Higgins Chapel - Anthony C. Rodriguez

Photo by Tony Kukulich

Anthony C. Rodriguez, Higgins Chapel managing partner, takes extra pride in honoring the lives of veterans and their families.

The sacrifices armed forces members have made while serving our country are immeasurable, but one way to honor and recognize their service, courage and contributions is with a military service when they pass.

Higgins Chapel in Antioch has been serving the East Bay since 1948.

“We have a devoted and compassionate group of individuals that have a passion for service and honoring the lives of loved ones,” said Anthony C. Rodriguez, Higgins Chapel managing partner. “We are knowledgeable in many faiths, rituals and customs.”

One of the things Higgins Chapel takes extra pride in is honoring the lives of veterans.

Whether families desire a full military service or simply a small family funeral, they are committed to offering burial and memorial services that honor, respect and provide true meaning to those gathered in mourning.

“We are truly blessed by the opportunity to honor a veteran and their service and dedication to our country,” said Rodriguez. “We take pride in arranging burial or cremation, and military honors for a veteran, whether at the cemetery, church or even at the home of the veteran. We make it our responsibility to honor the sacrifice made to continue our freedom, and we make sure a wife, son, daughter or mother receives that folded flag.”

Veterans who die on active duty, or with discharges other than dishonorable, are entitled by law to a Veterans Affairs burial and memorial benefits.

“With a qualifying discharge, veterans are given a military plot in a national cemetery and have the right to be recognized with a military honor guard,” said Rodriguez. “We have staff that are willing to assist with gathering that information, if needed.”

Rodriguez recommends making preparations in advance, if possible, and gathering necessary paperwork, including the DD214 discharge certificate.

The basic military funeral honors ceremony consists of the folding and presentation of the United States flag to the veteran’s family, and the playing of “Taps.” The ceremony is performed by a funeral honors detail consisting of at least two members of the armed forces.

Higgins Chapel offers all services for veterans, with options including open-casket visitation, transportation to churches or other places of religious worship, and services featuring an urn or memorial photograph and graveside services at any cemetery, including the national cemeteries in Dixon and Santa Nella/Gustine.

“The funeral director will work with the family at their time of need to coordinate which types of services are a best fit to honor the veteran and meet the needs of the family,” said Darren Carter, Higgins Chapel funeral director and embalmer.

Choosing a personalized service for a loved one is significant.

“Our goal is to make sure the family feels they have done everything possible to honor their loved one,” said Rodriguez. “Whether with a complete burial service, or an intimate moment amongst family, we want to be able to send the family home with a sense of fullness that they honored their loved one well.”

According to Rodriguez, one of the most common remarks made at the end of a military service is how respectful and gratifying it was.

Higgins Chapel offers compassionate and professional burial services to all community members and is committed to serving them with honesty and integrity, to ensure families receive the best guidance and service during the loss of a loved one.

“We are the first to be called when a passing occurs,” said Rodriguez. “We have to be ready at all hours of the day and night to respond with service and grace. We have to always be at our best when a member of our community is facing their worst moment.”

Higgins Chapel is located at 1310 A St. in Antioch. For more information, visit www.higginsmortuary.com or call 925-757-4343.