Elbert Hays
B: 1931-06-19
D: 2021-06-19
View Details
Hays, Elbert
Senniah Saddler
B: 1995-01-11
D: 2021-06-10
View Details
Saddler, Senniah
Bernice Washington
B: 1925-05-06
D: 2021-05-31
View Details
Washington, Bernice
Bernard Liddell
B: 1949-12-28
D: 2021-05-25
View Details
Liddell, Bernard
Charles Ricks
B: 1932-03-18
D: 2021-05-25
View Details
Ricks, Charles
Wandra Root
B: 1947-11-10
D: 2021-05-23
View Details
Root, Wandra
Patricia Wilfong
B: 1946-05-09
D: 2021-05-22
View Details
Wilfong, Patricia
Carolyn Talton
B: 1945-10-06
D: 2021-05-16
View Details
Talton, Carolyn
Sandra Valentine Thompkins
B: 1942-02-07
D: 2021-05-14
View Details
Valentine Thompkins, Sandra
DeAndre Howard
B: 1965-08-15
D: 2021-05-04
View Details
Howard, DeAndre
Peter DeBeers
B: 1945-08-06
D: 2021-05-01
View Details
DeBeers, Peter
Gem Harrison
B: 1973-09-13
D: 2021-04-25
View Details
Harrison, Gem
Cristina Grahl
B: 1949-07-22
D: 2021-04-24
View Details
Grahl, Cristina
Kathy Grigsby
B: 1959-05-18
D: 2021-04-22
View Details
Grigsby, Kathy
Kip Watson
B: 1978-03-11
D: 2021-04-22
View Details
Watson, Kip
Cynthia Hampton- Green
B: 1950-03-26
D: 2021-04-17
View Details
Hampton- Green, Cynthia
Wilbert Preyer
B: 1973-07-03
D: 2021-04-16
View Details
Preyer, Wilbert
Darrell Towler
B: 1958-09-15
D: 2021-04-14
View Details
Towler, Darrell
Addie Tomlin
B: 1931-08-15
D: 2021-04-10
View Details
Tomlin, Addie
Joanne Eubanks
B: 1980-02-21
D: 2021-04-01
View Details
Eubanks, Joanne
Martha Bonner
B: 1958-12-04
D: 2021-04-01
View Details
Bonner, Martha


Use the form above to find your loved one. You can search using the name of your loved one, or any family name for current or past services entrusted to our firm.

Click here to view all obituaries
Search Obituaries
1455 N. Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone: 626-798-8941
Fax: 626-798-0195

Order Flowers

Offer a gift of comfort and beauty to a family suffering from loss.

Obituaries & Tributes

It is not always possible to pay respects in person, so we hope that this small token will help.


A gift to your family, sparing them hard decisions at an emotional time.

Immediate Need

If you have immediate need of our services, we're available for you 24 hours a day.

Our Staff


All of our dedicated staff adhere to the highest standard of ethical practice and are committed to ensuring that all of your needs are met. Their commitment to the community and genuine compassion toward families are but a few of the characteristics that make them outstanding in their field.  We are proud to have them on our staff. (See individual staff pictures/information below)


Fred W. Valentine, President/Owner

Fred W. Valentine,  President and Co-Owner of Woods-Valentine Mortuary, is the nephew of the founder, Jimmy Woods. Fred was born in Glen Flora, Texas and moved to Pasadena, CA when he was 7 years old.  He grew up around the business and attended Pasadena Junior College, West Campus, where he earned an A.A. Degree in Business. He also graduated from the California College of Mortuary Science in 1942. Fred was a Licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director who has owned and operated the business, along with his wife, Arzella from 1954 until his passing  May 13, 2017.  He was a prominent business man and loyal family man who has lead left an awesome legacy.

Arzella J. Valentine, Vice-President/Co-Owner

Arzella J. Valentine, Vice-President and Co-Owner, is a Licensed Funeral Director and Life Insurance Agent.  She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Mount Olive, Arkansas.  She moved to Pasadena, California where she met and married Fred W. Valentine in 1949.  Together they purchased James Woods Mortuary from Fred's Aunt, Annie Mae Woods, and built the business we know today as Woods-Valentine Mortuary. Arzella earned an A.A. Degree from Pasadena City College and pursued her love for writing at U.C.L.A.  Although retired, she still consults with daughters, Janyce and Gail regularly about business matters and helps with payroll.  

Janyce L. Valentine, Manager/Co-Owner

Janyce L. Valentine  is the Manager and Assistant Vice-President of Woods-Valentine Mortuary. She is a licensed Funeral Director and Life Insurance Agent. She is the daughter of Fred and Arzella Valentine and a graduate of Pasadena High School and The Fashion Institute of Los Angeles. She has a flair for fashion and decorating and coordinated the redecorating of the mortuary for it's 75th Anniversary Celebration.  Janyce is a loving auntie and godmother, who loves jogging, traveling, and going to the movies. She also enjoys her hobby working with miniatures.

Gail A. Valentine-Taylor, Asst. Vice-President/Co-Owner

Gail Valentine Taylor  is Assistant Manager and Assistant Vice-President of Woods-Valentine Mortuary. She is a Licensed Funeral Director, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Life Insurance Agent and Notary Public. She is the daughter of Fred and Arzella Valentine.  Gail graduated from Pasadena High School and earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Social Welfare, both from U.C. Berkeley. She is a board member of the Los Angeles County  Board of Funeral Directors and a member of the Pasadena Altadena Links, Inc. Gail is an active member of Friendship Pasadena Church where she is chair of the Deaconess Council and a member of the Women's Ministry Leadership Team. She is a past board member of the San Gabriel Valley Black Business Assn. and the Pasadena Foothill Y.W.C.A.  

Vannie Brown, Asst. Vice-President (Retired)

Vannie Brown  is an Assistant Vice-President at Woods-Valentine Mortuary. She is a licensed Life Insurance Agent, an experienced Funeral Service Counselor, and Cosmetologist. She is the sister of Arzella Valentine.  Vannie was born in Mount Olive, Arkansas and moved to  California upon graduation from high school.  She attended Pasadena City  College and Henrietta's Beauty School in Los  Angeles, and became a Licensed Beautician.  She worked part-time at Woods-Valentine Mortuary as a teenager and joined the staff full-time in 1970.  She retired May 31, 2010 after more than 50 years of service.  

James E. Barker, Asst. Funeral Director/Embalmer

James Barker  is a Licensed Embalmer, Assistant Funeral Director, Death Certificate Specialist and a Musician. He has worked for Woods-Valentine Mortuary for more than 25 years.  He was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in Los Angeles.  James has a Bachelor's degree in Science from California State University, Los Angeles.  He is a Christian who belongs to Gospel Memorial Church of God In Christ in Long Beach.  James is a devoted father, grandfather and son.  

Keith Green, Asst. Funeral Director

Keith is a part-time Funeral Service Director and the Pastor of The Living Gospel Church -Main St. assembly in Los Angeles, CA. Pastor Green serves as a Chaplain for the Los Angeles Police Department, and has been extending funeral services to the Los Angeles community for more than 20 years. He is highly recognized by many families for his remarkable insight, outstanding service, and his ability to collaborate with various groups within the community.

Leo Vaughn, Funeral Service Facilitator

Leo Vaughn  worked as a Funeral Service Facilitator at Woods-Valentine Mortuary for more than 25 years. He worked part-time and enjoyed playing the organ and photography.  Leo was born and raised in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  He moved to California in the 1980's after his daughter, Countess Vaughn, won Star Search.  He brought the family west for fame and fortune and has not looked back.  Leo graduated from Langston University in Oklahoma with a Bachelor's degree in English.  He worked as a Teacher for 25 years in Oklahoma and California Schools. He is married to Sandra, is a proud father and grandfather and serves as the family historian.  

Valerie Williams, Administrative Assistant
Office Phone: 626798-8941
Fax: 626798-0195

Valerie grew up in Pasadena and graduated from John Muir High School, Pasadena City College and attended Cal State University at Long Beach. She retired early from a career as a Career Counselor from U.C. Irvine.  She lived 6 years in the DC area and GA., and worked part-time as Assistant Funeral Director at Woods-Valentine for five years.  

Valerie is the loving "Nana" to Mikayla and Avery Bowe, and the proud mother of Britney Bowe and Justin Isaac. She moved to Virginia to be close to her family but has such a love for the business that she helps out part-time when she returns home for a visit.  

Gemia Layne Taylor, Adminstrative Assistant

Atty. Gemia Taylor Mercer is the daughter of George and Gail (Valentine) Taylor. She worked part-time as a Funeral Service Facilitator during her school years.  Gemia is a graduate of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, CA.  She passed the California Bar Exam in February of 2013, and currently is a Deputy Community Prosecutor in California.  

Gianna Lois Taylor, Administrative Assistant

Gianna Taylor Fay is the daughter of George and Gail (Valentine) Taylor. She worked part-time as a Funeral Service Facilitator during her school years. Gianna is a graduate of the University of Southern California in the fields of Sociology and  Psychology.  She received her Master's degree in Nursing at Cal State Fullerton with an emphasis in Clinical Nurse Leadership and Nurse-Midwifery.  She is a Certified Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Mid Wife.

Charles Johnson, Asst. Funeral Director

Charles Johnson is a Asst. Funeral Director and Driver. He is married to Sheri Johnson and is a father of 2 children. He enjoys sports and coaches Little League. Charles attends First AME Church, Pasadena.

James Ross, Asst. Funeral Director (Retired)

James Ross is an Assistant Funeral Director and Driver. He is the brother-in-law of Fred and Arzella Valentine. He is married to Rosalia and a Wonderful father, grand father and great grandfather. He is an active member of first AME church, Pasadena. James retired in 2008 but still answers calls when needed.

James Adkins, Asst. Funeral Director (Retired)

James Adkins was an Assistant Funeral Director and Driver for many years.  He was the brother of Fred W. Valentine, and worked in the business part-time since he was a child.  James was a dedicated father, grandfather, brother and member of Friendship Baptist Church Pasadena. He passed away August 29, 2016.

Rev. Jesse Chapman, Pre-Need Counselor/Chaplain

Rev. Jesse Chapman is a Pre-Need Counselor and  Life Insurance Agent with many years of experience. He is an assistant Funeral Director and our newest family counselor. He is Pastor Emeritus of Morning Star Baptist Church in Pasadena.

Our Aim Is To Be Worthy of Your Confidence!

52 Weeks of Support

It's hard to know what to say when someone experiences loss. Our free weekly newsletter provides insights, quotes and messages on how to help during the first year.