during a difficult time. His hobbies include weightlifting, disc golf, and hiking.
Debbie Hunsaker, Community Relations Specialist
Debbie was born in Georgia and spent her early childhood years in Florida. She moved to Utah as a teen and graduated from Davis High School in Kaysville, Utah. She later graduated from Weber State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications/Public Relations. With over 25 years experience in marketing and public relations, Debbie has most recently worked in the death care industry as the Marketing Director for Southern Cremations & Funerals and Paws, Whiskers & Wags, Your Pet Crematory in Georgia.
Along with her husband of 33 years (Robert Hunsaker), Debbie moved to Washington, Utah in 2022 to be closer to their children and other family members. They have three adult children: Jenna, JR and Jett. Debbie enjoys reading, going to plays and musicals, hiking/walking, fishing, traveling, and sampling new foods and restaurants. She has enjoyed many pets in her life since she was a young child (cats, dogs and hamsters) and has been known to rescue a cat or two. Her current fur baby is a sweet labradoodle named Bella.
Debbie says working in the death care industry is very fulfilling, as she educates families and helps them make informed decisions about the care they desire for their loved ones. She particularly understands the incredible bond between humans and their pets, and the deep loss that occurs when one has to say goodbye to a beloved pet. Her goal is to provide compassionate support to pet owners and help them make the best, informed decisions for their animals as they cross the Rainbow Bridge.
We are thrilled to have Debbie join us at The Pet Cremation Center of Southern Utah as our new Community Relations Specialist!
Duane Lamoreaux, Funeral Service Professional
Duane was born and raised in Paragonah, UT, and was a school teacher for forty years before beginning a career in the funeral business. Duane taught every grade from third through twelfth, and was also employed as a teacher in youth corrections and the prison in Cedar City. He loves to tell people that he spent ten years in prison, which is true, but he was able to go home every night and weekend. Prior to his retirement, he was chosen as the Corrections Education Teacher of the Year in the State of Utah. Duane is one of the most social people you will ever meet and can have a great conversation with anyone. He and his wife, Sonya, now reside in St. George. Duane has three children, thirteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Duane enjoys cutting wood, running chainsaws, and gardening. He believes Paragonah is the center of the universe and says it can be proven mathematically. Duane loves the funeral profession and feels honored to help every family he meets.
GRAHAM BUELER, Funeral Service Professional
Graham was born and raised in Arizona. He is a third-generation funeral professional and says this line of work is in his blood. His grandpa founded Bueler Mortuary in Chandler, AZ, his father was a licensed funeral director, and his three older brothers all own funeral homes in Arizona. Graham says the funeral profession is a calling, not just an occupation.
Graham moved to St. George in 1996 and graduated from Dixie High School in 2001. In addition to working for Serenity Funeral Home as a funeral service professional, Graham is a co-owner of Judd’s General Store with Heather Graff. Judd’s is the oldest and longest-running business in St. George, which is quite impressive! Graham has four children ranging in age from 9 to 18. His interests include anything with two wheels, especially fixing up and riding motorcycles. Graham has an impressive vinyl record collection and loves live music.
KRISTEN BOWLER, Secretary
Kristen was born and raised in St. George and graduated from Pine View High School. Several years ago she earned an Associate of Science Degree from Dixie State University. Kristen has been married to Scott Bowler for 27 years, and together they have five children. Kristen is our amazing secretary at Serenity Funeral Home and was previously employed with the Washington County School District. She loves any outdoor activity, particularly spending time at the beach. She loves being a mom - her oldest is 26 and her youngest is 10. Kristen was initially a little nervous to join the funeral business, but she loves her job. She believes it takes a special kind of person to work in this profession - someone that loves what they do and is innately compassionate.
Nolan Gulbranson, Apprentice
Nolan Gulbranson was born in the beautiful small town of Vanderhoof, British Columbia. He grew up on a farm caring for animals and working in the fields harvesting hay and alfalfa. He has four brothers. At the age of 16 and as a junior in high school, Nolan and his family moved to St. George, Utah - a completely different climate than the 5 to 6 months of winter he was used to in Canada!
Nolan’s family owned the famous Judd’s Store in St. George for several years before selling to Heather Graff and Graham Bueler. As a teenager he worked at Judd’s and attended Snow Canyon High School. After his graduation, Nolan served as a missionary in the Vancouver, Canada mission. He served all throughout British Columbia, including in his hometown!
Upon returning from his mission, Nolan began working for his dad and uncles who are General Contractors at Cedar Pointe Homes. Nolan began attending Utah Tech University but was undecided about his career path. He credits his uncle for helping him find direction. He went back to working at Judd’s, which led to assisting Graham with night removals at the funeral home. The more he was exposed to the funeral profession, the more he began to believe this could be a wise career choice for his future.
Nolan’s hobbies include hanging out with his roommates, playing spike ball and pickleball, rock climbing, skimboarding, and going on group dates.
Nolan says he enjoys the funeral profession because it feels so much like his mission - an opportunity to help and serve people during a very difficult time in their lives. He feels called to the funeral profession. We are thrilled to have Nolan as our full-time apprentice.