History

While Penttila's Chapel was established in 1955, it's history can be traced back almost eighty plus years when in 1929, E.B. Hughes Mortuary established their North Beach Mortuary in Ilwaco. That building still stands and is located across the street from Ocean Beach Hospital on the west side of First Street



Eldred Penttila

Eldred Penttila was born in Naselle of Finnish ancestry.  Following graduation from Naselle High he went to work for Hatton's Funeral Home in Cathlamet, serving as an apprentice until 1942 when he enlisted in the Navy.  He served as a medical corpsman and was honorably discharged in 1946.

Following his service Eldred attended San Francisco College of Mortuary Science. He returned to Cathlamet and in January 1948 he moved to Long Beach to open the branch of Hatton's on the Peninsula.  Eldred returned to serve his nation during the Korean Conflict.



Hatton Funeral Home

In February of 1948, Hatton Funeral Home of Cathlamet opened a branch in Long Beach on the site of present day Penttila's with Eldred as manager. Mr. Hatton was involved in a serious automobile accident and the decision was made to sell the Long Beach branch.  In 1953 Hughes-Ransom (formally EB Hughes) bought out Hatton's with Eldred as manager.



Penttila's Chapel by The Sea

In 1955 Eldred purchased the Long Beach location from Hughes-Ransom. The building at that time consisted of a living quarters and small chapel area. These buildings were former barracks that were moved to Long Beach from Fort Canby in the early 1950s.  In 1971 the first of two additions here added. This first one was for an enlarged chapel.

 

The next and final addition was started in 1980 and added an arrangement room, business office and expanded garage space.

On September 29, 1980, Eldred Penttila died at the young age of 57.  He and Dorthy are both buried in the Penttila family plot at Peaceful Hill Cemetery in Naselle.



The Sonnenberg's

Following Eldred's death, his wife Dorthy continued the operation with Don Birge as manager. By 1983 Dorthy's deteriorating health dictated that the funeral home be sold. She died December 23, 1983.

Mike and Gail Sonnenberg purchased the business in early 1983 and operated Penttila's for the ensuing five and a half years.



New era begins

In 1989 Ron and Liz Hylton purchased the funeral home and continue to operate it to this day with Dan Hickey serving as manager.  Dale Staudenraus is available as needed and Mark McClaughty, our factory trained crematory operator, also provides invaluable assistance.  

Many may remember years past when they were assisted by Harry Dunlap, Charlie Moore and Frank High.  Sadly all three have passed on, but the personal service they gave to many families over the years will not soon be forgotten.