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N.J. LIC. NO. 3652
It’s no surprise families living in Holmdel and the surrounding communities of Monmouth County choose Bill Boglioli and Holmdel Funeral Home when making funeral arrangements for a loved one. These people either choose to return to Bill because they’ve personally experienced the quality of care he provides; or they’ve had recommendations from friends or neighbors who know Bill’s professional commitment firsthand.
Many will tell you Bill is one of the most caring men you’ll ever meet—one who has guided them through life’s saddest moments with grace, compassion, and kindness. And for Bill, these relationships are at the core of his career of service as a funeral director.
His Inspiration Came Early
Unlike most of us, Bill knew his life’s calling as a child. A Long Branch native, he frequently visited his grandfather in Blairstown, NJ, and the two would visit family friends who owned a funeral home. It was not long before Bill developed a fascination with, and a passion for, the business. By the time he was 17, in 1977; he had begun working for Woolley Funeral Home and has never left this “second home.”
After attending Monmouth College and graduating from the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City in 1982, Bill began his formal practice as a licensed funeral director at Woolley Funeral Home. When longtime friend and owner Bruce Woolley died suddenly in 2009, Bill took over as manager, and in 2011, he bought what is now called Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home.
In 2015, Bill and his wife Denise acquired the Holmdel Funeral Home.
Certainly this acquisition required Bill to change the way he serves families. At one time he was the exclusive contact and worked on every aspect of a family’s funeral arrangements. He now sees his role differently. “I can best serve our families by hiring exemplary funeral professionals,” says Bill, “and then letting each–with my guidance and oversight– do what they do best. Whereas now I’m not sitting in on every arrangement conference, I do try to attend just about every service.”
The people Bill hired have proven themselves not only to be attentive to detail (there’s a lot of paperwork in funeral service): but also to be patient and sincere when dealing with families. “Our overriding intention is to help them carry their burden of grief while at the same time, behind the scenes, taking care of all the paperwork and logistical planning, giving them the time they need to grieve.
“I’ve long thought both an honor and a privilege to be there for those who walk through our door. Even though we now have two locations, nothing’s changed in that regard.” For Bill, the funeral homes are more than a business–they represent his life’s purpose.
Hobbies, Interests, Family Ties and Civic Responsibilities
Knowing the importance of work-life balance, Bill will be the first to tell you that golf, being with his family, and listening to Bruce Springsteen are three things which help him to relax. An avid golfer, when asked what he loves most about the game, he quickly says, "everything." Bill especially appreciates the words of Bobby Jones, Jr., the famous early 20th century amateur American golfer who retired over 80 years ago. "Golf is the closest game to the game we call life." He goes on to explain why. "You get bad breaks from good shots; "you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies."
When asked, it really comes as no surprise that "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" is one of Bill's favorite Springsteen songs. "It's got upbeat, positive lyrics, and an easy, soulful grace. No matter the kind of day I'm having, listening to this song turns it around."
Bill is happily married to the former Denise Jackson, and they have two sons, Chris and Scott. They recently had the joy watching both young men graduate: one from law school and another from West Virginia university.
In addition to enjoying his busy family life and passionate interests, Bill has always been very active in his community. This record of service was acknowledged on the state level in 1997, when then-Governor Christine Todd Whitman appointed him to the Governor’s Property Tax Commission. During that same time, he was also appointed to the Attorney Fee Arbitration Board by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
In Service to Monmouth County and to his Profession
Bill's record of public service in Monmouth County includes the 12 years he served on the West Long Branch Council, and the 11 years as chairperson of the Police Committee. He is also a former member of both the West Long Branch Zoning Board of Adjustment and the United Way of Monmouth County.
Today, Bill's civic responsibilities include his work as a member of the Advisory Board of The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center.
Bill is a past president of the Long Branch Rotary Club, having also held the position of treasurer.
He is an active supporter of the Long Branch Elks Lodge #742, the New Jersey Funeral Directors Association, and St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Long Branch, where he serves on the parish finance council.
Today, Bill is an active member of the Holmdel Kiwanis Club as well as the Colts Neck Business Association and Business Exchange.
In addition to these many responsibilities, as a member of the Service Corporation Board of New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, his insights and experience are invaluable in guiding the future of funeral service in the state of New Jersey.
Denise Boglioli is the wife and business partner of Bill Boglioli. Together they recently took on the responsibilities of ownership of Holmdel Funeral Home, just three years after assuming ownership of Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home in Long Branch.
She is a vital part of the operation of both facilities, serving in an administrative capacity. Denise works closely with families on all insurance-related issues; and when called upon, she supports her colleagues and funeral service guests as a ‘funeral service attendant’.
A native of Long Branch, Denise remained a resident until 1987, when she moved to West Long Branch. She did not stay away long, returning here in 2012; just months after she and her husband Bill purchased the Woolley Funeral Home, where he had been manager since the death of Bruce Woolley in 2009.
Upon the change in ownership, the couple also changed the name of the firm to Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home, thereby honoring the legacy of community service left by the five generations of the Woolley family, whose goal it was to provide compassionate end-of-life care to the residents of Long Branch. Today, despite now owning two locations, the couple continues to follow the long-standing tradition of living on funeral home premises; splitting residency between the Holmdel and Long Branch locations.
For sixteen years, Denise was a board member of the Ronald McDonald House in Long Branch, now known as the Ronald McDonald House of Central and Northern New Jersey. After her position on the board ended, she became the Business Coordinator for the house–fulfilling the duties of the position for three and a half years. Currently, Denise is an active member of both the Long Branch Chamber of Commerce and the Uptown Business Group.
Denise and her husband are the parents of two adult children, Chris and Scott.
*Denise Boglioli is unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funerals.*
James D. Gerahty III
Born in New York City's borough of Brooklyn, James (“Jim”) graduated from Saint Athanasius Catholic Academy; a parochial elementary school taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
He then matriculated and graduated from Bishop Ford Diocesan High School, operated Franciscan Brothers. Due to a drop in enrollment, the school closed in 2014.
Continuing with his parochial education; after graduation from Bishop Ford, James chose to attend St. Francis College in Brooklyn–which was also run by the Franciscan Brothers. “I especially like the school’s tagline: ‘The Small College of Big Dreams’”.
Jim dreamed of becoming a funeral director. “I always wanted to be a funeral director. It probably came from all those years as an altar boy when I was frequently pulled out of school to participate in one funeral mass or another. I loved the ritual and ceremony of a traditional Catholic service; it wasn’t just the beauty of the service, it was its transformative power.”
This long-standing dream led him to then study mortuary science at the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in Manhattan.
It wasn’t until he passed both the National Board examination as well as the New York State licensing exam that he could serve his required one-year internship. But his practical experience in the profession began much earlier, when he served as an attendant and receptionist for three corporately-owned funeral firms in New York, Riverside Memorial Chapel, the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, and the Walter B. Cooke Funeral Homes. James served his required residency at two of these three locations: Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapels and the Riverside Memorial Chapel.
James received his New York State Funeral Director's license in 1976. It's no surprise: the four decades since his successful completion of the state's licensing requirements have yielded a wealth of experience–all of which benefits each of the families he serves today.
First-Generation Funeral Director
James is the first in his family to choose to work in the funeral profession. It’s interesting to note Bill Boglioli is also a first generation funeral director. Both men knew, early in life, funeral service was their chosen profession. “It’s not just a job; it’s a vocation; which as Thomas Merton, an American Trappist Monk, said, and “...does not come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to be something I am not It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God.”
It seems, years ago, James and Bill heard the same voice; compelling them to walk the same uncommon path.
James is very knowledgeable about what's involved in national and international body transfers, a service more and more families require.
Before moving his family to Manalapan, New Jersey in 1990, James made the most of his time as a New York funeral director. From 1982 to 1996, he was one of the owners of the Dennis J. Kennedy Funeral Home in Woodside, Queens, New York.
Later, he served as a manager of the Kennedy Roth Funeral Home, also in Woodside. He also served residents of Brooklyn for three years, as a staff member of Ridge Chapels in Brooklyn.
One of the unique things about New York is the ethnic diversity; there are lots of opportunities to work with families of different cultural heritages. Many have strong ties to their nation of origin. “This meant I had to become an expert at national and international body repatriation. Making arrangements for the transportation of a deceased individual involves a lot of paperwork, all of which has to be properly completed and filed with the proper agencies.” Today, local families in need of repatriation services benefit from all that experience.”
One more thing about his time in New York: James spent 13 years serving as a volunteer in the Woodside Volunteer Ambulance Corps (from 1983-1996). “I was young; it was exciting–especially on the weekends. It was great!”
As you’re aware, things change. The funeral home “landscape” in New York changed dramatically in the late 1980’s, which prompted James to move his family to New Jersey back in 1990. This change then forced him to obtain a New Jersey Funeral Director License, which he did in 1999.
He joined the staff of Holmdel Funeral Home in 2005 and works diligently each day in the service of families living in Colts Neck, Hazlet, Marlboro and the surrounding communities.
A Multi-faceted Man: Husband, Father, Gardener, Collector
Funeral service is a heart-driven vocation, but it can take a toll on you. “You give a lot of yourself to every family served; you’re both caregiver and guide, during one of the worst times in their lives. It’s important to relax deeply enough to ‘fill the well’ so you can go back and do the work again tomorrow.”
One thing which serves to relax James is cultivating and landscaping with flowers. But if you were to ask James about his favorite flowers, he’d laughingly say “Whatever my wife picks out.” Mary Anne also makes flowers a focus of her relaxation time, crafting floral arrangements and wreaths using silk flowers.
His easy-going attitude about the flowers he’s to plant just might be one of the hundred small reasons for the longevity of his marriage. Jim and his wife Mary Anne celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary in 2016. “But, we’ve been a part of one another’s life for 43 years, having known one another as teens.”
How did the relationship stand the test of time (and raising three children to adulthood)? “At the end of the day,” Jim believes, “if you can you honestly say your spouse is your best friend, everything will be work out.”
He continues on the same spiritual path begun all those years ago in Brooklyn. Today he and his wife are active members of the Parish of Saint Thomas More, in Manalapan.
If asked, James will tell you his favorite songwriter and performer is John Lennon. Every December 8th, he attends the Strawberry Fields memorial event in Central Park. It’s not much of a surprise, considering his personality, religious beliefs and profession, that his two favorite songs are “Imagine” and “In My Life”.
When it’s not gardening season, James spends his time collecting scale model airliners, trains and model railroads. “I had an attic filled with hundreds of die-cast models of all types, but a house fire destroyed them all. So, now I’m having a second round of fun, replacing the models lost. When people ask me why I do this, I say someday I’ll have grandchildren. But that’s just an excuse; I really do it for myself!”
James invites and welcomes conversation. If you’d like to get to know him better, pick up the phone, or better yet, drop by our location.
Scott is the youngest son of co-owners Bill and Denise Boglioli and the newest member of our staff. He joins us as a registered intern with the State Board of Mortuary Science of New Jersey.
He grew up locally, spending his early years on the campuses of two West Long Branch Public Schools: Betty McElmon Elementary and Frank Antonides Middle School. After graduation from Shore Regional High School, Scott entered West Virginia University where he studied business.
Upon receiving his Bachelor’s degree, Scott entered the Mercer County College Mortuary Science Program, where he continues to take the courses required for professional licensure in New Jersey.
*Scott Boglioli is unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funerals.*