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.
Founded in 1847
We often wonder if Simeon Grisell had planned on founding a six-generation family business when he began serving the folks of Rocky Run, Wetzel County as Quaker Minister and cabinetmaker. Caskets were made to order in 1847. The local cabinetmaker already contracted to build the custom casket gradually assumed the role of funeral director. Simeon Grisell left West Virginia and moved to Nebraska, but his son E. Chalmer Grisell, the second generation, returned to Moundsville in 1891. He graduated from Clark College of Embalming in Springfield, OH, and was only the 58th man to be licensed as a funeral director in West Virginia. It was E. Chalmer Grisell who first introduced the art of embalming to the local community. He opened his office in a small, two-story garage building on Thirteenth St., west of Lafayette Avenue. The original bill of sale for his first supplies was dated August 11, 1891. E. Chalmer’s first call in Moundsville was September 30, 1891. In 1894 he moved the funeral home into its second location on Lafayette Avenue. This building was torn down as a part of West Virginia State Route 2 relocation.
By 1919, E. Chalmer's son Elmer Grisell had already graduated from the Columbus College of Embalming and had joined his father in the business. After the death of E. Chalmer, Elmer moved the business to 805 Fifth St. where it remained until 1980. Elmer purchased the first automobile funeral car for the Ohio Valley. Funeral Directors from Wheeling and St. Clairsville would often borrow the vehicle. Before that time, the Horse-Drawn hearse was used, similar to the one on display and still available to those served by Grisell Funeral Home.
In the 1920's and 1930's, the Fifth St. location was the home the Elmer Grisell Family. During these decades most visitations and funeral were held in the home of the deceased. However, should the family prefer to have services in the Grisell Funeral Home, the family living room was used. During the late 1930's, Elwood G. and Curtis E. Grisell graduated from the Cleveland College of Embalming. Each joined Elmer in the family business-Elwood in 1935 and Curtis in 1938.
By 1940, the "Funeral Home" as we know it today was used more and more frequently for services, and the first floor of the Fifth St. location was completely remodeled into a modern funeral home. By 1950 more room was needed and the second floor apartment was converted into additional visitation rooms and coffee lounge. In 1962, the adjoining parking lot was added, and in 1964 the entire building was enlarged and redecorated. Elmer Grisell remained active in the business until his death in 1959. In 1963 Sidney E. Grisell, of the fifth generation, graduated from The Pittsburgh Institute Of Mortuary Science. He joined his father, Elwood and Uncle Curtis until their retirements in the late 1970's. Curtis Grisell passed away on May 12, 1991 and his brother Elwood G. Grisell passed away on August 11, 2002. It was Sidney who moved the business into its present location of 400 Jefferson Ave. Moundsville in 1980. Under his leadership the Grisell Family has branched into the communities of Bellaire OH, New Martinsville, WV, Clarington, OH and Sardis, OH.
The venture into Bellaire, OH and into the surrounding communities of Shadyside, Neffs, St. Joe and Key Ridge began with the purchase of the former Dunaway Funeral Home located on the corner of Belmont and 37th St. Bellaire. This merger took place on May 12, 1983. Grisell's remained at this location until the building was sold to the Salvation Army in 1988. The funeral home then moved into its present location at 400 33rd St. in Bellaire. This former supermarket building was remodeled into a modern and spacious funeral home. The home offers convenient on-site parking, large visitation chapels, and lounge area, all on one floor, which make the facility easily accessible for the handicapped.
The move into New Martinsville brought the family business full circle and back to its original roots in Wetzel County over one hundred and fifty years ago. The location on WV State Route 2 was purchased from Eleanor Ratcliffe in what was the Ratcliffe Funeral Home, formerly the Wharton and Ellis Funeral Home. This occurred in April of 1982. In June of 1996 the Wells Funeral Home, located on Maple Ave in New Matinsville was purchased from the retiring Joseph and Annalee Wells and their son J. Bradford Wells. This location was closed in February 2003.
In the spring of 2004, we opened the doors to our new facility in New Martinsville. This new facility has a home like feel to it, with a large greeting area complete with a fireplace and sitting area. It has three spacious visitation rooms combined with a family room, allowing plenty of space for visitors and friends. There is a lounge for refreshments and relaxation, an area for children to read, color and watch T.V. The funeral home is completely handicapped accessible and is conveniently located on RT. 2 with easy access to a large parking lot.
The Grisell Funeral Homes expanded into Monroe County in March of 2001 with the purchase of the Rush Funeral Homes in Clarington, OH and Sardis, OH. James Rush established the Rush Funeral Home in 1904 in Sardis, OH. Vernon B. and Sophia Rush founded the Clarington Facility in 1934. In 1967 Vernon J. "Butch" Rush joined his father in the business. Butch died in 2008.
In 2012 the Grisell's purcahsed the old Sisson Nisson building in Bethlehem. They began demolition and construction in February of 2013 on their sixth facility. The new state of the art facility featuring a large gathering room with a home like atmosphere, large open space and natural lighting, the areas largest chapel for visitations and funeral services, plenty of on site parking, and completely handicapped accessible opened November 1st 2013.
Presently there are two active generations in the business; Sidney Grisell is the CEO of Grisell Funeral Homes, his daughter Connie E. Grisell is the President and is the first licensed woman in the Grisell family-owned business, son Elliott is the Acting Secretary.
Our Valued Staff
Sidney E. Grisell, CEO, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Sidney E. Grisell resides in Glen Dale, WV with his wife Bonnie Mason Grisell. They own and operate Bonnie Dwaine Bed and Breakfast, which also serves as their home. Sidney is a 1957 graduate of Moundsville High School, a 1961 graduate of West Virginia University, where he received a B.S. degree, and where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order. He currently serves as President of the Alumni Board, the Court of Honor and is the Alumnus Advisor to the undergraduate chapter at WVU. He was a cum laude graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in both West Virginia and Ohio and is currently CEO of Grisell Funeral Homes and Crematory. Our firm is a 50-year member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, where Sidney served on the Board of Directors and was the Secretary/Treasurer during his years of service. He is past president of the Northern Funeral Directors Association and past board member of the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association.
Community service has always been a high priority for Sidney and he presently serves the surrounding communities in many capacities. He currently serves as President of the Moundsville Economic Development Council and is a board member of the Regional Economical Development Partnership. He serves on the Board of Directors of: BB&T Bank, The Strand Theatre Preservation Society, The Marshall County Historical Society, The Cockayne Preservation Committee, Valley Hospice, Reynolds Memorial Hospital, and the WV Methodist Foundation Board.
Sidney is a member of Simpson United Methodist Church, where he has served in numerous capacities as well as being a Lay Leader and Speaker. He is a member and past president of the Moundsville Lions Club, and the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce, He was a member of the former B.P.O. Elks No. 282, the Little Prince Lodge 70, Knight of Pythias, The WV Bed and Breakfast Association and The National Association of Professional Innkeepers. Sidney served as the Moundsville Christmas Parade Marshall in 2009. He and Bonnie are the parents of 5 children; two of whom are in the family funeral service business.
Connie E. Grisell, President, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Connie E. Grisell resides in Glen Dale, WV with her husband, Joe Twigg and their daughter, Allison. She graduated summa cum laude from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 2000, where she received the John Rebold Award and was inducted into the Mu Sigma Alpha Honorary. While in Mortuary School, she served as class treasurer. Connie graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. During her time at WVU, she was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, where she served as chapter president and treasurer.
Connie currently serves as President of Grisell Funeral Service. She is a licensed funeral director, embalmer, and pre-need insurance advisor in both West Virginia and Ohio; and a crematory director in West Virginia. She is a member of Simpson United Methodist Church, where she has served on the Staff Parish Relations Committee; National Funeral Directors Association; West Virginia Funeral Directors Association; Eastern Star # 86; and the Marshall County Hunting and Fishing Club. Connie has also served on the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce and the Greater New Martinsville Development Committee.
Elliott G. Grisell, Secretary, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Elliott G. Grisell resides in Glen Dale, WV with his wife Lorri Klug Grisell and their daughter, Zada Victoria Grisell. He graduated from John Marshall High School in 1995, attended West Liberty State College, and is a 2001 graduate from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He sits on the Board of Directors of Grisell Funeral Homes as acting Secretary, manages Now & Forever Memorials, and is a licensed Crematory Operator in the state of West Virginia. Elliott, Lorri and Zada are members of St. Jude Catholic Church in Glen Dale.
Elliott's community involvement includes serving as councilman of the City of Glen Dale, where he also serves as council rep. on the Parks & Recs. Committee; he is a lifetime member and past president of the Marshall County Historical Society.
Other community activities includes Past President of the Moundsville Lions Club , board member of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce, he is a member of the Marshall Union Lodge No 8 A.F&.A.M.; a member of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Wheeling, Orient of West Virginia; Osiris Shriners, A.A.O.N.M.S. of Wheeling, WV; Royal Arch Mason, Wheeling -Union No. 1, Knights Templar with Commandery No. 001, Wheeling, WV; a member of the Royal Order of the Jesters Court#13 and a member of K of P, Little Prince Lodge #79. Elliott is also a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and West Virginia Funeral Directors Association.
Michael A. Mathieu, General Manager, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Michael A. Mathieu, a resident of Bethlehem, WV, married in 1982 to Lori Blankenship Mathieu, two daughters: Jennifer and Abigail Mathieu. Michael is a 1977 graduate of Wheeling Central Catholic High School and attended West Liberty State College. he is a 1983 Magne Cum Laude graduate from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, employed by and currently serving as General Manager for Grisell Funeral Homes and Crematory since 1989, a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in the states of West Virginia since 1983 and Ohio since 1989. He is also a Licensed Crematory Operator in West Virginia since 2004.
Community activities include: Member and past president of the Moundsville Rotary Club, Member of the National Funeral Directors Association, WV and OH Funeral Directors Association, Belmont County Funeral Directors Association, Selected Independent Funeral Homes,Member and Past President of the Mountaineer Girls Softball Association, Bethlehem Hilltop League (Girls Softball), Wheeling Park High School Summer/Fall Girls Softball Coach.
Patrick L. Meintel, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Patrick L. Meintel is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in the states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Bellaire High School, the Ohio University Eastern campus. He graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1989. He served his apprenticeship with McCabe Bros Inc. in Pittsburgh after which he obtained his PA Funeral Directors and Embalmer license. Patrick served his West Virginia Apprenticeship at Grisell Funeral Home, Moundsville and became licensed in West Virginia in 1991. Patrick is the Preparation Room Supervisor and Senior Embalmer at Grisell's, where he is mainly involved in the embalming and restorative art side of the funeral business. Patrick currently serves as Vice President of the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association District 6 and was a past board member of the Bellaire Kiwanis Club. Patrick is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association and the American Society of Embalmers. Patrick is married to Kristie Blowers Meintel, they have three children: Marissa, Kelsie, and Dillon. They reside in Moundsville. Patrick attended St. Johns Catholic Church.
David E. Schnegg, Manager/Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
David E. Schnegg, a resident of Clarington, OH, where he resides with his wife, Brandee Dabbs Schnegg and children, Elizabeth Grace Schnegg and Eric Paul Schnegg. David graduated from Beallsville High School in 1984 and attended California University of PA, where he graduated in 1994 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Mortuary Science.
He then attended the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, graduating in 1994. David began working for Rush Funeral Homes of Clarington and Sardis, Ohio in May of 1987.
In March of 2001, Grisell Funeral Homes purchased the Rush Funeral Homes and David stayed on with the company as a licensed funeral director, embalmer and pre need counselor for the state of Ohio and West Virginia. David is a member of the St. John's United Church of Christ, Powhatan Point, Ohio, National Funeral Directors Association, OH and WV Funeral Directors Association, and the Belmont County Funeral Directors Association. David volunteered his services at the 1994 US Air Flight #427 Plane Crash in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Chris Williams, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Chris grew up in Hannibal, Ohio and graduated from River High School in 1994. After high school, he began working for the Rush Funeral Homes in Clarington and Sardis, Ohio before attending the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science where he was Class President. After graduating from mortuary school in 1999, he began his apprenticeship in West Virginia and became a licensed funeral director and embalmer in West Virginia. Chris then obtained his Ohio funeral director and embalmer licenses in 2003. He received his CFSP designation in 2002.
Chris is a member of the Hannibal United Methodist Church, Hannibal, Ohio where he served on the Board of Trustees and President of Administrative Council; twice Past President of the Woodsfield Kiwanis Club; member of the Clarington Lodge #597 F&A.M.; member of the Woodsfield Order of Eastern Star #267;member and Board of Director of the New Martinsville Lions Club; member of New Martinsville Moose Lodge #931; served as Ohio Funeral Directors Association District 12 President and served as Southeast Regional Director for the Ohio Funeral Directors Association; member of the American Society of Embalmers; member of the Ohio Embalmers Association; past board member of the River High School Alumni Association; served on the Monroe County Board of Health; currently serves as Board President of Monroe County Board of Developmental Disabilities and is on the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
M. Kelly Foster, Secretary/Office Manager
Kelly grew up in Moundsville, WV and graduated from John Marshall High School in 1977. Prior to joining the staff of Grisell’s Funeral Home in May of 2000 as office manager, Kelly was employed by the City of Moundsville as a data processing clerk; was previously contracted through the Marshall County Board of Education as an after school program counselor, where she helped to co-write various grants which secured the funding for the H.E.A.R.T. after-school program; and was employed as Church Secretary for Trinity Episcopal Church, Moundsville for eight years
Kelly is married to Randy Foster and they currently reside in Benwood, WV. They have a daughter, Randi Jo (Rob) Chavanak of Benwood; and three precious grandchildren, Gracen Marie, Lydia Juliane Chavanak and Mya Jean Berisford.
Kelly attends St. Paul’s Evangelical Church, Wheeling.
Karen S. Lower Berry, Secretary/Office Manager/Licensed Pre Need Advisor
Karen grew up in Sardis, OH and graduated from River High School and from West Liberty State College with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration. Following graduation from college, she began her career with Aetna Life and Casualty in Wheeling as a casualty underwriter and two years later she transferred to the Pittsburgh office where she worked for 12 years. She left Aetna in September 1996 and the family moved to New martinsville in 1999. She worked part time for Bee Electric and at the New Martinsville Public Library for two and half years. She obtained her WV Insurance license in 2002 and joined the Grisell staff in May 2003.
Karen is a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity and a member of the New Martinsville United Methodist Church where she serves in various capacities.
She is married to Robert K. Berry from Paden City, WV and they have two children: Kaci and Scott. They enjoy boating, water skiing and snow skiing, and spending time with their family.
James R. Everly, Funeral Assistant
Jim grew up in Cameron, WV where he graduated from Cameron High School in 1986. Following graduation, he moved to Reynoldsburg, OH and worked at Kohl's Dept. Store as an assistant area supervisor. In 1993, Jim returned back to the Ohio Valley and worked at the former King Chevrolet Inc., in Wheeling, as a salesman.
He joined the staff at Grisell's Funeral Home in 2001 as a funeral assistant and obtained his WV Insurance License in 2007. Jim's hobbies include traveling to the beach, detailing cars for people, and spending time with his mother
Jim Bickerton, Funeral Assistant
Jim is a lifelong resident of Moundsville and is a graduate of Moundsville High School. He is married to Marlene Cassis Bickerton. They are the proud parents of two children, Tom and Jamie Ann. Tom is the resident Bishop of Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church and Jamie Ann works as a clinical educator at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, MD. They also have four grandchildren.
Jim is a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, where he is very active in many roles including serving as a lay leader and a church school teacher. He also has served on many United Methodist district and conference committees.
Jim has been a dedicated employee for Grisell's Funeral Home for over 15 years, before joining the Grisell Staff, Jim was employed for several years at Fostoria Glass as a mold maker. He enjoys traveling and woodworking, especially carving.
Jim retired from Grisell's in October 2013, but he will always be apart of "our family". Jim and his wife, Marlene now call Florida their home.
Jim Wilson, Funeral Assistant
Jim Wilson resides in New Martinsville with his wife, Mary Lea Hoffman. They were married on June 8, 1962 and have two children: Jo Beth Simmons of New Martinsville, WV and Mike Wilson of McKeesport, PA. They are the loving grandparents of four grandchildren: Kayla and Amanda Wilson of McKeesport and twins, Dillon and Drew Simmons of New Martinsville.
Jim grew up in Preston County, WV and graduated from Kingwood High School in 1957 and worked at an auto parts store until joining the Navy in 1958. Jim served four years in the Navy and was aboard the ship that recovered the first astronaut in space, Alan Sheppard. After being discharged from the Navy in 1962, Jim worked as the water plant operator at Hopemont Sanitarium, a home for TB patients.
Upon his move back to Kingwood, WV, Jim worked at the Southern States Feed Store until receiving a job with the United States Soil Conservation Service in 1966, and then moved to Petersburg, WV. He was transferred to New Martinsville in 1974 and worked until his retirement in 1996. Jim has been a dedicated employee for Grisell's Funeral Home since 1999.
Charles Blue, Funeral Assistant
Charles O. Blue, a resident of Sardis, OH, where he resides with his wife of over 50 years, Roberta Collins Blue.
Charles is a member of the Sardis United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Men.
He is a 50 year member and a Past Master of Clarington Lodge # 597 F&AM; a Past District Educational Officer and a Past District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge F&AM of Ohio; a 50 year member and a 33rd Degree Mason of the Valley of Cambridge Scottish Rite.
He is retired from Conalco with 35 years of service. He is a veteran having served in the U.S. Army. He is a member of Ohio Valley American Legion Post 760.
David Wood, Funeral Assistant
David Wood is a lifelong resident of Moundsville, WV. He lives in Moundsville with his wife Linda and they have three children. He graduated from Moundsville High School in 1967. He also is a graduate of West Liberty State College, West Virginia University, and has extended additional educational hours from Marshall University. His work experience includes 33 years in education in the Marshall County Schools as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent and adjunct teacher for Bethany College. He also serves as substitute principal and teacher in Marshall County Schools.
His community activities include being a member of the Moundsville City Council serving as a council member and Mayor, member of The Moundsville Economic Development Council, Recreation Board, and B.M. Spurr School of Nursing Board.
He has worked for Grisell's Funeral Home for over five years.
Mary Ash, Greeter
Mary was born in raised in East Liverpool, Ohio where she graduated from East Liverpool High School in 1965. She has been a resident of Sardis, OH for the last 30 years.
She is the owner/operator of Mary's Little Lamb Craft and Gift Shoppe in Sardis and will be celebrating her 10th Anniversary of her shop in June 2011.
Mary is the proud mother of two children and has four wonderful grandchildren. Her daughter, Tiffany Jones resides in Woodsfield, OH with her husband, Randy and sons, Ty and Gage. Her son, Thomas Ash whom is employed by Bayer Corp. resides in Dusseldorf, Germany with his wife, Courtney and their children, Landon and Ainsley.
Mary is active in the community and attends Mount Olive Methodist Church in Sardis. She has been with Grisell's since 2007.
Howard Stansberry, Funeral Attendant
Howard lives in Rolling Acres, New Martinsville with his wife, Sonja "Marlene" Stansberry. They attend and belong to New Martinsville United Methodist Church.
He is a 1962 graduate of Magnolia High School and a Trustee at Jolliffe Cemetery in Silver Hill, WV. He is a member of Wetzel Lodge #39 A.F. & A.M., The York Rite Royal Arch Mason of Sistersville #20, Mt. State Commander of #14, Knights Templar of New Martinsville, Nemesis Shrine in Parkersburg, WV, Order of Eastern Star #50, New Martinsville, Tyler County Shrine Club, Moose Lodge #931 New Martinsville. He is a lifetime member of Grandview VFD and past member of Grandview EMS with 30+ years of service, and current President of the Rolling Acres Association.
Mike Skrzyneki, Funeral Assistant
Mike was born October 26, 1945 in New York. He attended and graduated from Jefferson Central High School in Jefferson, NY. After graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force and was Honorably Discharged in June of 1967.
He married Linda J. Snow on July 6, 1965, and together they have four children- Michelle Fletcher, James, Brad and Derek Skrzyneki and several grandchildren.
Mike worked as a Deputy Sheriff for Washington County, Marietta, OH before he began a 36 year career with AEP in March of 1968, retiring in 2004. Mike began working at Grisell's on Sept 4, 2012.
Jim Cunningham, Funeral Assistant
Jim group up in Cameron, WV where he graduated from Cameron High School in 1967. He moved to Moundsville in 1971 and married Shawna Wood in 1972. They are the parents of two daughters, Pamela Peck and Jolie Yuncke and are blessed with four grandchildren.
Jim began working at PPG in 1968 and retired in 2007 with 39 years of employement. He is a member of Calvary United Methodist Church in Moundsville, where he serves as a trustee.
Jim has many hobbies including- woodworking, riding his motorcycle, traveling, and especially spending time with his grandchildren.
Jim joined the staff at Grisell's in October of 2011.
Nancy (Riggs) Hall, Greeter
Nancy grew up in Moundsville and graduated from Moundsville High in 1958.
She married Jim Hall in 1961. They are the parents of four children- Lisa Ginn of Wheeling, Charles (Chuck) of Moundsville, John of Florida and Linda Arritt of Moundsville. They also have four grandchildren- Tyler, Catie, Austin and D.J.
Nancy retired from BB&T Bank in 2007 after 26 years of service. She joined the Grisell Staff in 2012.?