In 1996 Heather and Graham Stephen bought a residential house at 106 Hokonui Drive, Gore, which originally had been destined to be part of a motel complex.  While this never went ahead the house, with a front office, was suitable to operate as a funeral home and Council approval was sought to open Stephen Funeral Home.

Over the next five years the opportunity came up to purchase two adjacent properties so planning began to demolish the existing houses and build a Chapel complex which includes a catering lounge and encompassing foyer to host after service functions.  This was completed by the end of 2004 and proudly opened to serve the needs of families.

In 2008 the Company then purchased Hammond Funeral Services and with the amalgamation of both businesses renamed to Southern Funeral Home and continued operating on the same site of 106 Hokonui Drive.

Heather and Graham have lived in Southland all their lives and proudly raised their family of four.  Graham has followed in his father’s footsteps of funeral directing which initially came about when his grandfather operated a joinery factory in Edendale and made caskets.


Our Team

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Heather Stephen has many roles within the company, she is a experienced celebrant who takes pride in providing a beautiful rendition of a persons life story and give families opportunity to reflect on cherished memories. 

Graham Stephen is a qualified embalmer and funeral director, Graham has dedicated his working career to caring for families in times of bereavement.

Leisa Sleeman is one of our passionate Funeral Directors, Leisa has a back ground in nursing and is caring by nature.  

Lea has a heart for bereaved families and is very supportive with all their needs, every step of the way.

Elsa Sweetnam is our Office Administrator that will ensure that all arrangements and documentations are in place.

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