435-789-AVFH (2834)   

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Mortuary | On-Site Cremation | Pre-Planning | Headstones/Monuments

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Our Team


Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

Jake Phillips

Jake Phillips

Owner / Funeral Director

Jake is a licensed Funeral Director, Preplanning Consultant, and Certified Crematorium Operator with over a decade of experience in the funeral home industry. Before opening Ashley Valley Funeral Home  Jake worked for Larkin Mortuary  in Salt Lake City.  

Jake is married to Whitney Robb Phillips and together they have four children: Casch, Sayler, Navy and Lochlan; and a set of quadruplets who passed away shortly after birth Ocean, Knox, Piper and Lola.

Jake is actively involved in the community. He is a member of Vernal Chamber of Commerce, National Funeral Directors Association, Utah Funeral Directors Association and the Membership Clerk in his church.

Jake enjoys aviation and fishing with his children and wife.

Email: 


Whitney Phillips

Whitney Phillips

Owner

Whitney is the daughter of Claye and Kym Robb of Vernal, Utah. She attended school in the Basin and graduated from Uintah High.

Whitney is a mother of four Caschtian, Sayler, Navy and Lochlan; and a mother of quadruplets that passed away shortly after birth Ocean, Knox, Piper and Lola. 

Whitney is involved in the community by volunteering at the Terra Academy and serving as a Young Women's Secretary at her Church.


Kathy Torres

Kathy Torres

Pre-Planning Consultant / Aftercare



Jade Owens

Jade Owens

Apprentice



Ivan Merrell

Ivan Merrell

Funeral Director's Assistant

Ivan Merrell started with the Ashley Valley Funeral Home when we first opened our doors. The son of Randy and LouAnn Merrell he is a Vernal native. He is married to Hollie Merrell and they have two rambunctious boys, Luken and Dylan.  Working in EMS as well as having suffered the loss of close family members has blessed Ivan with the ability to empathize with those who are experiencing the grief of a loved one’s passing. 


Regan Torres

Regan Torres

Veteran Benefit Specialist



Max

Max

Facility Dog

Hi there! Let me begin with introducing myself! My name is Max II. How did I get my name? Well, if any of you are familiar with the story, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” then you’ll quickly realize why my humans named me Max. Apparentlythey tell me I look like another friendly pup called Max from that story. Hence, I am Max II. 

 

How about a little bit of my backgroundI am a full Australian Labradoodle. I am hypoallergenic and non-shedding. I am nine months old, so yes still a pup. I was born in Indiana and at 13 weeks old I went straight to training for my day job. Can you imagine starting to work at 13 weeks old?!! After being vetted, I started training as a Certified Funeral Home Facility Dog. I trained hard for six months straight. After finishing my training in Indiana, I finally got to graduate and move on to my full-time job that was waiting for me in Vernal, UT! I could not wait to get to work. 

 

I had been told numerous times about the business and family that had been patiently waiting for my arrival all these months. Boy, it was amazing to finally meet these people and start my job! I am a part of the genuine care that the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home offers each and every family.

 

Let’s see… how about some information on my background as a Certified Funeral Facility Dog and what that means? First off, what is a facility dog you may ask? 

 

A facility dog is an expertly trained dog who partners with a facilitator/handler working in a health care, visitation, or education setting. In my case, it is in the funeral home visitation setting. I take immense pride in the care, comfort, peace and love I provide to families during one of the most difficult times they are experiencing. 

 

Why do I do this you may ask? I do this because I want to help those grieving feel comfortable and peace while planning their loved one’s final wishes. I also try to relieve stress and anxiety by simply being with them. 

 

How do I do this? I have different methods. Whether it’s to “snuggle”, “visit”or merely sit/lay at your feet, you will know that you’re not alone. I find my work exceptionally valuable with grieving children who may not be comfortable talking about their feelingwith adults. I give them someone to talk to and comfort them during this emotionally, confusing time. 

 

You may wonder what’s the difference between a Certified Facility Dog and a Therapy Dog? Well, we are similarbut unlike Therapy Dogs who don’t usually work full-time at a specific institution and aren’t always legally certified for a specific training, I am. I was required to receive special training for the funeral home. I was required to be legally certified and have four different humans who are my “handlers”.  

 

My handlers…..These are four specified humans that are only allowed to take me. They spent days training and learning my commands and tricks. They also had to graduate from training just like I did; which means whenever you see me working or in public, I will ALWAYS be with one of my certified handlers. 

 

Like you, at the end of the day, I get to go home from my day job. I get to relax and stay with my loving family who meets my needs and allows me to enjoy the beautiful outdoors or just cuddle on the couch. 

 

love meeting and making new friends. Take a few minutes and stop by to come see me. No special occasion necessary!  We can snuggle and play or just sit still together. I am a good listener, and I have a soft and curly blanket coat that loves to be brushed and hugged. 


 I can’t wait to meet you! I’ll be waiting!


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