History & Staff
How it all Began
We’ve got to go back many years to unearth our roots in this lovely part of Oregon. Many families in our area have roots as deep as ours; we share a common nurturing from the natural setting we’ve so enjoyed.
Virgil E. Hull, the founding father of Hull & Hull, moved to Grants Pass with his parents, when he was just 10 years old. After graduating from Grants Pass High School in 1926, he traveled to Ohio to study at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, earning his degree just two years later.
Returning to this area shortly after graduating, Virgil established Hull & Hull Funeral Directors, at Sixth & I Streets in Grants Pass. His business partner was his cousin, Ben; so you can see that it’s been a family owned business from the very beginning.
In 1931, Esther M. Harmelink married Virgil and together they raised four sons; William Ellsworth, Virgil Frederick, Jerry Edward and Thomas Michael. Their marriage was truly a partnership, as Esther was an instrumental part of the day-to-day business in the funeral home.
Virgil was to serve the community as Josephine County Coroner, beginning in 1932. He was also active in professional and civic organizations, serving as president of the Oregon Funeral Directors Association; as a charter member of the Grants Pass Elks Lodge, a member of the Golden Rule Lodge No. 78 IOOF and Grants Pass Lodge No. 84 AF & AM.
His was a full, rich, spiritually-grounded life as he was also a very active member of First Assembly of God Church. When he was able to get away for a few hours, he enjoyed his personal passion: fishing in our local rivers.
The Second Generation
If we look back a mere 46 years, we see Virgil and Esther’s son joining the firm, after attending both the University of Oregon and the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science. Upon graduation from these institutions, Virgil F. “Fred” Hull served in the U.S. Army. It was 1962 when this second generation of the Hull family entered into the firm.
Just two years later, in 1964, his wife, Diane, joined the firm. The partnership of Fred and Diane mirrored that of his parents; not only did they work side-by-side in the business; they raised two children together, Kirk and Kendra. The Hull & Hull family extended its reach into the community in 1982, when they started Southern Oregon Cremation Services. They had heard many families express the need for such services, and they rose to the occasion in the expansion.
The Third Generation
It was Kirk and Kendra, the next generation to join the firm, who helped to lead the Hull & Hull Funeral Home into the 21st century. Kirk came into service in 1988, his sister just 3 years later; and each truly enriches the business.
Continued expansion has been the hallmark of the passed 12 years. In 1996, the firm purchased Hawthorne Memorial Gardens, and just 10 years later, we purchased Cave Junction’s Illinois Valley Funeral Directors.
A Legacy of Service
In the more than 80 years since Virgil E. Hull founded our firm, families have trusted Hull & Hull Funeral Directors to serve them, and care for their loved ones. We are proud of the legacy left to us, and promise to continue this long-standing tradition of excellence in service.
Our Valued Staff
Fred Hull, Funeral Service Practitioner/Embalmer
Fred Hull is a licensed funeral service practitioner and embalmer. After graduating from the University of Oregon, San Francisco College of Mortuary Science, and serving in the U.S. Army, he began working full-time at the funeral home. Fred’s parents, Virgil & Esther Hull started the funeral home in 1928. Although Fred is primarily retired, he still spends many hours helping out in various capacities of the business. Fred is active at Parkway Christian Center as an elder and sings in the choir. For the last 20 years he has volunteered at the Josephine County Fair as agriculture superintendent. He especially enjoys being with his four grandchildren. He spends as much time as possible outdoors – gardening, mushroom hunting, walking/hiking, camping, and bird and deer hunting.
Diane Hull, Funeral Service Practitioner
Diane joined her husband Fred Hull in the family business a year after they were married in 1961. A licensed funeral service practitioner, she lived and worked in the funeral home from 1964 until 1993 when a home away from the business was built. Diane continues to work full-time, but has shifted her responsibilities over the years and is now doing mostly bookkeeping work. She is active in the choir and Women’s Ministries among other things at Parkway Christian Center, which she has attended since 1955. She spends as much time as possible delighting in her four grandchildren. She also enjoys rubber stamping, traveling, and playing the piano.
Robert F. Matson, Funeral Service Practitioner/Manager
Bob has lived in Grants Pass since 1960. He attended Murphy grade school, Lincoln Savage Middle School and is a 1974 Graduate of Grants Pass High School. During his college years he began working with the Hull family. After graduating from Southern Oregon University in 1979 he started a full time career in funeral service with Hull & Hull Funeral Directors. Married in 1982 to Melinda, he has two daughters and enjoys sports, reading and family activities. Bob has a passion for his chosen profession and is honored to help families before and after a need arises.
Jerry Monnet, Retired Funeral Service Practitioner/Embalmer
Jerry is now retired...but we love him so much we just can't bare to take him off our list of valued staff. Jerry's hobbies are hunting mushrooms, fishing, and he is known for his dedication to family. Jerry and his wife, Maxine, have been married for over 50 years, and have three grown children, nine grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.
Kirk Hull, Grounds Foreman
Kirk is the is the son of Fred & Diane Hull and a grandson of the original funeral home owners, Virgil & Esther Hull. Kirk was born and raised in Grants Pass all the while living at the funeral home. After graduation in 1988 from Southern Oregon State College in Ashland, he began working full-time at the funeral home. He later started working at the cemetery and became manager several years ago. Kirk married his wife, Heidi (Woolsey) in September 1999 and they have two daughters. Family life is cherished by Kirk and Heidi and therefore they spend most of their time raising their girls. As a family they enjoy camping, visiting family cabins in Eastern Oregon and at Galice; as well as fishing and hunting.
Lyn D. Stanger, Funeral Service Practitioner/Advance Planning
Lyn has worked with Hull & Hull Funeral Directors since 1989 as a funeral service practitioner and embalmer. Together with her husband, she has three sons and two daughters. Through End-of-life Care, Lyn's wish is to help celebrate life, and counts it an honor to help the most helpless person ... someone who has died. A favorite quote of Lyn's is from a wise pastor who once said, "We are not at this memorial because someone has died. We are here because of a life well lived!" Lyn is thankful everyday to have the opportunity to help her community in this way.
Kendra Johnson, Funeral Service Practitioner/Office Manager
Kendra Johnson is the third generation of the Hull family to serve as a funeral service practitioner here at Hull & Hull Funeral Home. Kendra was born and raised in Grants Pass and graduated from Southern Oregon University with degrees in both Business Administration and Elementary Education. She is married to Ryan Johnson, a local contractor, and has two children. She has been living and/or working at Hull & Hull her entire life, but has been working full-time since 1991. She loves helping others and finds the experience of her profession greatly rewarding.
David Grow, Funeral Service Practitioner/Embalmer
Dave was born in Southern California and moved to Grants Pass with his parents in 1966. He attended Merlin and Manzanita Elementary schools, Fleming Jr. High and Grants PassHigh School. As a young adult Dave lived in both Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington working as a manufacture sales representative before returning to Grants Pass in 1985. From 1985 to 2003 he worked as a police officer and detective with the City of Grants Pass Department of Public Safety. He attended Rogue Community College and Mt.Hood Community College where he received an Associate of Applied Science degree. Dave joined the Hull & Hull family in 2003 and is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. Dave and his wife Desieree have five grown children and seven grandchildren. Dave enjoys spending time with his family, dogs, horses and playing old time country and bluegrass music.
Eileen Lingg, Support Person
Eileen has been with Hull & Hull Funeral Directors and Southern Oregon Cremation Services since 1989. As a Funeral Service Practitioner, Life Insurance licensee. Eileen is well qualified to lend compassionate and professional support. She was born and raised in Grants Pass and has two grown daughters, six grandchildren and two dogs. She enjoys flower gardening, camping with her family and taking trips to the coast.
Bryan Lingg, Funeral Service Practitioner
Bryan was born in Southern California and moved to Grants Pass in 2001 to be closer to his Dad. He worked for the City of Santa Monica as a Police Officer in various capacities. He first became interested in the death care industry in 1993 after his mom died. He received that opportunity with Hull & Hull in 2007. He appreciates the opportunity to extend the long standing tradition of care and compassion that Hull & Hull is known for. He has firsthand knowledge of that wonderful care when his grandson past away and Hull & Hull handled the arrangements. Bryan has two grown children and two grandsons. He likes spending time with family and friends as well as his two dogs.