Staff

Our dedicated staff members are here to provide support, compassion, and information to help you through your journey of grief and the celebration of your loved one’s life.

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Rachel Essig Executive Director

Rachel Essig joined River View in 2018 and enjoys being Executive Director because it marries three things that she finds important: service, tranquil places and community. She believes in providing a place for reflection but also serving everyone regardless of race, religion, gender or economic condition.

She began her funeral and cemetery career in 2008 managing fourteen local historic cemeteries. In 2013-2018 she expanded her career as a General Manager of a local funeral home and cemetery. 

Growing up in rural southwest Michigan her mother made sure she and her brother enjoyed the outdoors, this also included visiting old cemeteries, creating her lifelong appreciation for sacred places and community. She obtained a BA in Spanish and art-history from Western Michigan University. Her board service includes 2011-present for the Cemetery Association of Oregon, 2011-13 helped form and served on the board of the Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation and 2013-15 for the Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery. She is an active volunteer with several non-profits in Guatemala. 

Rachel enjoys her family, cooking, music, art, hiking and especially camping at the Oregon Coast.

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Steve Moore

Steve grew up in Portland and attended St. Mary’s Cathedral Grade School and Lincoln High School. Following in his father’s footsteps, he studied Journalism at the University of Oregon before changing to a career path in funeral service. He began working part-time in 1969 at a Eugene funeral home and then served his apprenticeship at a funeral home in Springfield, graduated from University of Oregon and then enrolled in the Funeral Service Education Program at Mt. Hood Community College. Since becoming licensed in 1973, Steve has worked as a funeral director, embalmer and manager in Portland and at River View Cemetery Funeral Home since shortly after the funeral home opened in 2004.

Steve and his wife Peggy have a blended family of four sons and nine grandchildren. Steve and Peggy are active members at St. Charles Catholic Church. In his younger years, Steve loved playing football, baseball and basketball. At this point in his life, Steve likes watching Monday night football with friends, playing half-court basketball with other friends and assisting his oldest son who still plays for and manages a men’s slow pitch softball team that he and all fours of his sons played on at one time.

“Funeral Service is most satisfying when you truly know you have helped people during a difficult time in their lives.”

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Gary J. Sands

Gary began his funeral service career in Milwaukie, Oregon in 1976 and became a funeral service practitioner, embalmer and licensed eye enucleator. His educational background includes Mt. Hood Community College, Northwest Christian University, University of Oregon and continued online education at colleges in Utah and Arkansas. Gary was invited to become part of the staff of River View Cemetery Funeral Home in 2006.

Gary married his college sweetheart, Nancy Yates in 1974, and together they have eight children and currently nineteen grandchildren – they are his greatest joy.

Gary believes that a non-corporate approach to funeral service affords families the best option to selecting only the services and merchandise they find value, without any pressure from the professionals serving them.

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Christina C. Westin

A third-generation funeral director, Christina began her career at a young age helping her father with Memorial Day events. She was raised in rural Hillsboro, where as a child she loved to hike while exploring the woods all day. While attending college in Idaho, she studied Social Work. Knowing she really wanted to help people, she started showing more interest in becoming a funeral director instead. She decided to serve an apprenticeship while living at a funeral home in Hillsboro. Being on-call, she really got to know firsthand what a funeral director does…. helping families at any moment day or night.

After completing her apprenticeship, she graduated from Mt. Hood Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Service Education in 1998. Her first job as a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer was in Tigard, Oregon. In 2005, she joined the family at River View Cemetery Funeral Home. She is grateful to be at a facility that has great teamwork in serving families and honoring their loved ones. She also enjoys speaking to the public and educating them about all that River View Cemetery Funeral Home has to offer.

Christina enjoys spending time with her son, her dog and two guinea pigs. She loves attending events around Portland, antiquing and swimming her laps.

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Gordy Reece

Gordy joined the staff of River View Cemetery Funeral Home in the Spring of 2018. Hailing from Beavercreek, Oregon, Gordy grew up in an old farmhouse on Larkin Road, back behind what is known by the locals as the “Ten O’clock” Church. He graduated from Oregon City High School and went directly into his Portland family nut & bolt business, General Threaded Products, which his father and sister still operate to this day. Many in the music community may also recognize him from his time working at Sheet Music Service. When his beloved music store closed, Gordy decided to pursue an interest that was piqued after his grandmother’s passing. The thoughtfulness and care shown by the funeral professionals who helped his family, paired with his genuine interest in learning about the lives and stories of others inspired him to seek a path that eventually lead to a Mortuary Science degree from Mt. Hood Community College in 2015.

Music has always been a big part of Gordy’s life. His earliest memories are infused with the sounds of his mother’s singing, accompanied by the yodeling of his grandfather. He has performed in several local bands, orchestras and ensembles over the years and can currently be found playing tuba in the Beaverton Community Band. You may also catch him whistling or yodeling within the grounds of the cemetery from time to time. He currently resides in Wilsonville with his wife, Leigh, and children, Morgan and Bryn.

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Lisa Sayre-Aquilla

Lisa Sayre-Aquilla began her service at River View Cemetery in 2007 as a part-time employee and began her current full-time position with River View Cemetery Funeral Home in 2009. Lisa, River View Cemetery Funeral Home Office Manager, is a native of Oregon and was born and raised in the Burlingame area of Portland. She attended Maplewood and Capitol Hill grade schools along with Benson Tech High School and graduated from Wilson High School. Prior to her career with River View, Lisa worked in both the floral and automotive industries.

Lisa has resided near River View Cemetery her entire life, giving her a unique perspective of the neighborhoods surrounding the cemetery. With both of her parents and many other loved ones buried here at River View, Lisa understands grief and loss which guides her compassion as she interacts with the families we are honored to serve. She loves to assist others and sought employment with River View because she desired to be part of a professional community that can help people when they need it most.

When not at work she enjoys spending time with her two children and her granddaughter. Lisa also enjoys hunting and fishing. One of Lisa's passions is the restoration of her 1970 Dodge Challenger.

Rachel Essig

Executive Director
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Rachel Essig joined River View in 2018 and enjoys being Executive Director because it marries three things that she finds important: service, tranquil places and community. She believes in providing a place for reflection but also serving everyone regardless of race, religion, gender or economic condition.

She began her funeral and cemetery career in 2008 managing fourteen local historic cemeteries. In 2013-2018 she expanded her career as a General Manager of a local funeral home and cemetery. 

Growing up in rural southwest Michigan her mother made sure she and her brother enjoyed the outdoors, this also included visiting old cemeteries, creating her lifelong appreciation for sacred places and community. She obtained a BA in Spanish and art-history from Western Michigan University. Her board service includes 2011-present for the Cemetery Association of Oregon, 2011-13 helped form and served on the board of the Lone Fir Cemetery Foundation and 2013-15 for the Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery. She is an active volunteer with several non-profits in Guatemala. 

Rachel enjoys her family, cooking, music, art, hiking and especially camping at the Oregon Coast.

Steve Moore

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Steve grew up in Portland and attended St. Mary’s Cathedral Grade School and Lincoln High School. Following in his father’s footsteps, he studied Journalism at the University of Oregon before changing to a career path in funeral service. He began working part-time in 1969 at a Eugene funeral home and then served his apprenticeship at a funeral home in Springfield, graduated from University of Oregon and then enrolled in the Funeral Service Education Program at Mt. Hood Community College. Since becoming licensed in 1973, Steve has worked as a funeral director, embalmer and manager in Portland and at River View Cemetery Funeral Home since shortly after the funeral home opened in 2004.

Steve and his wife Peggy have a blended family of four sons and nine grandchildren. Steve and Peggy are active members at St. Charles Catholic Church. In his younger years, Steve loved playing football, baseball and basketball. At this point in his life, Steve likes watching Monday night football with friends, playing half-court basketball with other friends and assisting his oldest son who still plays for and manages a men’s slow pitch softball team that he and all fours of his sons played on at one time.

“Funeral Service is most satisfying when you truly know you have helped people during a difficult time in their lives.”

Gary J. Sands

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Gary began his funeral service career in Milwaukie, Oregon in 1976 and became a funeral service practitioner, embalmer and licensed eye enucleator. His educational background includes Mt. Hood Community College, Northwest Christian University, University of Oregon and continued online education at colleges in Utah and Arkansas. Gary was invited to become part of the staff of River View Cemetery Funeral Home in 2006.

Gary married his college sweetheart, Nancy Yates in 1974, and together they have eight children and currently nineteen grandchildren – they are his greatest joy.

Gary believes that a non-corporate approach to funeral service affords families the best option to selecting only the services and merchandise they find value, without any pressure from the professionals serving them.

Christina C. Westin

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A third-generation funeral director, Christina began her career at a young age helping her father with Memorial Day events. She was raised in rural Hillsboro, where as a child she loved to hike while exploring the woods all day. While attending college in Idaho, she studied Social Work. Knowing she really wanted to help people, she started showing more interest in becoming a funeral director instead. She decided to serve an apprenticeship while living at a funeral home in Hillsboro. Being on-call, she really got to know firsthand what a funeral director does…. helping families at any moment day or night.

After completing her apprenticeship, she graduated from Mt. Hood Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Service Education in 1998. Her first job as a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer was in Tigard, Oregon. In 2005, she joined the family at River View Cemetery Funeral Home. She is grateful to be at a facility that has great teamwork in serving families and honoring their loved ones. She also enjoys speaking to the public and educating them about all that River View Cemetery Funeral Home has to offer.

Christina enjoys spending time with her son, her dog and two guinea pigs. She loves attending events around Portland, antiquing and swimming her laps.

Gordy Reece

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Gordy joined the staff of River View Cemetery Funeral Home in the Spring of 2018. Hailing from Beavercreek, Oregon, Gordy grew up in an old farmhouse on Larkin Road, back behind what is known by the locals as the “Ten O’clock” Church. He graduated from Oregon City High School and went directly into his Portland family nut & bolt business, General Threaded Products, which his father and sister still operate to this day. Many in the music community may also recognize him from his time working at Sheet Music Service. When his beloved music store closed, Gordy decided to pursue an interest that was piqued after his grandmother’s passing. The thoughtfulness and care shown by the funeral professionals who helped his family, paired with his genuine interest in learning about the lives and stories of others inspired him to seek a path that eventually lead to a Mortuary Science degree from Mt. Hood Community College in 2015.

Music has always been a big part of Gordy’s life. His earliest memories are infused with the sounds of his mother’s singing, accompanied by the yodeling of his grandfather. He has performed in several local bands, orchestras and ensembles over the years and can currently be found playing tuba in the Beaverton Community Band. You may also catch him whistling or yodeling within the grounds of the cemetery from time to time. He currently resides in Wilsonville with his wife, Leigh, and children, Morgan and Bryn.

Lisa Sayre-Aquilla

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Lisa Sayre-Aquilla began her service at River View Cemetery in 2007 as a part-time employee and began her current full-time position with River View Cemetery Funeral Home in 2009. Lisa, River View Cemetery Funeral Home Office Manager, is a native of Oregon and was born and raised in the Burlingame area of Portland. She attended Maplewood and Capitol Hill grade schools along with Benson Tech High School and graduated from Wilson High School. Prior to her career with River View, Lisa worked in both the floral and automotive industries.

Lisa has resided near River View Cemetery her entire life, giving her a unique perspective of the neighborhoods surrounding the cemetery. With both of her parents and many other loved ones buried here at River View, Lisa understands grief and loss which guides her compassion as she interacts with the families we are honored to serve. She loves to assist others and sought employment with River View because she desired to be part of a professional community that can help people when they need it most.

When not at work she enjoys spending time with her two children and her granddaughter. Lisa also enjoys hunting and fishing. One of Lisa's passions is the restoration of her 1970 Dodge Challenger.