In this case, I got lucky. I first searched the Solano County phone book for the year that Susan Tanner passed away and found Carroll Tanner listed in Benicia. That led me to the conclusion that Susan Tanner may have been living in Benicia when she passed away. I just happen to have a book published by Ivolue Lantrip (who passed away in 2003) indexing the Passalacqua Funeral Home Records. I know that that is the only funeral home in Benicia. I searched that book and found the information I provided in my reply.
As far as funeral home records being a great source of information, it depends on the funeral home. Some funeral homes have gone out of business and their records may not be available or difficult to find. Some funeral homes that are still in business may not be genealogist-friendly. There is one funeral home in this area that will not give you any information unless "you have a court order." I have found other funeral homes to be quite helpful.