History of Valley Oaks-Griffin Memorial Park, Mortuary & Crematory

Valley Oaks was built on land that was owned by the American Hawaiian Land Company until it was purchased by Westlake North developer Daniel K. Ludwig. Mr. Ludwig originally envisioned the entire lot as a 182-acre memorial park, but in the 1970s, he reduced the cemetery to its current 42 acres and sold it. At one time Westlake North, the project site and Valley Oaks, the cemetery were the same piece of property. Valley Oaks opened its doors in 1967. Its original management included attorney and vice president Al J. Dietsch, director Darwin F. Dapper and sales director Richard Turgon. Even at its inception, Valley Oaks proved to be appreciative of the local community and protective of its history. In 1969, 29 Conejo Valley pioneer residents were relocated to a specially restored garden in Valley Oaks. This newly restored garden is protected and cared for by the Valley Oaks endowment care fund to remain as a landmark and as a reminder of the early history of the Conejo Valley.

In addition to these preservation efforts, Valley Oaks commemorated the Conejo Valley pioneer rancher, Joseph H. Russell in 1967. Still in its infancy, Valley Oaks created a family estate for the Russell family with a plaque that reads of Mr. Russell's life and his impact on the Conejo Valley. The entrance to the garden is adorned with a great bronze statue of the pioneer. Sprinkled with century-old oak trees, Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial, Mortuary and Crematory is conveniently located right off of the 101 freeway. It is centrally located to and serves the Conejo Valley, Simi Valley, the Ventura area and West San Fernando Valley.

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