History of Willow Glen Funeral Home
Willow Glen Funeral Home is located in the heart of Willow Glen at 1039 Lincoln Avenue. Carl N. Swenson was a local builder who, in 1946, founded the business (then called Chapel of the Psalms) and remodeled the building.
On February 10, 1955, Bob Accinelli and his parents purchased the business and named the funeral home Willow Glen Mortuary. The name was later changed to Willow Glen Funeral Chapel and then to its current name of Willow Glen Funeral Home.
Mr. Accinelli originally wanted to be a doctor but didn’t like the idea that he couldn’t help all the patients. As a funeral director, he could help all families to the best of his abilities.
Willow Glen was truly a family-run business. Mr. Accinelli’s mother and father helped by answering the phones and greeting families at the door. His two daughters both worked as secretaries for a time, and his youngest son Christopher went to embalming school in San Francisco. Christopher eventually married and decided to change careers.
In the late 1950s, Mr. Accinelli brought on Clark Taketa, a respectable and gentle man. Mr. Taketa and his wife Alice truly loved working with Mr. Accinelli and serving the community.
In 1974, Ralph Gray and his sister Mary Gertrude Gray decided to sell their own funeral home building to their son and dissolved the W.B. Ward Funeral Home business, which was one of the oldest existing funeral homes at the time, dating back to 1888. Mr. Gray visited the Accinellis in their home and said he was "looking for a place to hang his hat.” Mr. Accinelli respected Mr. Gray and they shook hands on it.
In 1985, Mr. Accinelli passed away. Mrs. Accinelli says she will always be grateful to the Grays for extending themselves and offering to help her keep the business going if she wanted. Because Mrs. Accinelli knew how much her husband loved people and his business, she felt it was a natural decision for her to stay and carry on after he died.
In 1995, Mrs. Accinelli decided it was time to retire and leave the Bay area. She sold the funeral home to an affiliate of Service Corporation International in 1996 and the business is now a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers.
Mr. Accinelli began his business with a commitment to a high standard of service, and throughout our history we have continued to lead and innovate while maintaining those high standards of service. Everyone at Willow Glen Funeral Home is proud to uphold this heritage and commitment to our community.