History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Our History

Kingsburg's one and only Funeral Chapel has been serving it's community for nearly 90 years, with it's beginnings as Ericson Funeral Parlor in 1930 and later George & Beatrice Garner Funeral Home.  Jack Creighton, who grew up on a farm, was a college student at North Dakota State University in Fargo, when he took a job at a local funeral home, which ignited his passion for serving his community.  In 1965 Jack purchased the Kingsburg Funeral Home from the Garners, where he and his two sons, Tom and Ben Creighton spent the next 54 years tirelessly serving the families of Kingsburg and the surrounding communities.  When Ben decided it was time for him to retire, he honored his father's wish and offered to sell Creighton Memorial Chapel to Steve Dillard, who started his over 40 year career in the funeral industry at the age of 14, washing cars for Jack at his funeral home in Hanford.  Steve is the owner of Salser & Dillard Funeral Chapel in Visalia, CA,  which he, along with his former partner, built from the ground up and opened it's doors in 2003.  Their dedication to families along with their desire to offer new and innovative options and services, has firmly secured their reputation as Tulare County's premier Funeral Provider.  Steve and his staff are excited to welcome Lydia Paul to their team and bring the Salser & Dillard passion for funeral service to the families of Kingsburg.

Our Valued Staff

  • Steve P. Dillard

    Steve P. Dillard, Owner/Funeral Director

    Experience and passion is what Steve Dillard brings to Salser & Dillard Creighton Chapel. Born and raised in Hanford where his parents and one sister still live, Steve started his, nearly 40 years experience in the funeral business, at 14 washing the cars at Peoples Funeral Chapel in Hanford, where his uncle John E. Lemos worked, and Steve continued to learn the business there for the next several years. At 20 Steve began an apprenticeship as well as broadened his experience with Whitehurst-McNamara in Hanford and continued working for the Lowen Group until he moved to Laguna Hills California in June 1987 where he worked for O’Connor Laguna Hills Mortuary. While working at O’Conner's, he attended Cypress College of Mortuary Science and graduated in December 1988 where he received the Ma Green Outstanding Student Award. After successfully completing the California State Board of Embalmers Exam and the National Board Certificate Exam he returned to the Loewen Group working for Hadley Funeral Chapel in Visalia January 1989. He worked at several Loewen locations in Kings and Tulare Counties before leaving in 1999. In 2001 Steve along with Jeff started the process opening their own chapel. When asked why he chose to open his own chapel, Steve's response was clear, "After traveling for many years with the Lowen Group, I had the opportunity to meet and work for many former chapel owners: Frank and Harold Keaton, Claude Wondrow, Lloyd Bledsoe, Don Miller, David and Paul Miller, Don Evans, Jack Creighton, Joe O'Conner, Dick Hemmingway, Clem McNamara, they all exemplified the importance of quality professional service and I wanted that for myself." Steve has a long history of funeral service here in the valley:

    Salser & Dillard Funeral Chapel, Visalia, CA;
    Peoples Funeral Chapel, Hanford CA;
    Whitehurst McNamara, Hanford CA;
    Hadley Funeral Chapel, Visalia and Farmersville CA;
    Millers Memorial Chapel, Visalia CA;
    Miller’s Tulare Funeral Chapel CA;
    Bledsoe Family Peoples Funeral Chapel, Corcoran CA;

    And he is excited to expand his business and continue the Creighton legacy in Kingsburg. A proud father of three and grandfather of seven, Steve's roots in the Valley are deep and he looks forward to continuing to serve his community for many years to come building a legacy that lasts for the generations.

  • Amber E. Taunton

    Amber E. Taunton, Director of Family Service & Marketing

  • Lydia K. Paul

    Lydia K. Paul, Funeral Director

  • Eddie Peña

    Eddie Peña, Funeral Director/Embalmer

    Born and raised right here in Visalia, Eddie graduated from Mt. Whitney High School. He began his, so far, 25 year career in the funeral business in 1988 with the original Hadley Funeral Chapel, where he worked for three years until he decided to go off to further his skills and receive his degree in Mortuary Science at Cypress College and become a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. After serving as manager for Coleman Mortuary in La Habra for five years, Eddie returned to Visalia and Hadley Funeral Chapel where he also became the manager in 1998 and served the Visalia and Farmersville communities until he went to work in Bakersfield with Greenlawn Mortuaries and Cemeteries serving Kern County for ten years five of which he spent as President and CEO. A loving father to two beautiful children, Eddie returned to his roots and his home in 2010; having worked with Steve in the past it was a pleasure to join the Salser & Dillard team and be part of another locally owned and operated funeral chapel that was not only professional but took pride in serving families in need, a passion dear to his own heart.

  • George D. Sandoval Sr.

    George D. Sandoval Sr., Funeral Arranger

    George is no stranger to serving his community; a Valley resident for 60 years he graduated from Redwood High School, College of the Sequoias and finally California State University of Fresno with a degree in Business Administration. George's legacy of service began with the City of Visalia's Fire Department where he spent 33 years, until he retired in 2007 as Visalia's Fire Chief. Despite his abundant involvement in his large extended family, this loving husband, father (4) and grandfather (4), couldn't go too long without being involved with the community he loves. So in 2009 he joined the Salser & Dillard team part-time and sure enough by 2010 George was a full-time Funeral Arranger, once again bringing his care and dedication to families of Visalia at their time of greatest need. He is proud to be a part of Visalia's only locally owned and owner operated funeral chapel and now the new location in Kingsburg.

  • Tania Gomez-Hill

    Tania Gomez-Hill, Funeral Arranger

  • Hayley Brooks

    Hayley Brooks, Funeral Director/Embalmer

  • Jenna Hill

    Jenna Hill, Embalmer/Funeral Director

  • Juanita Matta

    Juanita Matta, Office Administration

    Born and raised here in the Central Valley, Juanita is all about family; one of 19 children, she is a loving wife and mother of four. After graduating from College of the Sequoias and working with the Easter Seal Society and Wells Fargo Bank, she found a home working at Holy Family Catholic Church for 14 Years. Her time with the church is what ushered her into serving families in need starting at Miller Memorial Chapel where she first met Steve & Jeff and in Juanita's words was "impressed with their honesty, sincerity and professionalism." She was therefore honored to join their staff in 2004 helping to provide families the utmost in care.

  • Emilio Alvarez

    Emilio Alvarez, Family Service Director

  • Robert Hernandez

    Robert Hernandez, Funeral Service Staff/First Responder

  • Roland Salazar

    Roland Salazar, Funeral Service Staff/First Responder

  • Richard Del Real

    Richard Del Real, Assistant Cremationist