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.

When we sit down with a family, we have just one goal: to create a fitting, memorable and affordable service for their loved one. Together, we explore the wide variety of services and products available, as well as a wealth of creative ideas and suggestions.

Together, we'll design a memorial or funeral service that suits their needs now, and in the future. Families who come to us know that years from now, they will have deep peace-of-mind because in coming to us, they've done their best to honor their loved one.

Our History

Families in Riverside have called upon Sierra Memorial Chapel Mortuary for the finest services, the most comfortable facilities, and the most compassionate attention to their needs. Families trust Sierra Memorial in their time of need because of our reputation for professionalism and extensive community involvement, and the wide range of options we offer in funeral, memorial & cremation services.

Founded by Frank Barrows and Warren Whitfield in 1964. Mr. Barrows and Mr. Whitfield operated the mortuary until 1975 when Mr. Whitfield developed health problems and needed to retire.  Mr. Barrows went to Grant’s Pass, Oregon, where he continued to serve as funeral director for several years.

At that time, the mortuary was purchased by the Bredelis Family, Ray and Mickey, and their son Ron and his wife Janis.  They continued the tradition of a family-owned and operated funeral home.  As the senior Bredelises were ready to retire, they passed the daily operation of the mortuary on to Ron. 

In August of 2007 the Johnson Family was ready to retire after 28 years of service to the community.  Continuing with the tradition of a family owned funeral home, they passed the torch to the Chris and Rhonda Miller.  The Miller’s will offer the same personal, caring service for our family that has been a Riverside tradition since 1964.

The mortuary design included an atrium that separates the chapel from the offices, and the rotunda that leads to the viewing room where families can gather during a visitation time.  The mural in the rotunda is the original mural designed when the mortuary was built.  When it’s time for the rotunda to be painted, the painters carefully work around the mural to preserve it.  The hanging light globes used on the side aisle in the chapel were imported from Italy.

There is easy access for visitors of every physical capacity and ample, well-lighted parking. At our funeral home we’ve taken special care to create a comforting atmosphere that includes familiar, traditional furnishings and every amenity you may require. When you select a funeral home, comfort is an important consideration. Visitors should be able to converse quietly, to recollect and reminisce. Your family should have a private place to meet for sympathy and support.

The funeral is a time to say farewell to a loved one, but it is also a time to begin the process of healing. Families have found comfort in our dedication to assisting with all aspects of the funeral service. It is our mission to provide a personal, meaningful, and healing funeral or memorial experience for every family…to be innovative, progressive, and proactive in designing a tribute to a life lived…and to accomplish this within the framework of your faith, traditions, and customs.

Then, there is the matter of trust. In a time when emotions are strongly felt, there is comfort in being treated with compassion and respect. This is our commitment to you.

Our Valued Staff

Chris Miller

Chris Miller, Owner/Operator

A second generation funeral director, Chris Miller began working in the family business as a teenager and by the age of fourteen had already assisted on his first removal. Chris graduated in December of 1992 with a degree in Mortuary Science and received the highest honor from the program, the Melvin Hilgenfeld Award.Chris continued the fine traditions that his parents, Roger and Pat Miller, had started in 1969 at Thomas Miller Mortuary in Corona, California. Following the death of his father in 2006, Chris and his wife Rhonda purchased Thomas Miller Mortuary from his mother. In 2007, he added a second location in Riverside, California known as Sierra Memorial Chapel. He currently added an on-site Crematorium at his main location in Corona. Over the past 16 years, Chris has become involved with numerous organizations throughout his community, including: The Corona Regional Medical Center Foundation (now referred to as The Foundation for Community and Family health), where he currently serves on the Executive Board; Corona Chamber of Commerce, where he currently serves as Financial Chair; The Unforgettables Foundation (an organization which helps families with the loss of their children); Circle City Rotary Club; and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Chris is also a member of the California Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association and the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA). In his spare time, he loves to cook, collect vintage wine and spend time with his family.
Thomas Miller Mortuary has been a member of OGR for more than 60 years, of which Chris has been active for the past five. Chris looks forward to working with other members of OGR to help take the organization to the next level.

Rhonda Miller

Rhonda Miller, Owner/Operator

Caring for people comes naturally for Rhonda Miller, who joined her husband, Chris, in perpetuating the family business. Rhonda and Chris continue to offer families the highest level of personalized care and service while catering to all faiths. Rhonda is also conscientious and participates with her family in the American Cancer Society- Corona Relay for Life, The Foundation for Community and Family Health, and is on the committee for the Every 15 Minutes Program. Continuing with the tradition of a family owned funeral home. The Miller’s will offer the same personal, caring service for our family that has been a Riverside tradition since 1964.

Bill Oaks

Bill Oaks, General Manager

Bill has been in the Funeral Industry for over 25 years as a Licensed Funeral Director. He has managed Sierra Memorial Chapel since the Miller family purchased in 2007. Bill has lived in Southern California since 1973 moving here from Florida. Married to wife Marcia, have three grown children, Ashley, Dylan, and Dustin. Member of California Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Director Association, and The Order of Golden Rule. He is a past board member of Riverside Meals on Wheels, Pomona Boys and Girls Club, Kiwanis Club, past president of La Sierra Chambers business council.

George Diaz

George Diaz, Funeral Attendant

George was born and raised in Orange County, Ca. He moved to Corona in 1995. He graduated from Centennial High School in 2007. He started working for the Millers back in February of 2007. George’s responsibilities at Sierra Memorial include all aspects of keeping the Mortuary, inside and outside in top condition year round as well as assisting with families and services. George has become a valuable asset to Sierra Memorial and takes pride in the work that he performs.

Elliott James

Elliott James, Preneed Counselor

Elliott James has been a Corona resident since 1986. He has been trained in the funeral industry, and as a preneed counselor can assist families in their efforts to prepare for end of life decisions in a loving and thoughtful way. Elliott is here to help families avoid paying future cost increases, and give families peace of mind knowing their wishes have been carried out.

Christina Valenzuela

Christina Valenzuela, Secretary

Christina is a Native American of Tucson, Arizona and has lived in Riverside, California since 2004 with her husband Roberto; she is a proud mother of three, Reina, Renee, and Ruben. Christina is proud to be part of Sierra Memorial Chapel Mortuary; Sierra has given her the opportunity to serve families with her personal touch and gentle approach, Christina feels honored to provide them with a sense of comfort during their difficult time of loss, she is here to assist you and your family as you prepare to honor and celebrate the life of your loved ones.

Diana Barlet

Diana Barlet, Family Service Counselor