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Muñoz carries on Connolly & Taylor tradition

Richard Muñoz at his desk at Connolly & Taylor in Martinez. (E. CLARK / Martinez Tribune)
Richard Muñoz at his desk at Connolly & Taylor in Martinez. (E. CLARK / Martinez Tribune)
MARTINEZ, Calif. – When people who know Richard Muñoz think of him, they may think of his humor, his affability, and his dedication to community. What they may not think of, however, is that Muñoz spends his days – and oftentimes nights – as a mortician. The sports car driving, fun-loving Muñoz is the face of Connolly & Taylor, that Martinez icon serving generations of local families since 1921.

Muñoz, in the funeral industry since 1989, holds licenses as both a director and embalmer, and is involved in every aspect of the business.

He’s presided over hundreds of funerals throughout his career, including those of many celebrities, but Muñoz’s favorite part of the business, he says, is getting to know local Martinez families.

“The majority of the families we serve here have always come to Connolly & Taylor, from generation to generation. There’s a continuity, and you familiarize yourself with these families. I love it,” Muñoz said. “I really love this town.”

A Santa Barbara native, he’s found a place in Martinez through service, working in the community since 2007. Muñoz is a board member of the Martinez Chamber of Commerce, having earned the Chamber Ambassador of the Year distinction in 2013. He’s also a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Contra Costa County, and the Knights of Columbus at St. Catherine of Siena Church.

He said a lot of funerals being planned around the nation are the same, but he likes to tailor each to the individual, helping families have as positive an experience as possible as they say goodbye to their loved ones. “I’m not into the cookie cutter thing. I’ve always liked to work to customize and give the ‘wow factor’ to these families, and help to make it memorable so that when they leave here and think of their family members, they’ll always think, ‘Wow.’ You have to have the passion, because in this business, you have to give of yourself 24 hours a day.”

Muñoz said people call him at all hours of the night, sometimes just to ask what to wear to a funeral. “It doesn’t bother me – this is a monumental event in their lives and they’re depending on me – I just have to give them 150 percent of my time. I believe that wholeheartedly,” Muñoz said.

“I think of Connolly & Taylor not as a funeral home where we have the deceased, but as a place where we celebrate people’s lives. You need a place to celebrate,” Muñoz said.

“When you think about it, we’re in the business of creating memories. That’s what we do.”
Connolly & Taylor Funeral Chapel is located at 4000 Alhambra Ave., Martinez. For more information, call (925) 228-4700, or visit http://www.connolly-taylorchapel.com/.

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