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 2011-2021 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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Anjelica Padilla Family Service Representative

Anjelica is a passionate and caring Latina woman who wants to help families navigate the process of planning at the time of need, or for their futures to ease the burden on their loved ones after they have passed. Anjelica relocated to Portland nearly a decade ago to get her B.S. in Business at Portland State University. While in her last year at Portland State, she started at Yahoo in Hillsboro, Oregon, and continued to work for four years post-graduation. Anjelica started in the funeral industry after losing her father unexpectedly and wanted to care for families like her own was cared for during that challenging time. Prior to working at River View Cemetery and River View Cemetery Funeral Home, Anjelica worked at a funeral home and cemetery in Happy Valley, Oregon. Anjelica desired to join the River View team after feeling aligned with their non-profit ethics and natural burial options. Outside of work, you can find Anjelica exploring the great outdoors. She enjoys backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, and being a "mom" to three wonderful pets.

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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.

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 2011-2021 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.

Anjelica Padilla

Family Service Representative
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Anjelica is a passionate and caring Latina woman who wants to help families navigate the process of planning at the time of need, or for their futures to ease the burden on their loved ones after they have passed. Anjelica relocated to Portland nearly a decade ago to get her B.S. in Business at Portland State University. While in her last year at Portland State, she started at Yahoo in Hillsboro, Oregon, and continued to work for four years post-graduation. Anjelica started in the funeral industry after losing her father unexpectedly and wanted to care for families like her own was cared for during that challenging time. Prior to working at River View Cemetery and River View Cemetery Funeral Home, Anjelica worked at a funeral home and cemetery in Happy Valley, Oregon. Anjelica desired to join the River View team after feeling aligned with their non-profit ethics and natural burial options. Outside of work, you can find Anjelica exploring the great outdoors. She enjoys backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, and being a "mom" to three wonderful pets.

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.