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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.

Robert S. Edenbach

Robert S. Edenbach

Funeral Director, Owner

Robert is a 1964 graduate of Fairfield University with a BA in Sociology. He served in the US Naval Reserve from 1965-1974 as a Lieutenant with Destroyer and Mine Warfare ships. Robert joined his father and brother in the family business in September of 1968 and graduated from the New England Institute in 1970 acquiring both Massachusetts and Rhode Island Funeral Director/Embalmers licenses. He has two sons, Robert Jr. and Christopher. Robert is a member and past president of the Newport Rotary Club. He is an active member and past  Commanding Officer of the Artillery Company of Newport. This group participates in revolutionary war re-enactments and maintains a museum in Newport, RI. Bob also enjoys skiing, boating, hunting and motorcycle riding.


Kurt M. Edenbach

Kurt M. Edenbach

Funeral Director, Owner

In the spring of 1997, Kurt M. Edenbach, son of Charles A. Edenbach Jr., joined his father and uncle in their funeral homes as a licensed funeral director. He returned to Newport after graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and receiving his professional training at Gupton Jones College in Atlanta, GA. 

Since that time he has taken on many of the day to day responsibilities of the funeral home, including coordination of the preplanning services, grief support, and staff education. He is a member of the Rhode Island Funeral Directors Association and an active member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. In September of 2003, he married Meaghan O'Neill Edenbach and they live in Newport with their son and daughter. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Robert Potter League for Animals and on the Board of the Newport County YMCA. He is a member of the Newport Yacht Club and St. Joseph's Church. Kurt enjoys snowboarding and sailing in his free time with his family.

Kurt can be reached at kurt@memorialfuneralhome.com

Email: kurt@memorialfuneralhome.com


Chris Edenbach

Chris Edenbach

Funeral Director, Owner

In 2004, Christopher M. Edenbach, son of Robert S. Edenbach, joined his father and cousin in their funeral homes and has been serving as a Licensed Funeral Director since August 2008.

In 1996, Chris received his BA in American Studies and African-American Studies from Trinity College, Hartford, CT. After moving to Washington, DC to pursue a career in politics, he received his Masters in Information Systems Development from George Washington University in 2003. Chris graduated in December 2007 with an Associate's Degree in Funeral Service from the American Academy McAllister Institute in New York City, NY. In his free time, Chris enjoys traveling, sports, music and spending time with his family, friends and golden retriever, Jackson.

Email: chris@memorialfuneralhome.com


Edward Gurka

Edward Gurka

Funeral Director

A funeral service professional since 1984, Mr. Gurka has been a licensed funeral director with our firm since 1988. He began his career at Curtis J. Holt Sons Funeral Home in Woonsocket. Ed resides in Middletown and enjoys gardening and traveling. He was raised in a restaurant family and attended Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts College. With this experience, he helps facilitate the “Cooking for You” program, a part of Community Connections. 

Email: ed@memorialfuneralhome.com


Sean Hackett

Sean Hackett

Funeral Director

Sean is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer at Memorial Funeral Homes. Sean graduated from FINE Mortuary College in July 2008 with an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science and received his funeral director’s license in January of 2009. Sean is a 30 year resident of Aquidneck Island, currently living in Middletown with his wife and family.

Email: sean@memorialfuneralhome.com


Leo Dube Jr

Leo Dube Jr

Funeral Director-Preplanning Specialist

Leo is a licensed funeral director and is our preplanning specialist. He has over thirty years of experience in the field. Focusing on advance planning has given him a keen understanding of the needs a family has in this difficult time. Planning ahead is hard, and good advice is priceless. Pre-planning is simple and smart. If you would like to learn about what options you have, Leo can help you find the peace of mind of knowing your wishes are taken care of.

Email: leo@memorialfuneralhome.com


Lisa Alves

Lisa Alves

Office Manager

Lisa Marie Alves (no relation to the Presleys) is a life long Aquidneck Islander and she is the heart and soul of our Funeral Home. At the age of fifteen she began working as a telephone operator for the company's answering service. Three generations of women from her family have run the answering service for the firm, her mother, her sister and Lisa and now her daughter. In the 1990s Lisa went to cosmetology school and took a part time job working for her stepfather, Robert at the funeral home. After graduation she worked part time as a hair dresser and also at the answering service. After a summer working part in the office for the funeral home she was hooked. In the beginning of 1998 Lisa began work full time for Memorial Funeral Homes, to date she is both the first and only Office Manager the company has ever known. Lisa has honored the funeral home with 3 decades of service. Her favorite part of the job is the feedback received from the families we serve. Outside the funeral home Lisa is happily married to her high school sweetheart. They have two children Victoria and Michael, as well as their three dogs Easton, Stanley Cup and Mason. Lisa is a crazy hockey mom and a massive Portsmouth High Hockey fan and Boston Bruins! 

Email: lisa@memorialfuneralhome.com


Rev. Dr. Lark d'Helen

Rev. Dr. Lark d'Helen

Thanatologist, Celebrant, and Community Education Advisor

The Rev. Dr. Lark d'Helen began as a minister, worked as a chaplain and advisor in hospitals and nursing homes, and has been guiding the grief support and outreach programs of Community Connections and Memorial Funeral Homes for the last 7 years. She received her Fellowship in Thanatology from Association for Death Educators and Counselors.

Lark has lived in the Newport Community for the past 25 years. She can be seen walking on the local beaches with her dog, Boomerang.



Email: lark@memorialfuneralhome.com


Kim Shute

Kim Shute

Community Relations Manager- Bereavement Coordinator

As the Community Relations Manager Kim supports both our Community Connections Program and the Funeral Homes. She has a B.A. in theatre/dance and a M.F.A. in Performance Arts. Kim has done course work in Individual and Group Crisis Intervention with first responders, clinician and clergy for Hurricane Sandy and 9/11. She has done bookkeeping for local contractors, taught ESL for a literacy program, run her own gardening business, taught speech communications and acting, and helped manage and promote a twenty million dollar housing project in Massachusetts. She has been involved for ten years at Channing Church where she researched, wrote and offered many services as well as helped with marketing and community outreach. Kim has experienced bereavement first hand after her husband of 19 years died suddenly of Leukemia at the age of 48. Since her husband’s death Kim has felt a calling to work with the public around issues related to loss and death from pre-planning to bereavement programming and everything in between.

Telephone: 1-401-619-2877

Email: kim@memorialfuneralhome.com


John Reynolds

John Reynolds

Monument Company Coordinator, Funeral Assistant

John is a retired Middletown Firefighter and has been working with the funeral home for 15+ years.  Over the last 3 years he has taken the responsibility to oversee the Newport Monument Company and all granite, bronze and engraving work. He enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends, John loves to cook and is a Freemason.

Email: john@memorialfuneralhome.com


Devin Cutting

Devin Cutting

Funeral Director Apprentice


Email: devin@memorialfuneralhome.com


Rachel Durbeck

Rachel Durbeck

Funeral Director/Apprentice

Rachel is a University of Rhode Island graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and has a deep appreciation for Thanatological studies.  She is attending FINE Mortuary College pursing an Associate’s degree in Mortuary Science, with a goal to be able to provide families with proper guidance in handling grief as a funeral director and embalmer.  She has a passion for healing and has always felt dignified by helping her family and loved ones cope with losses.  Rachel’s goal is to make funerals personal rather than the commercial and has a strong understanding of the importance of healthy grieving.  Raised in Massachusetts, Rachel has found her home in comfy little Rhode Island.  In her free time, you can find her somewhere with her dog.

Email: rachel@memorialfuneralhome.com


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