Staff

Our dedicated staff members are here to provide support, compassion, and information to help you through your journey of grief and the celebration of your loved one’s life.

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Rachel Essig Executive Director

Rachel Essig joined River View in 2018 and enjoys being Executive Director because it marries three things that she finds important: service, tranquil places and community. She believes in providing a place for reflection but also serving everyone regardless of race, religion, gender or economic condition.

She began her funeral and cemetery career in 2008 managing fourteen local historic cemeteries. In 2013-2018 she expanded her career as a General Manager of a local funeral home and cemetery. 

Growing up in rural southwest Michigan her mother made sure she and her brother enjoyed the outdoors, this also included visiting old cemeteries, creating her lifelong appreciation for sacred places and community. She obtained a BA in Spanish and art-history from Western Michigan University. Her board service includes 2011-present for the Cemetery Association of Oregon, 2011-13 helped form and served on the board of the Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation and has returned as a board member. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Green Burial Council. She is an active volunteer with several non-profits in Guatemala. 

Rachel enjoys her family, cooking, music, art, hiking and especially camping at the Oregon Coast.

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Marie Henry Business Development Manager

Marie grew up in California surrounded by the rich agricultural lands of the central valley. Her love of nature and the outdoors led her to the Pacific Northwest. Marie enjoys trips to Mt. Hood to snowboard and relaxing on the Oregon Coast watching her two sons surf.

 

Marie started in the profession in 1999. She has experience in a variety of roles within the funeral and cemetery operations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Human Resources minor from Warner Pacific College. She is a certified Funeral Celebrant and has worked with families to create personalized meaningful remembrance services for over a decade. In 2021 she earned an End-of-Life Doula Certification. Marie serves as Board President of the Oregon Cemetery Association and is a volunteer donor with The American Red Cross. She also serves on the annual planning committee for the Give Grief a Voice Project which is sponsored by Buzzy’s Bees non-profit in support of families that have endured the death of a child.

 

Marie believes compassion is one of the greatest gifts humans can offer one another. She appreciates that compassion is part of the culture at River View. She enjoys funeral service because it offers her the gift of human connection through presence, education, and community. 

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Laurel Carrasco Family Service Representative

Laurel somehow managed to grow up equal parts in Manhattan and Seattle. After earning her BA in Spanish Literature at the Evergreen State College she moved to Portland in 2005 by way of Barcelona. Since then, she has been working with local families and the communities that support them. From 2006 to 2012, she owned a local children’s retail store, Bella Stella, where she balanced selling cute kid stuff with community events, family resources and education. If you need help getting a baby into a sling, you’ll want to ask her. After selling her shop, she continued to work for Portland families and the businesses that support them as Advertising Director at NW Kids Magazine.

Laurel arrived at River View in 2021 after working in two other local combination funeral and cemetery locations. She is grounded, practical, empathetic, and always ready to go above and beyond to care for her families. She considers it a great honor and privilege to be trusted by a family to plan their final wishes and to serve their families.

Laurel lives in SE Portland with her husband, two awesome kids, a terrible cat and a perfect dog. She is an aspiring potter, and a mediocre gardener but has had some success in transforming her backyard into something resembling the set of Jurassic Park.

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Carmae O’Reilly Family Service Representative

Carmae is a Portland native who, after extensive travel, decided there is no place like the Pacific Northwest as it truly feels like home for her. She has an extensive background in hospitality, working at many Hotels and Restaurants throughout Portland in private dining and event sales.

Carmae has a passion for providing caring and genuine service and feels grateful to be able to provide guidance to each person, whether they are pre-planning for their future needs or experiencing a loss. She is happy to be a part of the River View team as being able to help each family or individual through important moments in their lives is truly rewarding for her.

Carmae is most content spending her weekends camping at the beach with her husband and two adorable dogs or riding her bike on long adventures.

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Kathy Samuelson Family Service Representative

Kathy started working in the cemetery industry in 1986 when she worked for a local cemetery. In 1991, she moved to River View Cemetery to start the Family Service Department. Over the years Kathy has seen River View Cemetery grow and change with the opening of areas that were meeting the needs of Portland area families, from cremation scattering gardens to natural burial opportunities. Kathy was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and is a fan of the Oregon Ducks and Portland Trailblazers. Kathy likes helping families develop and complete a plan regarding their final resting place; helping families make decisions ahead of need. Today not tomorrow; together not alone. Many people are seeing the wisdom of making plans ahead of time.

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Kathleen Graham Family Service Representative

Kathleen Graham began her career in preplanning in 2014. Kathleen holds an appreciation for history and our beautiful city. When joining the team at River View Cemetery, she was very intrigued with the entrepreneurial spirit of River View’s founders. Kathleen has owned many Portland businesses including Rose City Sound & Lighting, Oregon Entertainment Lighting, Curves for Women, NW Exclusives Custom Jewelry and others. With a passion for helping others, she prides herself on the caring services offered, inviting families to experience River View’s way of making people’s lives a little easier in an extremely difficult time.

Kathleen is a native Oregonian and resident of North Portland who enjoys music, riding bikes and wave runners, playing pickle ball and having game nights with friends and family.

Rachel Essig

Executive Director
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Rachel Essig joined River View in 2018 and enjoys being Executive Director because it marries three things that she finds important: service, tranquil places and community. She believes in providing a place for reflection but also serving everyone regardless of race, religion, gender or economic condition.

She began her funeral and cemetery career in 2008 managing fourteen local historic cemeteries. In 2013-2018 she expanded her career as a General Manager of a local funeral home and cemetery. 

Growing up in rural southwest Michigan her mother made sure she and her brother enjoyed the outdoors, this also included visiting old cemeteries, creating her lifelong appreciation for sacred places and community. She obtained a BA in Spanish and art-history from Western Michigan University. Her board service includes 2011-present for the Cemetery Association of Oregon, 2011-13 helped form and served on the board of the Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation and has returned as a board member. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Green Burial Council. She is an active volunteer with several non-profits in Guatemala. 

Rachel enjoys her family, cooking, music, art, hiking and especially camping at the Oregon Coast.

Marie Henry

Business Development Manager
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Marie grew up in California surrounded by the rich agricultural lands of the central valley. Her love of nature and the outdoors led her to the Pacific Northwest. Marie enjoys trips to Mt. Hood to snowboard and relaxing on the Oregon Coast watching her two sons surf.

 

Marie started in the profession in 1999. She has experience in a variety of roles within the funeral and cemetery operations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Human Resources minor from Warner Pacific College. She is a certified Funeral Celebrant and has worked with families to create personalized meaningful remembrance services for over a decade. In 2021 she earned an End-of-Life Doula Certification. Marie serves as Board President of the Oregon Cemetery Association and is a volunteer donor with The American Red Cross. She also serves on the annual planning committee for the Give Grief a Voice Project which is sponsored by Buzzy’s Bees non-profit in support of families that have endured the death of a child.

 

Marie believes compassion is one of the greatest gifts humans can offer one another. She appreciates that compassion is part of the culture at River View. She enjoys funeral service because it offers her the gift of human connection through presence, education, and community. 

Laurel Carrasco

Family Service Representative
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Laurel somehow managed to grow up equal parts in Manhattan and Seattle. After earning her BA in Spanish Literature at the Evergreen State College she moved to Portland in 2005 by way of Barcelona. Since then, she has been working with local families and the communities that support them. From 2006 to 2012, she owned a local children’s retail store, Bella Stella, where she balanced selling cute kid stuff with community events, family resources and education. If you need help getting a baby into a sling, you’ll want to ask her. After selling her shop, she continued to work for Portland families and the businesses that support them as Advertising Director at NW Kids Magazine.

Laurel arrived at River View in 2021 after working in two other local combination funeral and cemetery locations. She is grounded, practical, empathetic, and always ready to go above and beyond to care for her families. She considers it a great honor and privilege to be trusted by a family to plan their final wishes and to serve their families.

Laurel lives in SE Portland with her husband, two awesome kids, a terrible cat and a perfect dog. She is an aspiring potter, and a mediocre gardener but has had some success in transforming her backyard into something resembling the set of Jurassic Park.

Carmae O’Reilly

Family Service Representative
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Carmae is a Portland native who, after extensive travel, decided there is no place like the Pacific Northwest as it truly feels like home for her. She has an extensive background in hospitality, working at many Hotels and Restaurants throughout Portland in private dining and event sales.

Carmae has a passion for providing caring and genuine service and feels grateful to be able to provide guidance to each person, whether they are pre-planning for their future needs or experiencing a loss. She is happy to be a part of the River View team as being able to help each family or individual through important moments in their lives is truly rewarding for her.

Carmae is most content spending her weekends camping at the beach with her husband and two adorable dogs or riding her bike on long adventures.

Kathy Samuelson

Family Service Representative
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Kathy started working in the cemetery industry in 1986 when she worked for a local cemetery. In 1991, she moved to River View Cemetery to start the Family Service Department. Over the years Kathy has seen River View Cemetery grow and change with the opening of areas that were meeting the needs of Portland area families, from cremation scattering gardens to natural burial opportunities. Kathy was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and is a fan of the Oregon Ducks and Portland Trailblazers. Kathy likes helping families develop and complete a plan regarding their final resting place; helping families make decisions ahead of need. Today not tomorrow; together not alone. Many people are seeing the wisdom of making plans ahead of time.

Kathleen Graham

Family Service Representative
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Kathleen Graham began her career in preplanning in 2014. Kathleen holds an appreciation for history and our beautiful city. When joining the team at River View Cemetery, she was very intrigued with the entrepreneurial spirit of River View’s founders. Kathleen has owned many Portland businesses including Rose City Sound & Lighting, Oregon Entertainment Lighting, Curves for Women, NW Exclusives Custom Jewelry and others. With a passion for helping others, she prides herself on the caring services offered, inviting families to experience River View’s way of making people’s lives a little easier in an extremely difficult time.

Kathleen is a native Oregonian and resident of North Portland who enjoys music, riding bikes and wave runners, playing pickle ball and having game nights with friends and family.