Berry-Bell & Hall Mortuary offers personal and compassionate service

Rick Monroe

Special Village News

As owners/managers of Berry-Bell & Hall Mortuary, brothers Steve and Scott McGargill are used to working with families who have funeral decisions to make. It is an emotional time and they and their staff are sensitive to the needs of families.

“I think we’re a comforting place, dealing with the uncomfortable situation of losing a loved one,” said Steve McGargill, the eldest brother. “We are not bereavement counsellors, we can offer referrals for that need, but we treat people with compassion.”

As you enter the lobby, there is a peaceful atmosphere with friendly framed photos, including one of the mid-century building. There is also a chapel for memorial services, although many patrons choose another venue such as a local church.

Steve McGargill said the entire staff of six full-timers and three part-timers are taking care to provide answers during a stressful time.

“Our goal is to serve every family as if they were our own family,” he said, “to honor and respect those who die is also to care for those who live. Our goal is to provide five-star service to the families we serve for many years to come.”

Berry-Bell & Hall Mortuary is a family business, with the brothers sharing management responsibilities. Their parents are also co-owners. They bought the company in December 2001, so they are entering their 31st year of ownership.

As this was an essential service, they did not close during the pandemic. The number of deaths increased, but there were no memorial services. Steve McGargill said December 2021 and January 2022 were their busiest months.

Pre-planning for requirements is an important aspect of business. By anticipating the needs of their customers, he said they can provide personalized service for each of them. The staff is ready to help residents now and in the future with their funeral arrangements from start to finish.

Although some people don’t want to think about the end of their lives, for those who like to plan ahead, the McGargills and their staff can help plan all aspects of their future funeral and burial needs. About a third of their customers plan their end-of-life services in advance, according to Steve McGargill. Most people who plan ahead are over 60, but it’s never too early to make those arrangements.

Steve McGargill said that one of the reasons for planning funeral and burial arrangements in advance is that “it allows you, yourself, to determine exactly what type of final decision you want. It allows you to put it in writing and prepay for your arrangements, so there are no questions about your last wishes.

“Probably the most important reason people want to plan ahead is that they want to spare their kids or family the burden of trying to make those decisions and paying for them at the time. “

Many people find it difficult to manage the details of a loved one’s funeral and burial, even with the help of a caring funeral director. Therefore, planning ahead can reduce stress for everyone involved. The McGargills offer many options for people who want to work out the details to their own satisfaction before they die and be assured that their plans will be carried out as they intended.

“People can come in and get all of their plans, no matter how simple or detailed, written down on paper, without paying anything upfront,” Scott McGargill said. “They can come in and prepay only part of the arrangements now, with the balance due on death, by their family. Or they can pay it all in full. Whatever they wish to do, we’ll try to accommodate them.”

The process can also be initiated by filling out a form on their website, http://www.berry-bellandhall.comwhere you will find more information.

The morgue can also handle the submission of an obituary to local newspapers as well as all options relating to military veterans, including paperwork with Veterans Affairs, setting up military honors and burial in a national cemetery. They will also help claim any applicable government reimbursements for veterans.

Berry-Bell & Hall Fallbrook Mortuary is located at 333 N. Vine St. For more information, call (760) 728-1689, email [email protected]or visit

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