Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home and Valhalla Gardens of Memory serve families in Belleville, Illinois, and around St. Clair County. Working together, the funeral home and cemetery allow you to conveniently take care of all your funeral and burial arrangements.
- Catered Receptions
- Funeral Celebrants
- Event Space
Personal funeral planning
At Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home, our team considers it a calling to serve grieving families. We offer understanding and care as we help you through the funeral planning process. With us, you have the option of a traditional or contemporary service that honors your loved one.
Every life has a story, and we showcase that story through personalized funeral and cremation services that reflect individuality. Our team welcomes the opportunity to help you create a service that celebrates life and brings peace to family and friends. We also offer refreshments and catering in our spacious event room.
We Honor Veterans
At Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home and Valhalla Gardens, we understand the unique needs of America’s veterans and their families. As a Level Four Founding Community Partner with We Honor Veterans, we are honored to serve our nation’s heroes and take this responsibility seriously. We have taken steps to ensure our staff is knowledgeable of all the benefits available to military veterans and their families.
In addition, we host community events annually in honor of our veterans and work closely with local veterans organizations. With respect, integrity and dignity, we will walk you through the steps of creating a veteran’s memorial service that truly honors the life and sacrifice of your loved one.
Valhalla Gardens of Memory
Valhalla Gardens of Memory, located at 3412 Frank Scott Parkway West in Belleville, is a well-landscaped cemetery that occupies approximately 67 acres, offering families a peaceful and serene setting.
The cemetery grounds feature numerous trees, beautiful flowers, gentle hills, statues and a lake with live swans, ducks and other wildlife. Additional amenities include a veterans pool surrounded by markers of retired flags, an Avenue of Flags court and flush-to-the-ground monuments. We also offer committal services at our mausoleum.
Commitment to Belleville
The teams at Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home and Valhalla Gardens of Memory remain active in the St. Clair County community. Each year, we host a silent Memorial Day service, featuring our Avenue of Flags that has over 1,500 flag displays and pays tribute to our veterans and military families.
Among the largest in the U.S., the Avenue of Flags tribute flies the original flag, in most cases, that was draped on the casket of veterans in alphabetical order with a special name tag attached. A printed program with a map is provided, so visitors and family members can find their loved one’s flag along the winding avenues of the cemetery. Every year, thousands visit this all-day silent tribute to veterans buried at Valhalla Gardens of Memory.
Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home and Valhalla Gardens of Memory have served families for more than 85 years. It is our pleasure to provide you with the attention you need and the care you deserve. Please contact us to learn more about our funeral home and cemetery options.
Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home in Belleville, Illinois, was founded in September 1930 by Jefferson Bush (J.B.) Azbill. For over 85 years, we have remained dedicated to helping families plan funeral and cremation services that celebrate their loved ones, growing into the full-service funeral home we are today.
The cemetery, which was originally known as Valhalla Burial Park, was the 1st memorial lawn burial park in southwestern Illinois. Development was made up of themed garden sections with spacious lots and walkways surrounded by various trees, bushes and flowers. Memorials were custom, decorative, flat bronze on concrete foundations to maintain a park-like setting.
Azbill passed away suddenly in 1936, after a short illness. His widow, Freda Azbill, took over management and development of the Belleville funeral home and cemetery. Freda remained active as president for 54 years until her death in 1990. Freda was responsible for producing and staging the Avenue of Flags in 1951.
Growing to serve families in Belleville
In 1959, the 1st section of the Valhalla Sanctuary Chapel of Memories Mausoleum was constructed. It included crypts and niches, was constructed of concrete for strength and included a beautiful custom stained-glass window made in Manheim, Germany. Several additions have been added over the years, including more stained-glass windows and statuary art from around the world.
As Valhalla Gardens of Memory grew, new garden sections were enhanced with beautiful full-size marble and bronze statues sculpted in Italy from the same quarries that artist Michelangelo used. One statue in particular, from the Garden of Ascension, was displayed during the 1964 World’s Fair in New York on its way to Belleville.
Local family tradition
David Evans, Freda Azbill’s grandson, who had joined the staff in 1978, took over management of the funeral home and cemetery park after her passing. He continued the construction of new sections, including an underground lawn crypt section, in-ground and above-ground cremation niche options, a crematorium and developed the Valhalla Garden Mausoleum, so families would have multiple choices for their final resting place.
In 1996, Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home opened, offering families a wide range of funeral and cremation service options as well as memorialization choices and the convenience, if desired, of having the cemetery nearby.
Working together, everyone at Valhalla-Gaerdner-Holten Funeral Home and Valhalla Gardens of Memory is poised to continue our many decades of service to the greater Belleville and St. Clair County area.