History and Staff

Personalized service options allow you to honor your loved ones in a way that is both meaningful and healing. We hope to provide support and caring while delivering memorial services that celebrate life and help families find the peace they deserve.
If you’re seeking an honorable celebration of life, we invite you to learn more about where we came from, our vision, and the dedicated people behind our work.

A History of Caring

In 1904 Ernest Newville Hill, a decorated Spanish American War veteran, was working for a Tacoma funeral home as an embalmer/funeral director. He ventured out on his own starting a funeral business in Puyallup in 1908. A two story building in the 400 block of North Meridian was his first location. He and his wife Mabel lived above the funeral home where a son, Vernon Hill, was born later that same year.

At that time horse drawn livery services provided the hearse from church to cemetery; often paid for in gold coins. He pioneered the use of motor powered funeral coaches in Pierce County with a horse drawn Cunningham body adapted to a Winton Six chassis with dry cell ignition.

When the Independent Order of Odd Fellows built a new two story building on West Pioneer Ave., Ernest, a past Noble Grand of Unity Lodge #18, rented their first floor of the building for his mortuary. Several years later when larger quarters were needed for the growing business, Ernest moved the mortuary to 321 So. Meridian across from Pioneer Park. In 1921 he established the first, "Funeral Home" type mortuary in the State of Washington by converting the Gabrielson mansion at 217 E. Pioneer Ave. into a two story funeral home.

Ernest & Mabel continued to operate Hill Funeral Home and raise their five children. Strong in community service, Ernest was a charter member of VFW Post #2224, a charter member of the Rotary Club of Puyallup, a member of the Woodmen of the World, the Puyallup Chamber of Commerce, the Improved Order of Redmen, and the Rebekah Lodge. In 1953 son Vernon joined the firm and purchased the funeral home in 1957. In 1959 a new, more modern funeral home was built.

Vernon Hill was a decorated army veteran of WW II. (Ernest had volunteered for military service but then in his sixties was turned down.) Vernon was active in the community serving as District Governor for Kiwanis. He was a member of the same VFW Post as Ernest and the American Legion Post #67 which has now been re-named the R. Vernon Hill Memorial Post.

In 1966 Terry & Lucille Davies joined the firm with the understanding that they would buy the firm at Vernon's retirement. This was effected in 1977. On January 1, 2018 Terry and Lucille retired after working/owning the funeral home for over 50 years. Curnow Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Sumner purchased the business and assumed operating it. Terry and Lucille's daughter Debbie and granddaughter, April remain active in the business and continue to serve families as they have for many years. 

Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care

A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. Our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.

Brian Curnow
Funeral Director/Embalmer

Born and raised in the Puyallup area, Brian is in his 32nd year of funeral service. He is a past president of the Washington State Funeral Directors Association and has served on its' Board of Directors. Brian worked for the Alderwoods Group (now Service Corp. International or "Dignity") for 13 years working in location and regional management. He most recently managed Powers Funeral Home before leaving to start Curnow Funeral Home in 2003.

Brian has been involved in coaching youth sports in the Sumner area for many years. He also enjoys boating, snow skiing and attending local high school sporting events. Brian is a volunteer with the non-profit group MED25 and has traveled to Mbita, Kenya twice to help build and open a much needed mortuary in that community. He has two sons, Kyle and Jake. 



Ben Breum
Funeral Director

Ben has been has been active in the funeral industry since 2001 and became a licensed funeral director in 2004.  He is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University obtaining a Bachelors in business degree.  He has lived in the Puyallup Valley for 30 years with his wife Lisa.  They have a daughter Megan who's a nurse in the Spokane area.  He is active in his church, Beautiful Savior Lutheran in Milton, enjoys hiking, skiing, reading and spending time with his family.



Bethann Lainfiesta
Funeral Director

Bethann is a licensed Funeral Director. She graduated from Lake Washington Technical college in 2012. She earned her bachelor's degree in Healthcare Management in 2015. She has devoted the last 7 years to helping the families in the community. She emphasizes in listening to the questions and concerns of families, and offering them solutions and possibilities. When she is not at work, she is enjoys spending time with her family, running and is a troop leader for a local Girl Scout Troop. 


April Shank Cerio
Office Manager


Brendan Wills
Funeral Director


Marcie Doolin
Administrative Assistant


Tammy Drennen
Administrative Assistant


Stacey Phelps
Crematory Operator


Manny Rincon
Funeral Director Intern