City View Cemetery was founded in 1893 by the J.P. Frizzell family of Perrydale, Oregon. The Frizzell family owned City View until Herman and Leta Johnston purchased it in 1949. Herman was a salesperson for Blaising Granite Company here in Salem. In 1966, the ownership was transferred to Herman and Leta’s niece, Fern, and her husband, Bill Hilts. Several major changes were made to City View in the next few years. Salem’s first outdoor/garden mausoleum was built in 1968, and two crematories were added—the first in 1970 and the second in 1979. In 1975, the Hilts’s purchased Mt. Crest Abbey Mausoleum that is located on the cemetery grounds. Ownership was then transferred in 1985 to Bill’s and Fern’s children, with son Rick named as manager. In keeping with their parents’ forward thinking, Rick and his siblings added a state-of-the-art funeral home and reception area in 1999. City View is now the only family-owned, full service funeral home, cemetery, mausoleum and crematory in Salem.
Mt. Crest Abbey Mausoleum was built in 1914 and has had several owners over the years until its purchase in 1975 by Bill and Fern Hilts. The mausoleum has crypts for casket entombment and niches for cremation urns. Mt. Crest is one of the oldest indoor mausoleums in Oregon, and the largest outside of the Portland area. There have been nine additions to the building. The last was completed in 1981. Mt. Crest has several different types of niches available, including marble, bronze, and glass front niches.
City View and Mt. Crest Abbey have several unique features compared to other cemeteries in Salem. It holds two veteran circles; one is the G.A.R. circle for Civil and Spanish American War veterans, and the other is the American Legion Circle for World War I and II, Korean and Vietnam veterans. There is also an Elk’s Circle serving the Salem Elk’s Lodge. There are 2 outdoor/garden mausoleums: Sunrise Garden Mausoleum, completed in 1969, and Mtn. View Garden Mausoleum, completed in 1991. Also, City View is the only major cemetery in Salem that allows raised markers and monuments.
Rick and his brother, Dave, are the current owners of City View. Rick manages its daily operations, and became President of the company is 1985. He was born and raised in Salem, and graduated from South Salem High School and Oregon State University in the School of Forestry. After a short time working in the forestry industry and just prior to his father’s death, Rick came to work at City View. Rick is a past president of the Cemetery Association of Oregon, and was a board member and treasurer for over 25 years. He is a board member and President of United Methodist Retirement Center, a founding trustee of American Funeral and Trust Services, a member of Networks of Salem, and a Salem Area Chamber of Commerce member. Rick and his wife, Barb, and daughter, Ellyn, have been active members of Salem Alliance Church for over 20 years. Rick enjoys spending time with family, gardening (especially growing strawberries), camping, fishing, boating and attending OSU football games.
Collin was born in Ontario, Oregon. He graduated from Central Linn High School and moved to Albany, OR, where he began his funeral career in 1971. He graduated from San Francisco College of Mortuary Science in 1973. In 2007, Collin joined the staff at City View Funeral Home and Cemetery. Collin and his wife, Leona, have been married for over 40 years and are active members of Peoples Church here in Salem. They have three children and 13 grandchildren. Collin enjoys fishing, traveling by car, and spending time with his family.
Becky HeintzBecky has worked for City View since 1986. Although she never planned to work in this industry, it has proven to be personally fulfilling in many ways. Following graduation from Silverton High School and the University of Oregon (‘Go Ducks’), she married her husband of almost 40 years and together they raised two children. They are now very proud grandparents of two darling grandchildren with hopes of more to come.
Personally, she thoroughly enjoys outdoor activities, and has been a runner for thirty years, completing around 20 marathons. She has a large yard and spends most of her free time gardening, when not playing with her grandchildren. She and her husband, Grant, are very active members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. She really enjoys working for City View because it is a small, family-owned office.
Marianne ElliottMarianne was born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts. In 1979, she relocated her family to the Salem area. She has taken classes at Chemeketa Community College in Business and Medical Terminology.
She is married and has two children, 3 step-children, and 5 grandchildren. Marianne loves being a grandmother to Reese, Amanda, Michael, Pamela and Lincoln. Her interests are baking, crocheting, Red Sox baseball, and traveling State and National Parks for vacations.
She has worked for City View Funeral Home and Cemetery since 2001, and enjoys working with families.
Julia Gruchalla Wanner
Julia began as a seasonal worker on the cemetery grounds crew. Eventually, she worked her way into the office as a secretary and cemetery salesperson. She was always eager to move up in the business, and to learn more about the cemetery and funeral industry. When City View Funeral Home was completed in 1999, she saw this as a great opportunity. She went on to mortuary school at Mt. Hood Community College, and earned a degree in Mortuary Science in 2007, becoming a licensed funeral director and embalmer. That same year, she married her husband, Jason, and they had their first boy, Jonah. Their second son, Jaden, was born in 2011. She continues to work at City View on a part-time basis, meeting with families and performing other duties as a funeral director.