Niska helps community with grieving process

Rebekah Harrell

Death is a scary reality that everyone will eventually have to deal with, whether it be the loss of a loved one or facing death themselves. Planning funeral arrangements is stressful, but there are professionals like Paula Niska to help.

Loving people through the hardship and struggles of death is what drives funeral director Paula Niska to keep going. 

“I love to love people and I think I was created to help the grieving,” Niska said.

Niska’s father started Sandy Funeral Home in 1969. After graduating from Sandy High School she furthered her education at Mt. Hood Community College. At the age of 18, she began working with her father and they ran the family business together. She became a licensed funeral director in 1989. Her father retired 12 years ago and Niska purchased the business six years ago. Niska’s husband helps her run the business along with her “amazing” staff. 

Photo Courtesy Paula Niska

When COVID-19 hit two years ago, everything changed. Sandy Funeral Home stayed open and kept providing services for families, but things looked completely different.  The everyday things that they were used to doing and the services they provided shifted greatly.

“We had to come together as an office and learn ways to meet the needs of the families, while abiding with the new stipulations of COVID-19,” Niska said. 

 Throughout all of these challenges, Niska persevered and kept her eye on what was important: the hurting families who suffered the loss of a loved one.

Niska and her staff provide a comfortable environment that welcomes people so that no matter how hard it is to walk through those funeral home doors, there is always someone waiting to show them compassion and guidance.

“It’s very stressful and trying, but so rewarding, knowing that we can serve our community during people’s most difficult time in their lives,” Niska said.   Niska and her staff plan to keep serving the community of Sandy by helping families through the grief of death.

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