At a time when many funeral homes are owned by mega-corporations and listed on the national stock exchanges, Hill Funeral Home is rising above this trend by remaining a local family owned business. Currently operated by 3rd, 4th and 5th generation Funeral Directors, we are proud to be the only family owned Funeral Home in the Puyallup Valley. As other local, family owned businesses have faded away, been bought out or moved on, Hill's reputation for integrity and honesty, and the efforts of a dedicated staff, has allowed them to continue serving Puyallup to this day.
In 1904 Ernest Newville Hill, a decorated Spanish American War veteran, was working for a Tacoma funeral home as an
embalmer/funeral director. He ventured out on his own starting a funeral business in Puyallup in 1908. A two story
building in the 400 block of North Meridian was his first location. He and his wife Mabel lived above the funeral home
where a son, Vernon Hill, was born later that same year.
At that time horse drawn livery services provided the hearse from church to cemetery; often paid for in gold coins.
He pioneered the use of motor powered funeral coaches in Pierce County with a horse drawn Cunningham body adapted to
a Winton Six chassis with dry cell ignition.
When the Independent Order of Odd Fellows built a new two story building on West Pioneer Ave., Ernest, a past Noble Grand of Unity Lodge #18, rented their first floor of the building for his mortuary. Several years later when larger quarters were needed for the growing business, Ernest moved the mortuary to 321 So. Meridian across from Pioneer Park. In 1921 he established the first, "Funeral Home" type mortuary in the State of Washington by converting the Gabrielson mansion at 217 E. Pioneer Ave. into a two story funeral home.
Ernest & Mabel continued to operate Hill Funeral Home and raise their five children. Strong in community service,
Ernest was a charter member of VFW Post #2224, a charter member of the Rotary Club of Puyallup, a member of the Woodmen
of the World, the Puyallup Chamber of Commerce, the Improved Order of Redmen, and the Rebekah Lodge. In 1953 son
Vernon joined the firm and purchased the funeral home in 1957. In 1959 a new, more modern funeral home was built.
Vernon Hill was a decorated army veteran of WW II. (Ernest had volunteered for military service but then in his
sixties was turned down.) Vernon was active in the community serving as District Governor for Kiwanis. He was
a member of the same VFW Post as Ernest and the American Legion Post #67 which has now been re-named the R. Vernon
Hill Memorial Post.
In 1966 Terry & Lucille Davies joined the firm with the understanding that they would buy the firm at Vernon's
retirement. This was effected in 1977. Strong in service the Davies' continue in the Hill tradition. The Davies'
are active in Rotary, the Fraternal Order of Elks, Altrusa and Masonic orders. In 1980 their son David joined the
firm. Continuing in the family tradition started by Terry's grandfather in Roslyn, WA, in 1889, this family continues
to offer funeral services in each succeeding generation. The Davies' oldest daughter Debbie and her daughter April
are also employed at Hill Funeral Home
Family helping families.