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.

Our History

Our History

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

    William A. Bacarella, Funeral Director

    Bill Bacarella was born in Monroe in 1963. He has been a lifelong resident of Monroe County. He and wife Amy reside in Monroe with their 3 children, Maranda, Olivia and Ian.

    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. Bill currently serves on the board at Monroe Center for Healthy Aging. Bill is active in the Monroe Community and enjoys the services he can provide for the families. His hard work and dedication is one of his great attributes while serving families at their time of need. He enjoys playing golf and is a MHSAA certified basketball official.

    To contact Bill you can email him at [email protected]

  • Jeffrey C. Rupp

    Jeffrey C. Rupp, Funeral Director

    Jeffrey C. Rupp joined the Bacarella Funeral Home staff on May 28, 2019. He was born in 1961 and is a lifelong resident of Monroe. Jeff and his wife, Marlena, reside in Raisinville Township and have two children, Ryan (Chelsea) and Jessica (Zachary) and two granddaughters, Hazel Mae and Madison Kaymarie.
    Jeff attended Monroe High School, graduating with the class of 1980. He earned an associate degree from Monroe County Community College and graduated from Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science in 1984, where he served as class Vice-President. Jeff is a fifth generation funeral director and is a member of Michigan Funeral Directors Association, where he served as past President of District 2, and the National Funeral Directors Association. He is also a member of St. Michael Catholic Church and Monroe Council 1266 Knights of Columbus and its charitable Goodfellow's program. Jeff has also been active in local hospice and grief support organizations.
    Jeff prioritized God and family in his life and enjoys deer hunting, camping, spending time at his cabin in northern Michigan and spending time with his family and friends. He is also Commodore of the North Chapter of the Sunken Sail Yacht Club.
    Jeff has been a pillar in the community for grieving families for more than forty years and he is excited and thankful to continue to serve families as he always has, with the utmost dignity and respect.
    To Contact Jeff you can email him at [email protected]

  • Deanna M. Maurice

    Deanna M. Maurice, Funeral Director

    Dee joined the staff of Bacarella Funeral Home in June 2020 and brings with her over 20 years of experience assisting families in Monroe and the surrounding communities. She was born in Monroe and is a third-generation funeral director. She has remained a lifelong resident of Monroe and is the daughter of Bill and Lou (Crutchfield) Maurice. Dee and her husband Allen Bruck, reside in Raisinville Township with their two sons, Alex and Zachary. As a family they are active with Boy Scout Troop 502, where Dee also serves as the Committee Treasurer. They are also members of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
    Dee is a 1991 graduate of Jefferson High School, attended Monroe County Community College and in 1994 obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science from Wayne State University. She looks forward to providing diligent care to the families in her hometown.
    To contact Dee you can email her at [email protected]

  • Ron L.  Jackson

    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 Kelli (Frank) Giarmo. As well as their five grandchildren: Austin, Griffin, Jackson, Kennedy and Kendall.
    In 2008 Ron retired from the Ford Motor Company after 34 years of service. However, beginning in 1979, he started working part-time with the Earle Little Funeral Home, receiving his apprentice licenses in 1983.
    He has enjoyed this line of work and since retirement has become a full time support staff here at Bacarella Funeral Home.
    A year after graduating from 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 attended as a student.
    Ron and Brenda are extremely active in their church, Stewart Road Church Of God. Ron has been the Family Enrichment Night Director for the past 36 years. Brenda serves as the Pastoral Care Pastor.
    In his spare time, Ron is an avid softball player and enjoys a round of golf. Mostly, he loves spending time with his family and supporting his three super-active grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters in all their activities.

  • Bev (Stein) Pierce

    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. In 2019 Bev was blessed with her first grandson, Jack Vincent who was named after her father. Then in 2022 she was blessed with another grandson, Luke James who was named after Erikka's father. These boys have brought great love to her life and grandma life suits her wonderfully! 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.
    Bev accepted a deputy court clerk position with The 25th District Court in Lincoln Park in November 2010 and continued working in their civil division until 2013. 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 enjoying life and its opportunities.

  • Daniel T.  Chlebos

    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 (winning a Nashville talent search contest). Together, they have five children and nine grandchildren (and a great-grandchild who was born in August 2015). Dan and Vickie are very active members at Monroe Missionary Baptist Church.

  • Tracy Michaelis

    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.

  • Brenda Gray

    Brenda Gray, Cosmetologist

    Biography coming soon.

  • Phyllis Gillispie

    Phyllis Gillispie, Professional Support Staff Member

    Biography coming soon.

  • David Lambert

    David Lambert, Professional Support Staff Member

    David Lambert, Professional Support Staff Member was born and raised in Monroe. He attended Zion Lutheran School and graduated from Monroe High School in 1969. After high school, David began working at General Motors until his retirement in 2002.
    In 1974, he married his wife Mary and they raised three children, Jacqueline, Shaun and Bill. David and Mary have been blessed with twin granddaughters, Gabriella and Serra that are his pride and joy.
    One of David's greatest accomplishment was when his son's began playing football, they were unable to hear the coach and quarterback because they are hearing impaired and wore hearing aids. David was able to create a way for the hearing aids to be secured in the helmet without any feedback.
    David's tinkering with the helmets created a method for them to play and enjoy football. This method also has allowed hearing impaired students to play today. Because of this, Shawn was named all region in defense.
    David has worked in the funeral business since 2006 and is a great asset to the staff of Bacarella Funeral Home.
    Today, David spends his free time enjoying his family, golfing and fishing.

  • Sal Benisatto

    Sal Benisatto

  • Becky Clark

    Becky Clark, Professional Support Staff Member

    Becky Clark is a lifelong resident of Monroe County. She is married to Dennis Clark, together they have four adult children Jason, Raymond, Austin and Allyson and two grandchildren Scottie and Karlie.
    Becky is a retired private flight attendant and her hobbies include travel, gardening, canning, cooking and recuing cats.

  • Michael  Merlino

    Michael Merlino, Professional Support Staff

    Michael Merlino was born in Monroe and raised in Carleton by his grandparents Joan and John Goble. He attended and graduated from Airport High School in 2015. He attended Monroe County Community College and studied welding and metal working. In 2019 he moved to Toledo to work as a transporter for H & H funeral services, becoming manager in 2020 and eventually leaving in 2022 to become a member of Bacarella Funeral Home, where he is a part of the professional support staff. His hobbies include fishing, woodworking, hiking and being outdoors.

  • Rosie Bacarella

    Rosie Bacarella, Certified Therapy Dog

    Rosie, a female, Newfoundland, was fostered and eventually adopted by the Bacarella family in December of 2018 from Monroe County Animal Control after being found in a field in Newport, Michigan, when she was just ten weeks old. After a year and a half of training, she was certified as a Therapy Dog through Therapy Dog International (TDI) in June of 2019.
    She and her mom/handler, Amy Bacarella, visit local nursing homes, senior centers, schools, Paula’s House, Monroe County Courthouse and wherever else she may be needed.
    Rosie is available to help comfort families during their loved one’s visitation and/or funeral at Bacarella Funeral Home by request.

  • Lilly Bacarella

    Lilly Bacarella, Certified Therapy Dog

    Lilly, a female, Great Pyrenees, was adopted by the Bacarella family in December of 2009 from the Great Pyrenees Rescue in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when she was just three months old. After several years of training, Lilly was certified as a Therapy Dog through Therapy Dog International (TDI) on January 21, 2013.
    She enjoys going for long walks and rides in the truck, especially when stopping by Tim Horton’s and Monroe County Community Credit Union, where she is spoiled with treats. More than anything, Lilly loves being loved-on and, even more, loving on others.
    She and her mom/handler, Amy Bacarella, visit local nursing homes, senior centers, schools, Paula’s House, Monroe County Courthouse and wherever else she may be needed.
    Lilly is available to help comfort families during their loved one’s visitation and/or funeral at Bacarella Funeral Home by request.