Christine Cuoco, Owner/Manager of Ruby Memorial is the heart of this firm. She is the person who, with every action and every word, shapes the role Ruby Memorial plays within the South Asian and Orthodox Christian communities in New Jersey; and defines the quality of professional and personal relationships she has with the individuals she serves. Her deep commitment to serving South Asian, Indian and Orthodox Christian families is the driving force behind Ruby Memorial’s development, continued growth and increasing popularity. The woman and the funeral home are two halves of a whole; one can be understood by looking at the other.
Ruby Memorial is one of only a few local funeral homes in New Jersey dedicated to serving South Asian, Indian and Orthodox Christian families and is as unique as the woman who leads the firm. Her uniqueness among New Jersey funeral directors was noted by the article’s author, journalist Jennifer Kohlhepp: “There are only a handful of funeral directors in New Jersey who specialize in providing memorial services for the people of South Asian ethnic groups and one recently opened (2015) Ruby Memorial Funeral and Cremation Services. With much experience and dedication (she) has embraced the growing South Asian population in Middlesex, Mercer and Monmouth counties and has dedicated herself to serving its memorial ceremony needs.”
And while it can be said a résumé can’t truly capture an individual’s unique personality, Christine’s provides certain facts which heighten the reader’s awareness about the values and goals of the woman currently responsible for both the quality of care provided to South Asian and Orthodox Christian families who have experienced the death of a family member, as well as the day-to-day operations of Ruby Memorial.
Christine’s commitment to on-going professional and personal development is evident in her educational background and her professional affiliations. She earned a B.A.in Psychology, with a Minor in Law and Justice from Rider University in 2000; and completed her funeral service education at the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Services in New York just one year later. Christine continued her academic training at Montclair State University, pursuing a Masters of Community Counseling degree. Even today, she is certainly no stranger to the classroom, as all New Jersey funeral directors are required to regularly complete Continuing Education courses (10-15 CEUs per licensing period).
She also believes strongly in sharing her expertise and experience with her colleagues. Christine is Past President of the Essex, Union and West Hudson Funeral Directors Association (May 2015-2017) and an active member of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association. She is also a member of the Mid-Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Local member and Past President of Rotary Club of Plainsboro, North & South Brunswick and also local Lions Club. Christine’s also determined to enrich the classroom experience of the young people who are considering a career in funeral service: she is currently an Adjunct Professor at Mercer County Community College, where she teaches embalming since 2014.
Her passion for serving Hindu, Sikh, and Orthodox Christian communities began some over 19 years ago, during her funeral service internship at Mather Hodge Funeral Home in Princeton, New Jersey. Once she completed her internship, Christine continued to refine her professional skills while employed as a funeral director at S.W. Brown & Son Funeral Home, located in Nutley; Mack Memorial Home, in Secaucus and Shook’s Cedar Grove Funeral Home, in Cedar Grove, NJ. Today, she relies heavily on past experiences she had in caring for Orthodox Christian and South Asian families over the course of her career.
One of the lessons she’s learned during her career has to do with the importance of getting involved in the community she cares for: “I don’t just want to provide a service. I really want to get involved in the community through volunteerism. I want to be a part of the community in more ways than just through death.”
In short, those qualities which define Ruby Memorial come directly from Christine Cuoco’s deep commitment to becoming truly involved in, and supportive of, the Hindu, Sikh and Orthodox Christian communities of Mercer, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties. When a funeral director with Christine’s experience and dedication is needed, you’ll find she can:
- Work closely with Hindu, Sikh or Orthodox Christian clergy to prepare and orchestrate traditional funerals or Puja ceremonies.
- Prepare all paperwork, including vital record statistics, permits, filing and obtaining death certificates, and assistance with life insurance, veteran’s benefits, and Social Security claims.
- Ruby Memorial specializes in “Home Funerals”. Many families have wishes to bring their loved ones home for final rituals prior to burial or cremation.
- Re-patriation Services. Many families wish to return their loved ones to their country of origin. This is made possible by Ruby Memorial as we are experts in this service to India, Egypt, and all of Europe and Asia.
- Make all arrangements with regard to the cremation and related ceremonial services, whether they are held at any of the local houses of worship, our funeral home, cemetery, or crematory.
- Assist in the return of a deceased family member with expedited body repatriation services.
- Help you in “writing down a life”, crafting an obituary to honor your loved one’s life experiences and social connections. She will also submit the obituary to the newspapers of your choice.
- Provide LiveStreaming for services to families abroad. This has been implemented all throughout the pandemic to offer virtual services for families.
- Create a Book of Memories™, a beautiful, permanent online memorial, where you and your friends can build a legacy of memories of your loved one by archiving treasured photos and memories.
- Welcome your family and friends to our funeral home for your planned ceremony or services.
- Help in the selection and on-site arrangement of floral tributes, whether ordered through local flower shops or online, through Ruby Memorial’s Order Flowers feature.
- Assist the bereaved in understanding grief by providing them with access to grief education and support materials as well as referrals to local grief counseling services.
When a member of your family dies, Christine sincerely hopes you will turn to her, and the support staff of Ruby Memorial, to assist you. It is her honor and pledge to you to provide exceptional care that honors culture and tradition. Christine can be reached at (732)658-3289, to discover the remarkable qualities which make her unique among New Jersey Funeral Directors. Through her dedicated, compassionate yet professional service, she will show you what she means when she says Ruby Memorial is unique among funeral homes in New Jersey. www.rubymemorialhome.com.