Who We Are
Our professional staff has years of experience caring for families from all walks of life. We are leaders in our profession, with dedication to service and professional integrity.
When we sit down with a family, our shared goal is to create a fitting, memorable and affordable service for their loved one. We offer them a wide variety of services and products, 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 Valued Staff
Russ Harman, Managing Partner
Mr. Harman’s career in funeral service spans over 3 decades. He is originally from Virginia where he was employed by several family funeral homes. In 1994, he founded Affordable Funeral Services which quickly became a leader in the Washington, DC area for reasonably priced funeral options. The business was featured in articles written in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star, The Richmond-Times Dispatch, The Virginian-Pilot, Business 2.0 Magazine and the New York Times, just to name a few. Russ appeared in person on CNN/Headline News, CBS “This Morning”, and several other national and local programs, to promote more affordable funeral options to the general public. His first business was sold to Service Corporation International in 1996 and Russ joined the company as the Assistant Director of Expansion and Development. During his tenure at SCI, Russ continued to develop alternative funeral marketing for the company. He served as Vice-president of operations for Family Funeral Care and President of Affordable funeral services. In 1998 he left SCI and returned to Chantilly, VA and started Northern Virginia Funeral Services and Tidewater Funeral Choices. In addition, Russ and his business partner founded Discounturns.com, the first cremation product provider on the Internet to offer merchandise directly to the public at wholesale prices. Russ sold Northern Virginia Funeral Services in 2006 to a competitor and joined the team at Berardinelli Family Funeral Services in January 2012. Russ is on the Board of Gerard's House in Santa Fe and is also on the Board of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association. He is an active member of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis. He is married to Suzanne Harman, also a licensed funeral director and has a daughter Bae Lee. Bae Lee attends Santa Fe prep and plays Varsity Volleyball and Basketball for the Griffins.
Steven Gabaldon, Funeral Director
Steven M Gabaldon, CFSP, was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. He attended the University of Albuquerque and graduated from the California College of Mortuary Science in 1972. Steven is licensed by the NM State Board of Thanatopractice. He grew up in the “Family Business”, Gabaldon Mortuary, under the direction of his father Bert Gabaldon. Steven is Past Chairman of the New Mexico Board of Thanatopractice, serving 8 years, and Past President of the NM Funeral Service Association. He is a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, certified by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service, NFDA. Steven also served 9-11 in New York City for 31 days under the Federal Disaster Mortuary Operation Team (D-MORT). His experience includes French Mortuary, manager of the Wyoming and Westside chapels, manager of Palm Mortuary, Las Vegas, NV, manager of DeVargas Funeral Home, Espanola, NM and currently with Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, Santa Fe, NM. Steven has been married for 38 years to Annette Gabaldon. They have two children, Stephanie and Renee & husband Damian and two grandchildren.
Lisa Heitmann, Office Manager
Lisa is 23-year resident of Santa Fe, moving here from New York City in 1989. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Fine Art degree, cum laude, from The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, New York. She spent the first twenty five years of her career as Director of several fine art galleries and as an appraiser and buyer of antiques and fine art. Lisa joined Carriage Services in 2010 as Office Manager for Berardinelli Family Funeral Services. When not at her desk, she can be found working out at the gym or running the trails in the foothills of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Wendy Garcia, Administrative Assistant
In August 2011 I had the great privilege of joining the family of Berardinelli Family Funeral Service as one of their administrative assistants and front desk receptionist. With a long background in administration, beginning with 12 years in the Emergency Room as the assistant ER Director and EMT and then as the lead IVF Coordinator for one of the top infertility clinics in the nation, I have a long history of serving the families of New Mexico. My husband Leroy Garcia has been in funeral service for 30+ years and we both have the honor to be able to serve the families of New Mexico through the Berardinelli Family, a funeral service that has been built on integrity and quality of service.
Gerald Rodriguez, Funeral Assistant
Gerald Rodriguez was born in Santa Fe New Mexico to world renowned artists Eliseo and Paula Rodriguez. Gerald attended Cristo Rey Parochial School, and graduated from Santa Fe High in 1976. Rodriguez began his career in Funeral Service in June of 1972 at BERARDINELLI MORTUARY under the tutelage of founder Bob Berardinelli. In May 1980, Gerald was employed by the Santa Fe Fire Department as a Firefighter-Paramedic, serving the citizens of Santa Fe in fire suppression, Advanced Life Support ambulance and rescue. Gerald retired in 1999. While under the employ of the Santa Fe fire Department, Gerald continued to serve the folks of Santa Fe by assisting at BERARDINELLI’S on a part time basis. After almost 40 years of funeral service, Gerald is committed serving to the citizens of Santa Fe at BERARDINELLI FAMILY FUNERAL SERVICE. Rodriguez is a member of the International Percussive Art Society, La Union Protectiva, a Eucharistic Minister at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, a member of the Nocturnal Adoration Society, the Perpetual Adoration Society and participates in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Pilgrimage for Vocations. Gerald has also taught drums and percussion at local Santa Fe Elementary Schools on a volunteer basis. Gerald is the proud father of two lovely daughters: Jessica, a publicist in New York City and, Monica a special events planner in Los Angeles California.
Mickey VanCuren, Pre-need Counselor
Mickey is a New Mexican Native, born and raised in Grants, NM. He is a New Mexico Licensed Life Insurance Agent and has been providing Pre-Need Counseling for families in Northern New Mexico since 2009. Mickey joined Berardinelli Family Funeral Service in 2010 as their Pre-Need Counselor. Currently residing in Truchas, New Mexico, Mickey has two sons, Zachary VanCuren, 22 and Kevan VanCuren, 19. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, hunting, riding the ATV, softball and physical fitness.
Leroy Garcia, Embalmer
A native New Mexican, born in Mountainair, New Mexico, I knew from the very young age of 13 what
my passion was. Observing the local funeral home staff come and take my beloved grandmother
into their care with such grace and respect, I knew this is what I wanted to do. To serve the families
of the grieving and to treat every family as my own.
At 18 I attended Mortuary College in San Antonio, Texas, and began working for Strong-Thorne Mortuary in 1977. In 1981 as a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in Dallas, Texas I began working as a licensed funeral director/embalmer for Restland Funeral Home until relocating back to my home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2000 I joined the Service Corporation International as a location manager for the Sunrise Society of New Mexico and managing an Arizona location as well.
In 2006 I was recruited to the Daniels Family Funeral Service as a location manager for one of their
In August 2011 I had the privilege of joining the elite team of Berardinelli Family Funeral Service as their lead embalmer and funeral director. It gives me great pleasure to say I work for the best funeral home in Santa Fe and all of New Mexico. Thank you Santa Fe and New Mexico for allowing myself and the Berardinelli Family to personally serve you and your family.
Max Randolph, Senior Ambassador
When a Santa Fe family turns to us at their time of loss, they’ll find a familiar face to help shoulder their grief. For over 25 years many have come to know Max and his compassionate nature.
Max has been an active member of the Caballeros de Vargas for 35 years, is a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and a 31-year member of the Elks Lodge. Max and his wife Beatrice have been married for 56 years and have 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.
Suzi Harman, Funeral Director