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.

Our History

In 1883 Edward G. O'Donnell purchased Utah Undertaking Company which became O'Donnell Mortuary Chapel and was located at 32 South 4th East in Salt Lake City.  The O'Donnell family has been well known throughout the Salt Lake Valley predominately serving the Catholic Community.  Edward's sons, Neil and Jack, joined him in the family business and they eventually became partners carrying forth their family service.  In 1931 Neil and Jack split their partnership, Jack O'Donnell remained at the O'Donnell Mortuary Chapel and Neil purchased a home located at 372 East 100 South which became Neil O'Donnell Mortuary.  Neil's wife, Stella Devine O'Donnell became the first woman to be licensed as a Funeral Director and Embalmer in the State of Utah.  In December, 1939, Neil O'Donnell Mortuary held a formal opening of their newly added funeral chapel.  Their son, Neil Devine O'Donnell Jr., followed in the footsteps of his parents carrying the family business forward.  In 1957 a modernization of the building was completed which included the addition of an office where funeral arrangements are made, a solarium was incorporated through the main entrance and a large covered porch was added.  Neil Devine O'Donnell Jr.  was joined in the business by his sons, Mike and Casey, and the Mortuary became known as Neil O'Donnell & Sons Mortuary.  Casey stepped away from the business in 1997 and his brother Mike continued the legacy of their family.  In 2005, Mike was pleased to have his daughter, Katherine O'Donnell Nilson, join him and together they carried forth the same kindness and compassion in serving so many wonderful families.

In April 2020 Neil O'Donnell and Sons Mortuary was purchased by Shawn Wiscombe and Matthew Medford and has become known as Neil O'Donnell Funeral Home.  A very important facet of the transition of ownership is that Shawn and Matthew recognize the tremendous heritage of the O'Donnell family and are committed to providing honor their legacy.  The Funeral Home has undergone significant renovations that  include a room displaying the history of the O'Donnell family.  Much attention was given to accentuate the beautiful architecture of the building and to create a bright and inviting atmosphere for all those who enter.  The design of the building allows for more intimate services and can also open up to accommodate very large gatherings, the large chapel will comfortably seat 130 for a traditional funeral service, it is easily transformed for those desiring a more casual setting or Celebration of Life, some prefer a service with catered food and the chapel will comfortably seat 120 for a sit down meal, some request a service with appetizers and bar service.  The new design allows many options to serve all families.  We believe that each life lived is unique and that services we offer should reflect upon and honor the individuals we are so honored to care for.

We invite all to be valued and respected in our space and we are so honored to continue the incredible legacy of the O'Donnell family.

Neil O'Donnell Funeral Home

Over the Years

Our Valued Staff

  • Shawn Wiscombe

    Shawn Wiscombe, Funeral Director/Owner

    Raised in St. George, UT and graduated from Cypress College of Mortuary Science in 1990. Shawn worked as an apprentice at Brown Colonial Mortuary, a Catholic Mortuary, located in Santa Ana California throughout his education where he remained as a Funeral Director and Embalmer for a year following his education. On his 25th birthday, Shawn purchased his first funeral home in 1991 located in Caliente, Nevada where he became very involved and connected with the communities he served sharing his talent of music and theatre, serving on numerous boards, he became a partner in opening Virgin Valley Mortuary located in Mesquite, Nevada, served as a Lincoln County Commissioner, in 1999 he was asked to serve as the Administrator of the Lincoln County Hospital District where he oversaw the construction of two out-patient clinics and a complete renovation of the hospital, he remained in this position until the sale of his funeral home in 2005. He purchased Davis Funeral Chapel located in Davis, California and in 2009 he opened a location in the neighboring community of Winters, California. After relocating to Salt Lake City, Utah Shawn and Matthew recognized the important role they can share in offering a funeral establishment that has been built on years of trust and commitment. Shawn was raised with a strong understanding of respecting the opinions and beliefs held by others, this led him to gain a deep understanding of various faiths and customs in addition to those who hold no religious affiliation, he has dedicated his life to serving with genuine care and compassion and believes strongly that the most important part of his service is the lifelong friendships he has been privileged to develop. He has always believed in the importance of treating each family with complete honesty and full respect of their personal needs and beliefs. His profession has taught him to value life and the wonderful relationships developed along the way, especially the relationships with family, Shawn has always treasured every moment spent with his four amazing children along with all of his family members.

  • Matthew Medford

    Matthew Medford, Owner

    Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Matthew Medford grew up with a strong appreciation for serving others. Prior to entering the fast-paced world of Funeral Homes, Matthew spent several years working in Event Planning and Customer Service with Proctor & Gamble, which eventually lead to his role leading a full Concierge Services team – a demanding experience that taught him the value of efficient multi-tasking, communication, and organization. He has also been licensed in Medical Esthetics for over 12 years.

    Matthew loves to meet with families and has a great understanding of their needs. He has a unique ability to recognize small details, making each moment beautiful and memorable; Matthew’s strong attention to detail ensures that his clients’ needs and questions are anticipated and addressed quickly and efficiently. He prides himself on going the extra mile for his families, building strength in each relationship, and watching them grow over the years. When Matthew is not in the Funeral Home and working hard for his families, you will find him playing with his three beautiful French Bulldogs, traveling the world or enjoying a good cup of coffee or a meal with his family.

  • Chaplain Shantel  McBride

    Chaplain Shantel McBride, Director of Community Cares

  • Adam Richardson

    Adam Richardson, Pre-Arrangement Specialist/Funeral Director

  • Chandler  Wiscombe

    Chandler Wiscombe, Funeral Service Intern

    Chandler was raised with Funeral Service being a way of life seeing the day to day operations conducted by his father. From a very young age, he fully understood the respect and privacy that was involved in caring for those entrusted to their family Funeral Homes. At 6 years of age a friend came for a play date and Chandler immediately asked him if he would like a tour of the Funeral Home, of course he was interested but even more curious was his friends father who had brought him over and he decided to accompany the two. The friends father later shared how Chandler led the tour explaining the use of each room within the building, he explained caskets and urn and their purpose, as they approached a closed door Chandler pointed to the door and said, "this is where people are prepared for viewing and burial but this is a room that we cannot go into" the friends father was surprised at Chandlers real understanding and respect for the work that his father performed. Chandler graduated from Davis School for Independent Study in Davis, California where he received scholarships for his incredible artistic abilities. He worked as a waiter at Cafe Bernardo, and later moved to Los Angeles, California where he worked in Construction. During the beginning months of the Covid-19 pandemic he found himself without work and his father extended an offer to come to Salt Lake City to help with the renovations that had just begun at Neil O'Donnell Funeral Home, it was during this time that he told his father that he felt strongly that he would like to become a Funeral Director, understanding the commitment involved in the profession his father suggested that he think about it for a few weeks and really weigh the opportunity before making a determination, he returned after two weeks knowing that Funeral Service is the profession that felt right for him. Chandler is currently enrolled at the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and works full time as a Funeral Service Intern alongside his father at Neil O'Donnell Funeral Home. He completed his training and became a Certified Cremation Specialist and is currently slated to graduate from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in June 2023. Chandler has always had an incredible ability with art, drawing, ceramics and creating a multitude of artistic projects. He has a passion for music and when he began learning to play drums his teacher was astounded at his immediate ability to understand syncopation. He loves to skateboard, camp, rock climb and anything that allows him to be outdoors. He is extremely close with his sister and two brothers and loves caring for his two cats. Chandler is beginning a journey that will enrich his life as he shares his compassionate heart with those he has the opportunity to serve.

  • Stephen  Schroeder

    Stephen Schroeder, PreArrangement Counselor

  • Dick  Mirabelli

    Dick Mirabelli, Funeral Service Assistant

  • Michael  Gaglardi

    Michael Gaglardi, Funeral Service Assistant