Rone Funeral Service was established in 1932. C. Calvin “Doc” Rone and my grandmother Mary Rone, when together they co-founded The Rone Funeral Service in 1932. Mary was the driving force behind the scenes. Not only did she work side by side with her husband to establish the business, she also worked in a local clothing factory to support the family while her husband attended Mortuary school to acquire the education and the professional credentials necessary to operate their business. At the same time, they raised their own family, beginning with their daughter, Lucille Rone, who tragically suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, and for whom they cared at home until her premature death at age 39. Faustina, who recently passed away in 2012 was next, followed by Gladys Rone Nugent who passed away in 1989 and finally, C. Victor Rone. Mary & C. Calvin Rone became larger than life figures locally but not before they struggled like new business owners. They overcame a series of personal and family tragedies that may have cause a lesser couple to give up their dream.
Doc and Mary Rone opened the first Rone Funeral Service in 1932 on Grape Street in Vineland. The next year they moved the business to a larger facility at 8th and Montrose Streets. One year later, their daughter Faustina, graduated from Vineland High School and joined the business. She subsequently graduated from Eckels College of Mortuary Science and was licensed in 1940. She became one of the first and youngest woman to be licensed in the State of New Jersey for Mortuary Science. She was a successful business woman at a time when there were very few women working in the funeral service. In fact, when her father was severely burned in an accident on his boat in 1945, it was Faustina, just 24 years of age at the time, who took over and successfully ran the business alone until his recovery years later.
Fire again touched their lives, not once but twice within a nine month period in 1954 and 1955. The second fire totally destroyed the funeral home. At that time, while conducting funerals out of a local church on Landis Avenue they built a state of the art facility at our present location, 1110 E. Chestnut Avenue, 1955. With two chapels, a showroom, a lounge, a garage and enough parking to accommodate the largest of funerals, the new Rone Funeral Service property on Chestnut Avenue became a showpiece of the funeral industry. C. Victor Rone, their son dedicated his life to the family business and to his community, for many years he served as county coroner, was president of the Cumberland County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, president of the Vineland Jaycees. He was “Tireless” when it came to the service of the community. Tragically, Vic died suddenly of heart failure at the age of 52. In 1955, James A. Geraci, joined the family business. His very personal touch, his comforting ways, and his quiet & professional demeanor characterized his work ethic. Those working years only ended with his death in 2007. My sister & myself remember growing up with both our parents being available to families who lost a loved one, 24hours a day, 7days a week & 365 days of the year. James C. Geraci joined the family business and attended mortuary school and became a licensed funeral director in 1984.
Today, with the help of a dedicated staff Rone Funeral Service continues the tradition with the compassion and the dedication that have always been the standard at Rone Funeral Service.
Staff are Funeral Director Nick Chamenko, 40 years, retired director, Doug Lee, 41 years, Funeral Director Michael DeStefano, 30 years, Office Manager Lori Rone-McLaughlin, retired secretary, Chicky Tamagni; Building and grounds keeper, Moe Torres, 9years; our part-time support staff, Steven Downey, Mel Pender, Jimmy Rosati, Ed & Tim Zatzariny.