L ong Beach Colonial Mortuary started with an inspired youth’s vision and turned into a well-defined man’s fulfilling reality. This young man was Gillis Monroe; and thanks to him, Long Beach Colonial Mortuary has become one of the leading establishments in funeral service today. Long Beach Colonial mortuary offers families the opportunity to commemorate their loved ones lives well lived.
At the early age of 14, Mr. Monroe’s commitment to funeral service began. A native of Munson, Florida, Mr. Monroe spent after school hours and weekends working at Joe Morris & Son Funeral Home in Pensacola, Florida. He dedicated so much time to the vocation of helping people that the venue qualified as a second home to him until he departed to attend Florida A&M University. Then suspending his education to enlist in the U.S. Air Force in which he made a career for himself as a Medical Technician. After spending 20 years of honorable service, Mr. Monroe returned home to Pensacola, Florida.
In 1975, he moved with his family to Long Beach, California, and soon after, traveled north to attend the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science. Graduating in 1976, he then returned to Long Beach and started his employment with the Long Beach Colonial Mortuary, formerly known as Harris Colonial Mortuary. In 1983, Mr. Monroe proudly purchased the establishment at 1760 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and set out to make it the most embracing and warm-hearted environment possible. Resulting from his passion for the profession, he successfully converted his interest into owning and managing the mortuary, but unfortunately, this particular location was not entirely conducive to Mr. Monroe’s envisioned atmosphere. With only one restroom, no parking and limited privacy it was extremely difficult to facilitate all of the comfort and consolation that Mr. Monroe felt a mortuary should provide. The company’s four employees persevered with God on their side and relocated to a new discovered vacancy on Atlantic Avenue. At this accommodating location, Long Beach Colonial Mortuary gratefully enjoyed a reception and was respectably presented a key to the city by former Mayor Ernie Kell.
Long Beach Colonial Mortuary has thrived for many years with the support of his wife and Funeral Director Anna C. Monroe, son Gillis M. Monroe, daughter Karen E. Monroe and past and present mortuary staff.