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.
In 1938 the Earle Little Funeral Home was founded by Earle and Elsie Little, located at 115 E. Elm Avenue. They operated the business together with a commitment to service until Mr. Little's death in 1961. Richard P. Cavanaugh, an employee since 1948, became a partner in the business with Mrs. Little until her retirement in 1979. Mr. Cavanaugh owned and operated the business until his death in 1992. William A. Bacarella, a longtime employee, purchased the business in 1992, changing the name to the Earle Little Funeral Home, Bacarella Chapel. In 1996 property was purchased with the eventual plan to build a new facility. In 2004 that was realized with the opening of the Bacarella Funeral Home located at 1201 South Telegraph Road.
Our Valued Staff
William A. Bacarella, Funeral Director
Bill Bacarella was born in Monroe in 1963 and has been a life long resident.
In 1981 he graduated from Monroe Catholic Central High School and in 1985 from Monroe County Community College. He is a 1986 graduate of Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science.
In 1982 Bill began working at the Earle Little Funeral Home, and in 1986 he became a Board Certified Funeral Director in Michigan.
In 1992 Bill acquired the funeral Home from Richard P. Cavanaugh.
Bill is a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, National Funeral Directors Association, and Michigan Funeral Directors Association, which he served as past president of district #2. He serves on the Ethics Committee at Mercy Memorial Hospital, the Advisory Board of Mercy Memorial Hospice of Monroe and is a board member at Gabby's Ladder. Bill is very active in the Monroe Community. He and wife Amy reside in Monroe with their 3 children, Maranda, Olivia and Ian.
Ron L. Jackson, Professional Support Staff Member
Ron L Jackson, Professional Support Staff Member , moved to Monroe in 1974 at the time of his marriage to his wife Brenda. The couple have lived in Monroe ever since. They are extremely proud of their two adult daughters Jennifer (Chris) Brown and their daughter three year old Kennedy. Kelli (Frank) Giarmo along with three sons Austin (18) Griffin (13) and Jackson 8 years old
In 2008 Ron retired from the Ford Motor Company after 34 years of service. However, beginning in 1979 started working part-time with the Earle Little Funeral Home. Receiving his apprentice licenses
He has enjoyed this line of work and since retirement has become a full time support staff here at the
Bacarella Funeral Home.
A year after graduating high school Ron was drafted by the U.S.Army and served two years. Not long after being discharged he enrolled at Lee University in Cleveland Tennessee. While there he renewed his friendship with his now wife Brenda who also was a student, who he had known before attending school.
Ron and Brenda are extremely active in their church, the Stewart Road Christian Ministries Center.
Where Ron is the Family Enrichment Night Director the last 36 years and Brenda is serving as the Pastoral Care Pastor.
In his spare time Ron is an avid softball player and enjoys a round of golf. But mostly loves spending time with his family and supporting his three super active grandsons and daughter in all their activities‘.
Bev (Stein) Pierce, Office Manager
Bev (Stein) Pierce is a life long resident of Monroe, Michigan and the daughter of the late Vincent and Bonnie Stein. Bev has three brothers, two sisters and one daughter, Erikka (Alex) Thelier. Above everything, Bev puts family first. Bev is a 1978 graduate of Monroe High School and attended Monroe County Community College taking many classes in the business and journalism field.
In 1982, Bev hired in at The First District Court of Monroe as a deputy court clerk. In 2003, Bev was promoted as supervisor of the traffic division of the South County Court in Erie, Michigan, where she retired from in May 2010.
November 2010 thru 2013 Bev accepted a deputy court clerk position with The 25th District Court in Lincoln Park working in their civil division. Based on her knowledge and experience with the District Court Judicial System, Bev then became a avid employee helping them with the organization merge joining Ecorse and River Rouge Court system with the 25th District Court.
In November 2013, Bev changed her career path and joined the staff of Bacarella Funeral Home as office manager. With Bev's outgoing personality and the love of people, this new phase of career choice has given her much compassion with assisting families at their most difficult time.
Bev is a very enthusiast person who loves spending time with her family and friends, traveling and just enjoying life and its opportunities.
Daniel T. Chlebos, Professional Support Staff Member
Daniel Chlebos has a distinguished background in personal and organizational development, education, criminal justice and community involvement.
Mr. Chlebos was President of New Beginnings Mercy House, a 501C3 Christian Ministry devoted to offering women in crisis pregnancy alternatives to abortion by providing community based support including but not limited to parenting skill training, counseling and adoption services.
Dan served as the lead criminal investigator in North America focusing on vehicle theft and fraud for Chrysler Corporation’s logistics group until his retirement in 2008. Dan won numerous corporate awards including the Vice President's and Director's award for his investigative achievements. Dan’s career also includes over a dozen years as a decorated police officer serving as a Lieutenant and Chief of Police in Wisconsin. He was often assigned to special investigations assisting the FBI and United States Secret Services (captured their most wanted fugitive). He also served his community as a volunteer fire captain and EMS member.
Mr. Chlebos is the Founder and President of Criminal Justice Solutions International. CJSI specializes in providing police training services and expert witness case consultation. Mr. Chlebos has trained security personnel for the Super Bowl held in Detroit and has been guest speaker at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association convention in Chicago.
Currently, Mr. (Assistant Professor) Chlebos is Division Chair for the Criminal Justice and Public Policy/Legal Studies program at Concordia University, Ann Arbor. Mr. Chlebos received his undergraduate degree in Human Resource Administration from Concordia. He received his Masters in Criminal Justice with a concentration in law from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. He is a Certified Public Administrator (University of Wisconsin) and Certified in Executive Leadership (Cornell University).
Dan married Vickie Lynn Scott (of Monroe). Vickie is a paralegal and sings professionally (won a Nashville talent search contest). Together they have 5 children and 9 grandchildren (and a great-grandchild due in August 2015). Dan and Vickie are very active members at Monroe Missionary Baptist Church.
Bob Yonkee, Professional Support Staff Member
Bob Yonkee is a graduate of Whiteford High School. After graduation he became a volunteer fireman at Whiteford. Bob attended Monroe Community College where he received his EMT license. The majority of Bob's career was spent at Chrysler Jeep where he retired from in 2008. Bob has had a few part-time jobs since his retirement, but mostly enjoys working at Bacarella Funeral Home where he joined the staff as a professional support staff member in 2012. He is passionate about his job because he enjoys being with people and serving people.
Bob currently attends Stewart Road Church Of God where he has been in charge of their security system since 1999. Bob enjoys the outdoors and traveling. He travels with his wife whenever he can and has enjoyed several cruises and traveled across much of the United States.
Bob married Jeannie (Massingill) in 1980 and she is employed as a social worker at the Hickman Center. Bob and Jeannie have two children; Nicole and Luke. Sadly, they lost Luke in 2008 after a battle with cancer. Bob and Jeannie has a crazy Jack Russell dog named Mimi Olivia Princess Yonkee. The dog is 12 pounds of fun and has Bob wrapped around her paw!
The most important thing to know about Bob is that he is a Christian. He does not know a stranger and is willing to help out all who crosses his path. He sometimes says that a stranger could be a angel and he wants to pass the test if God is testing him.
Tracy Michaelis, Professional Support Staff Member
Tracy (Lindhorst) Michaelis joined the staff of Bacarella Funeral Home in June 2014 as a professional support staff member. Tracy is the daughter of Jack and Kay Lindhorst, born in July 1971 in Toledo, Ohio. Her and her family moved to Erie, Michigan in 1978. She is the only girl with being raised with three brothers: Tom, Troy and Tye. Tracy graduated in 1990 from Mason Senior High School. Tracy enjoys life and loves to make people laugh.
While still in high school, Tracy worked at North Towne theaters as a supervisor. She attended Monroe County Community College and then became manager of Toy Liquidators in Monroe. Tracy has two children, Tarah and Trevor. While they were young, she worked from home selling home interiors & gifts until 2004. In 2005, Tracy got a job working for Monroe Public Schools employed at Lincoln Elementary, Custer Elementary, Monroe Middle School and Monroe High School as a special needs assistant working with behavioral and special needs children. Tracy has great passion and love for these children and loves helping them everyday, see them smile and just very happy and proud about making a difference every day of their lives. In the summer time when school was out, Tracy enjoyed working at the KOA Campground in Petersburg, MI.
Her other enjoyment in life is her family and friends at Monroe Missionary Baptist Church where she has been a member since 1994. Tracy is very active at Monroe Missionary Baptist where she has been involved with countless activities some which include vacation bible school, girls in action, the youth group and a participant in their Easter plays.
Tracy does not take anything for granted, appreciates God and is proud to say she is a colon cancer survivor since December 2012.
Debbie Wahl, Hairdresser and Office Assistant
Debbie A.(Iannucci) Wahl has been a resident of Monroe for over 50 years. She is a 1972 graduate of St. Mary Academy, attended Monroe County Community College and graduated from Michigan College of Beauty. She married Terry Wahl in 1974 and they have 2 children, Ryan Wahl and Renee' (Nate) Jorgensen and a grandson, Hayden Ryan.
Debbie has been a hairdresser since 1974 and has worked for the funeral home since 1995, she also assists in the office. Both she and Terry are members of St. Mary Catholic Church.
Recently retiring from Monroe County Senior Legal Services as Legal Secretary she remains active in the Community attending fund raisers.
Debbie and Terry enjoy residing in St. Augustine, FL for the winter months.
David Howey, Professional Support Staff Member
David is the son of Paul and Karla Howey. David joined the Bacarella staff in 2013 as a professional support staff member. David is a 2015 graduate of St. Mary Catholic Central High School and now attends Toledo University, Toledo, Ohio. David has a wonderful personality and is a great asset to the Bacarella Staff.
Edward C. Braunlich, Professional Support Staff Member
Edward was born and raised in Monroe, Michigan to Judge Paul E. Braunlich and Laura Braunlich. A 1982 graduate of Monroe Catholic Central and a graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He and his wife Lourdes and son, William returned to Monroe in 2016 after living in Hawaii, Texas and Florida for 31 years managing elite resort destinations with Hyatt Hotels and The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. With such expertize in his execution of service Edward is an asset to our staff.
Edward and his family are members of St. Mary's Parish and belong to The Knight's of Columbus. Boating is a fond hobby with him. With Edward's family being an established member of the community Edward has returned to his roots.