History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
THREE GENERATIONS OF SERVICE
Westford Funeral Home has a proud tradition of serving our community for three generations. John E. Westford, raised on a ranch in North Dakota, trained to become a funeral director/embalmer. After moving to Bellingham, he married Veronica and worked in various funeral homes. In 1943 he and Veronica purchased the Homer Mark Mortuary. Thus was founded Westford Funeral Home. Through the years the business grew as it reflected John's personal qualities of warmth, caring, and a commitment to service. Serving as Mayor of Bellingham for 12 years, President of Washington State Funeral Directors, National Boardmember of the American Cancer Society, and initiating Bellingham's Sister City Program with Tateyama, Japan, were just some of the ways in which John served his community. In 1965, John and Veronica decided to relocate the funeral home from Cornwall Ave. and built a new facility overlooking Bellingham Bay at the corner of Broadway and West Holly St.
John and Veronica retired in 1975 when their son Jack and his wife Nancy purchased the business. Under Jack's leadership the firm grew and continued its commitment to serving grieving families and giving back to the community. Jack has served as President of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce, State Chairman of the Jobs for Veterans Task Force, President of his Parish Council, Boardmember of Washington State Funeral Directors, State Chairman and National Boardmember for Disaster Preparedness, District Chairman of Boy Scout Council, Commander of the American Legion, and Rotary Boardmember and Paul Harris Fellow. Jack is known for leading various fundraisers and giving salmon barbecues for local charities. In the early 1980's a Pre-Need division was formed followed by the establishment of Bellingham Monuments and Bellingham Cremation. Jack purchased the historic Westford Hall, formerly the Aftermath Hall, as a venue for funeral receptions.
In 2002 after graduating UW and working for several years in software development Rob Westford, Jack and Nancy's son, returned to Bellingham to enter funeral service. He became General Manager and began purchasing the funeral home in 2005. A third-generation funeral director, Rob has combined his lifetime of experience in funeral service, his total dedication to grieving families, and his innovative ideas to provide new services for today's families.
Westford Funeral Home has adapted to changing times and changing consumer needs. As we look back, we see a firm foundation and tradition of which we can be proud. We look forward to meeting the challenges of the future in serving the needs of the people of Bellingham and surrounding Whatcom County.
Rob Westford, Owner/Funeral Director/Pre-planning Expert
Rob, son of Jack and Nancy, graduated from the U.W. in 1997 with a degree in Business and worked for 5 years in software development in Seattle. In 2002 he returned to Bellingham to work with his family. Rob is a member of the Rotary Club of Bellingham, serves on the Elder Service Providers board, and is active in his church. As an Eagle Scout, Rob continues to volunteer with the local Boy Scout Council. Rob is also a Certified Celebrant and is trained to create and lead “Life-Centered” services.
Jack & Nancy Westford, Funeral Directors
Jack and Nancy purchased the business in 1975 from his parents, John and Veronica Westford. Jack, a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer, was born and raised in Bellingham, graduated from San Francisco College of Mortuary Science, served in the military, then returned to Bellingham to work in the family business. After graduating from WWU, Nancy taught school, then changed careers to work in funeral service with Jack. As a husband and wife team, Jack and Nancy have raised three children and enjoy two grandchildren. They are active in their church, veterans’, and community service activities. Jack and Nancy continue to assist at the funeral home in a variety of roles.
Paul V. Spinelli, Funeral Director
Paul was born in Minneapolis, MN, grew up on the East Coast, and moved to Kitsap County where he graduated high school and met his wife Vicki. Paul earned his Mortuary Science degree in 1978 and moved to Bellingham, where he worked with Moles for over 35 years, much of it as the manager in Bellingham. He enjoys beekeeping, gardening, reading and spending time with his children and grandchildren. Paul is an active member of Faith Lutheran Church. Paul brings to Westford a passion for serving families, a warm and caring personality, and a tremendous amount of experience.
Giancarlo Gacad, Office / Operations Manager
Giancarlo grew up in Bellingham and graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in business management. With over fifteen years of business operations and management experience, Giancarlo coordinates everything necessary to make sure families have the best possible experience in their times of need. After living in Japan and Portland, he decided to raise his family in Bellingham, where he met his wife Kara. Giancarlo is an excited new father, an avid snowboarder and regular at Mount Baker, an active dancer and host in the Cuban salsa and fusion dance communities, and a personal sushi chef.
Greg Brethour, Pre-planning Expert
Greg, a Bellingham native, graduated from WWU with a degree in Business and is a Family Service Counselor. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force and three years in the Washington Air National Guard. His wife Ursula works for the Bellingham School District and they have two wonderful kids and two grandchildren. Greg is a past commander of the Albert J. Hamilton American Legion Post #7 in Bellingham, He stays active as post chair for the Boys State program and coordinating various Legion programs in the community. Greg is also a member of Bellingham Senior Center, Assumption Catholic Church and serves on the local Salvation Army Advisory Board. Greg can assist your family in understanding the benefits of planning ahead, veterans benefits, and with our Emergency Alert Card and pre-paid funeral plans.
Brenda Westford, Project Manager
Daughter of Jack and Nancy, Brenda graduated from Bellingham High School, and WWU. She is our Project Manager & enjoys completing jobs with class & excellence. Making a difference in peoples' lives is important to her as she volunteers with a NGO. During her free time Brenda enjoys boating & photography.
Elizabeth Suel, Reception Coordinator
Elizabeth is the 11th of 13 children raised on a farm in Minnesota. She was educated in Catholic schools and is an active member and volunteer at Church of the Assumption in Bellingham. Elizabeth as an R.N. in a hospital for 30 years and still a volunteers as a caregiver. She has two children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren that are all very close and very special to her. She assists with services and receptions at Westford Funeral Home and Broadway Hall.
Linda Haddon, Life Celebrant
Many Northwest families want a Celebration of Life but do not have a pastor or clergy to lead a gathering. Linda Haddon believes that every life deserves to be celebrated and that the gathering should be personal, inspiring and healing. Widowed at 33 years of age, she became active in grief support work for several years. Linda was one of the first Certified Life Celebrants in the U.S. and has conducted over 900 remembrance gatherings. Her goal is “whether someone attending the gathering has ever met the deceased or not, by the time they leave, they will truly KNOW who that person was.” Every person is unique and every celebration needs to be about the person, about their legacy and all the memories their loved ones hold so dear. The gathering may include prayers and readings to reflect the deceased’s beliefs. If Linda is available to lead your gathering she guarantees it will be a positive experience.
Veronica and her husband John E. Westford were co-founders of Westford Funeral Home (formerly Homer Mark Mortuary). While working at the funeral home, husband Johnny was Mayor of Bellingham from 1956-1965. John died in 1991. Veronica was born in Mohall, ND, worked as a Registered Nurse, and raised five children. Veronica enjoys spending time with her family, playing bridge, needlework and walking. She currently resides in Bellingham.