Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Ever since we opened our gates we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are not a burial ground. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
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.
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
Rob & Rianna Westford
Owner/Funeral Director/Pre-planning Expert
Rob, son of Jack and Nancy, graduated from Bellingham High School in 1993 and the University of Washington in 1997. He has owned and operated Westford’s since 2005. Rob is a member of Rotary, Elder Service Providers, and is active in his church. Rianna and Rob were married in 2012, and she now manages Broadway Hall and assists with many of the funeral home functions. Rob and Rianna enjoy trips to Whistler and Maui, boating on Lake Whatcom, hiking at Mt. Baker, and spending time with their dog Brody and their cat Bailey.
Jack & Nancy Westford
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
Paul 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 joined Westford in 2014. 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.
After living in North Dakota for 27 years, she and her husband Dave moved to Bellingham in May of 2017. She has worked in the funeral industry for many years. Kim is an excellent listener and communicator while being a compassionate professional. As a WA licensed insurance agent, Kim assists individuals in the area of funeral pre-planning.
Whether officiating as a Life Celebrant, providing music or assisting the funeral director as needs arise, Kim wants to ensure that every family feels they are valued and that the life of their loved-one is remembered and celebrated.
When officiating, Kim meets with the family to gather life stories, special memories, favorite songs and poems that tell the story of a life well-lived. She will then design a personalized, creative and thoughtful tribute to share at a gathering with friends and family—truly celebrating the life of your loved one.
Kim's husband David is a pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bellingham and the Wagner's have four adult children and four grandchildren. Kim is a breast cancer survivor and her hobbies include singing, caring for their two dogs, collecting fabric and drinking coffee with friends.
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.
Ally was raised in Whatcom County and is the third of seven children. She received her Funeral Director and Embalming license from Mount Hood Community College in Portland, OR in 2011. Ally is so grateful to be serving families in the area she calls home and is honored to be a part of the Westford team. She is gifted at making meaningful connections with all different types of people.
Ally and her husband, Joe, love spending time in the great outdoors, road trips, cooking, board games, and spending time with friends, family, and their Great Dane Monk.