Our History




As the HOLLE family commemorates its 165th Anniversary of service in the funeral business, the fifth generation of proprietors, Jacqueline and Clark Holle, proudly reflect on their forefathers’ humble beginnings and how they have helped their family continue its tradition prospering through out the Essex County, New Jersey area.

It all began in 1851 with great great grandfather, Albert J. Holle, establishing the family’s first funeral home in downtown Newark, NJ. The business flourished there for two generations, however third generation owner, Jacob A. (fondly known as “Jake”) decided to relocate the funeral home twice (first to East Orange and then Maplewood, NJ), before he erected its current location (in 1937) at 2122 Millburn Avenue, Maplewood, NJ. 

Maplewood Funeral Home as it was named then was a modest business for Jake and his wife, Mary. Together they endured good times and bad, weathering the Great Depression, yet managing to successfully preserve a landmark establishment. When Jake passed away in 1963, their son Richard J. took over the business and became Director of the funeral home now named The Jacob A. Holle Funeral Home, shortly after graduating from the University of Virginia and the McAllister School of Embalming in New York City. 

Richard who soon married Mary (Bird) had four children and as a true “family run” business, it was important for this fourth generation owner to groom his entire family early on to assist in the responsibilities of the business. He instilled in them the value of hard work, the meticulous attention to detail and personalized care and the dignity and reverence required for their patrons . . . their neighbors . . . their friends. 

Richard was thrilled when his eldest daughter Jacqueline, the first female in five generations, expressed the same passion and dedication to service and tradition. After graduating from Montclair State University in 1988, she attended American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City to receive her professional license in 1989 and joined on as co-director of the funeral home. Then, after her brother Clark graduated from Seton Hall University in 1990 and gained experience in the accounting field, it was evident that his personality and talents were necessary to round out the team so he pursued with his Mortuary Science Degree in NYC to become co-director in 1995.

Together Jacqueline, Clark and their dad had a clear vision to expand the business and successfully did so when, in 2003 they acquired Preston Funeral Home in South Orange, NJ. Today, as their father “eases into retirement” Jacqueline and Clark share management of both locations and continue to support families in these communities during their difficult time of need. Their care, compassion and professionalism which has been passed on from generation to generation has certainly earned the trust of their fellow citizens and that is how the HOLLE name stands firm today.