Our Story


Turn back the clock to 1880; the year that the Sexton Brothers & Woolley Funeral Home was founded. At that time, Long Branch–a community named for its location on the South Shrewsbury River–was a beach resort town. It wasn't long before its seaside splendor was discovered by actors and performers, including the famous Lillie Langtry; and other well-known personalities like Diamond Jim Brady. Even many 19th and early 20th century U.S. Presidents chose this beautiful seaside town as their preferred resort; powerful men like Chester A. Arthur, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, and James Garfield.

In fact, when recovering from an assassination attempt on July 2, 1881, President Garfield came to stay in Long Branch. Unfortunately, our fresh seaside air and quiet surroundings did very little to aid in his recovery: he died here on September 19, 1881.

For an in-depth look at our chronological history–and to view a collection of historic photographs, maps and picture postcards, as well as current images of – of Long Branch we suggest you review the websites listed in the Sources section of this web page.


The 20th Century in Long Branch: A Time of Change


According to local historians, the early decades of this new century brought a decline in the popularity of Long Branch as a resort. Changes in gambling laws caused many to choose other destinations, and storms eroded our beaches, making our seaside town less attractive to visitors.

It was also at this time that a change in the name of our funeral home occurred, but certainly the newly-christened Woolley Funeral Home continued the legacy of service begun by the original founders. In fact, five generations of the Woolley family–beginning with co-founder Willis A. Woolley–provided guidance to Long Branch families coping with the death of a loved one.

William J. "Bill" Boglioli began working at the funeral home in 1977, working alongside two members of the Woolley family, Bruce W. Woolley and Peter H. Woolley. "I was so privileged to work with these dedicated funeral professionals," declares Bill. "They supported me in pursuing my education in funeral service at the American Academy of McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City. When I graduated in 1982, they welcomed me back into the Woolley Funeral Home as a fully-licensed funeral director; and to this day, my memories of their professionalism, honesty, and commitment to service are an inspiration to me."

In 2009, when longtime friend and owner Bruce Woolley died suddenly, Bill took over as manager. Just two years later, in 2011, he bought the firm, changing its legal business name to Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home. "In putting the Woolley name first, I honor the legacy of the Woolley family of funeral professionals."

Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home, Long Branch, NJ  -  Phone: (732) 229-0122   |   Holmdel Funeral Home, Holmdel, NJ  -  Phone: (732) 946-3322
William J. Boglioli, Manager | N.J. Lic. No. 3652
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