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Funeral Home reviews in Champaign

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  • It took several phone calls and 3-4 in-person meetings to plan the exact service I wanted for my husband. Every step of the way, Larry, Chuck, and Susan listened closely to my wishes and did their best to carry them out. Though I was at times overwhelmed with grief, shock, and disbelief, they truly seemed to understand the depth of my loss. In a very kind and compassionate manner, they helped me put together a service at the VA cemetery that not only honored and memorialized my husband in a beautiful and poignant way, but gave me and my family a huge sense of relief that we had chosen the right funeral home. Many people in attendance at the graveside service expressed to me how moved they were by all the elements of the service, from the touching eulogy delivered by the VA chaplain I selected to the simple, but perfect display of mementos and photos Heath & Vaughn encouraged me to set up next to the urn. Following the firing of the rifles and the playing of taps by the honor guard, Larry from Heath & Vaughn collected the rifle shells right away and presented them to me, as the widow, in a respectful way that greatly comforted my family and me. The collection and presentation of the shells was so healing since in a prior experience, another funeral home had denied that it was their obligation to retrieve and give the shells to the NOK (next of kin).

    The reasonable price I paid for the combined military rites funeral/graveside service demonstrated clearly that Heath & Vaughn provided a service that was both meaningful to me and my family, as well as affordable. The final line in the Heath & Vaughn invoice says it all: "Thank you again for letting us help you." Amen to exceptional customer service delivered by compassionate and professional people to the grief-stricken and vulnerable who need it most. I recommend, without reservation, the good folks at Heath & Vaughn Funeral Home. I am so grateful that I trusted my loved one to them.

    - Emily K.
  • The agony of a loved one's sudden and tragic death should not be compounded by the ineptness and lack of professionalism exhibited by the funeral home. Owens appeared to blunder through the process by failing to follow any type of protocol that would have made the unbearable a bit more bearable. 

    First, and most traumatizing, was the physical appearance of our loved one. Inexplicably, Owens never asked for any personal items such as glasses or dentures that would have greatly normalized appearance. The results were so off-putting that several family members could not bear to stay in the same room for the private visitation, which lasted 20 minutes instead of two hours. An attempt to discuss the problem with the funeral director, Jay Yost, went nowhere. He insisted that we were reacting to "the make-up" on our loved one's face.

    Second, I asked Mr. Yost to monitor the visitors at the evening visitation, since there were several individuals the family did not want present at such a difficult time. I was told this could not be done because as a "public" event that had been listed in the newspaper, it was open to all. Consequently, with no oversight from Owens, my grieving family and I were on edge the whole evening, and I myself had to ask an unwelcome person to leave the premises. 

    Third, on the morning of the funeral, which was held at Owens Funeral Home, an honor guard performed military rites on the front lawn. When I later asked Mr. Yost for the shells discharged by the rifles, which are traditionally given to the next of kin that day, I was told that a guest had picked them up and kept them! When asked why no one from Owens collected the shells although Owens had arranged the honor guard, Mr. Yost said, "We're not obligated to do that." Neither did Owens make any attempt to find this guest or reclaim the shells for us.

    In an attempt to resolve these issues and others, I met with Mr. Yost on 12/04/2012, but he refused to acknowledge my grievances or to make even a small monetary adjustment to the bill, which would have been a good-faith way to resolve the situation. All he would say when I asked for a small adjustment was, "We're not going to do that." He assured me that his father, James Yost, owner of the funeral home, would not adjust the bill, either. Following my 12/04/12 meeting with Jay Yost, he phoned my step-son without my knowledge to say I was contesting the bill. What made this conduct by Owens so unacceptable was that it was I who had already paid the entire funeral bill, and Mr. Yost was certainly aware of this. At this point, I was asking only for a reasonable credit back.

    When it became clear that Owens was not going to either own their actions or negotiate on the bill, which I had already put on my credit card and then put "in dispute," I made plans to work with another funeral home. Here's how Owens handled that situation: After calling ahead, I was told to come to Owens on March 22, 2013. Accompanied by an acquaintance who is a funeral director in another town, we went to Owens. The front door opened and a female staff member of the Owens family handed me the box of cremains and an envelope. We were clearly not welcome, and we certainly were not invited in. I tried to ask about the death certificates I was awaiting and the itemized bill I had yet to receive six months after the funeral, despite repeated requests. The female staff/family member said, "I'm not talking to you. You've been abusive to my whole family." With that she shut the door in our faces.

    Following the door at Owens being shut in our faces, we went to another funeral home, which took over the burial of my loved one to my great relief and satisfaction. Lesson learned the hard way - Don't expect compassion, professionalism, or competent customer service from Owens Funeral Home. Avoid the heartache that my family and I experienced by choosing another funeral home.




    - Emily K.
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    - Rebecca P.
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