Distinctive Life - Houston Funeral Home

The Distinctive Life Houston Care Team, including our licensed funeral directors, are available 24/7 to meet with your family when and where it is best for you, whether it be your home, the hospital/hospice, our funeral home, or wherever is most convenient and comforting for you. We take the time to really talk with you and your family, getting to know you and your loved one who has passed so we can understand what’s most important to you and to the deceased.

We also help families understand that remembrance or memorial services don’t have to be in a traditional funeral home or chapel. In fact, we’ve deliberately chosen to have a small facility in Houston that helps keep our costs low so that we can provide you with the best possible services at a budget-friendly cost. Distinctive Life’s experienced team can help plan services in a location that is meaningful to your loved one and your family – anywhere from a sports venue to a natural landmark. We believe that every life is distinctive, and every life deserves to be honored in a highly personal and meaningful way.

Our Care Team also helps families understand the full range of funeral and memorial services Distinctive Life provides, from cremation-only services to simple, private graveside services to full chapel or church-based services – whatever is needed to help you and your family honor your loved one, celebrate life, and fulfill last wishes.

Beyond our Immediate Need services, Distinctive Life also offers comprehensive pre-planning services to help individuals and families plan ahead, minimize costs, and ensure a legacy is preserved.

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Contact Us Today

Complete the contact form or call one of our locations. We are here to serve you.

Dallas
(972) 424-1144

Houston
(713) 933-0357

Family owned full service funeral home you can afford to trust

Contact us

Dallas: (972) 424-1144

Houston: (713) 933-0357

Pre-Planning Seminars

Join us for a pre-planning seminar to learn more about our services and planning for the future.

Please visit www.prepaidfunerals.texas.gov for additional information.

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Andy Starr

OWNER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Andy Starr has always had a knack for business, but he’s also always had a deep desire to serve people at critical times in their lives, whether they’re suffering from an injury, caring for aging parents, or enduring the loss of a loved one. As owner and executive director of Distinctive Life Funeral Homes, Andy has led the company’s efforts to change the way individuals and families are served by the funeral industry, focusing on honoring every life in a highly personal and meaningful way.

Before leading Distinctive Life, Andy co-founded and served as senior executive of Hearthstone Assisted Living, helping foster the company’s growth from scratch to more than 30 communities in 10 states. Before Hearthstone, he was a senior member of the founding management team for U.S. Physical Therapy, helping guide its explosive growth from a start-up to more than 75 clinics nationwide and transitioning it to public trading on the NASDAQ exchange.

Andy started his career as a real estate & banking attorney at the Houston firm of Hirsch & Westheimer after graduating with honors from the University of Texas School of Law. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Zane Belyea

OWNER/COMMUNITY RELATIONS

From an early age, Zane Belyea knew he wanted a career that involved helping people. He earned a degree in social work and psychology at Southern Illinois University, then worked with abused and neglected children. Zane next worked in the education industry, eventually becoming vice president of recruitment for a large education firm. Many years of business travel and a growing family in Dallas led Zane to look for a new career path, so he followed the advice of one of his mentors and began a new career in the funeral industry.

True to his roots in social work, Zane finds it deeply rewarding to help families during one of the worst moments of their lives, and he’s instilled that passion for creating highly personal celebrations of life throughout Distinctive Life. “Every member of our team has a solemn commitment to serve all of our families well beyond their expectations,” says Zane. “We absolutely won’t let them down.”

Liz Vargas

OWNER/HUMAN RESOURCES

As the vice president of accounting at Distinctive Life, Liz Vargas is responsible for the financials, procedures, budgets, and human resources for all Distinctive Life locations. Before joining the company, Liz worked as an accounting professional for more than 25 years in different industries. She specializes in the direction and setup of accounting systems, as well as establishing policies and procedures for financial and operational activities for startup companies. In her spare time, Liz enjoys working in her garden and watching the Houston Astros – her favorite sports team.

Antionette Prasit

LOCATION MANAGER/FUNERAL DIRECTOR

Antionette is a native Houstonian and graduated from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service in 2006 in which she received her Associate’s Degree in Funeral Service and Embalming. She is currently licensed in the State of Texas. She is a member of the Texas Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association. She began her career in 2004 serving families at Forest Park Lawndale Funeral Home and was employed with Service Corporation International for many years. She also was employed with the NorthStar Memorial Group and South Park Funeral Home in Pearland. She takes great pride and honor in serving families.

In her spare time, she enjoys the beach, fishing, water sports, reading and spending quality time with her husband, Rick, her son, Giovanni and her daughter, Victoria. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints.

Shawn E Simon

FUNERAL DIRECTOR

Shawn is a 1993 graduate of Commonwealth Institute and holds an Associate’s Degree in Funeral Service and is currently licensed in the State of Texas as a Funeral Director.  He is a member of the Texas Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association. Shawn brings over 25 years of experience serving as a funeral director and manager. He has served thousands of families at some of Houston’s finest funeral homes and cemeteries, including Geo. H Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors, Forest Park Westheimer, Forest Park Lawndale, J.B. Earthman – Tanglewood Funeral Directors and Memorial Oaks Funeral Home.

Shawn is originally from South Louisiana and moved to Texas in 1988. In his spare time, he enjoys landscaping, hunting, traveling, napping and spending time with his family. He has one daughter, Kristin and 3 awesome grandchildren, Layne, Jaxon and Rylan.  He is currently a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

Rachell Cantu

PROVISIONAL FUNERAL DIRECTOR

A Texas native, Rachell Cantu grew up outside Houston and earned an associate degree from the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services. After working for a funeral home in Missouri, Rachell returned to Texas and joined Distinctive Life in 2016. She has gained experience in all aspects of funeral directing and cremation from start to finish and is fulfilling her desire to support the loved ones left behind after a death. In her spare time, Rachell enjoys spending time with her family and friends or relaxing with her cat named Shades.

Ana Arias

FUNERAL ASSISTANT

Ana Arias derives great satisfaction as a funeral director from helping families plan and coordinate a celebration of life service. “I get to help people,” says Ana. “I get to help them celebrate the life of someone they love during one of the toughest times.” She joined Distinctive Life after earning a degree in business administration from Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, N.J., and a mortuary science degree at the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City.

Jenny Sanchez

FUNERAL ASSISTANT

With a passion for working in the funeral industry that began in her teen years, Jenny Sanchez has found her niche assisting and supporting families in their most difficult moments of grief. Formerly a medical assistant and an office assistant to a defense attorney, Jenny now serves as a funeral assistant at Distinctive Life. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys spending time with her two young children playing hide-&-seek and making many different crafts activities.

Jane Shapiro

PRE-PLANNING ADVISOR

Houston Distinctive Life Funeral Homes is proud that Jane R. Shapiro has joined our team. Jane will be working as our Executive Planning Advisor, assisting families with making funeral pre-arrangements. She has been a part of the Houston community for 35 years.

  • Formerly with Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services and The Medallion Assisted Living residence
  • Member of the Houston Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Josh Reinitz

PRE-PLANNING ADVISOR

Since childhood, Josh has been instilled with the value of loving kindness.  This emphasis on caring for others and the community, led Josh to pursue a career in the funeral industry.  Josh’s heartfelt approach to educating individuals and families about their end of life decisions brings ease and comfort to difficult conversations.  Josh feels privileged to work alongside families to ensure that they have an exceptional experience when preparing for the inevitable. In joining Distinctive Life, Josh brings several years of experience as a pre-planning advisor and a friendly face to the Houston community.

When Josh is not working at Distinctive Life, he is serving the Houston community as an HFD firefighter at Station 37 on Stella Link.  Being a firefighter has further strengthened Josh’s passion as a helping professional. Josh is the co-founder and director of The Captain Renaud Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance Houston firefighters and their families after a line of duty death, catastrophic injury, or work-acquired cancer diagnoses.

Though they’ve known each other since their school days, Josh married Houston-native, Sarah Goldman, in 2013.  Josh and Sarah love living and raising their family in the neighborhood where they grew up.  They have two sons, Henry and Bowen.