Stephens & Bobbitt Funeral Directors
Bobbitt Memorial Chapel is one of the oldest family owned and operated businesses in San Bernardino. The history of Bobbitt Memorial Chapel dates back to the early 1900’s with a man named George M. Stephens.
George Stephens was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He came to San Bernardino in the late nineteenth century via Canada and became involved in the undertaking business in San Bernardino. In 1906, George joined the firm W.D. Aldridge and formed Aldridge & Stephens, located at 420 ‘E’ Street. Following the partnership with Aldridge, George Stephens continued in the undertaking business and independently formed Stephens & Son Mortuary, which operated from 1911 to 1923.
In 1923, James D. Bobbitt who worked in the undertaking business in Lynchburg, Ohio relocated to California and went into business with George Stephens to form Stephens & Bobbitt Funeral Directors. Soon after their partnership began, Stephens & Bobbitt relocated to a new Spanish Colonial Revival style building at 1156 North F Street.
The grand opening of the new mortuary building was held Sunday, October 14, 1928 and spurred an almost entire page of articles and illustrations in the San Bernardino Daily Sun Newspaper. The article suggested the mortuary was sited in a residential neighborhood, “in a district that is separated from the hustle and noises of the congested business zone”. At the time, this was in contrast to the typical commercial setting of earlier funeral homes.
In conjunction with the funeral business, the mortuary also doubled as an ambulance service through the same location. Ambulance services were commonly connected to funeral establishments in that era.
Shortly following the passing of George Stephen in 1935, George’s wife Kathryn sold their remaining interest to James D. & Lulu Bobbitt in 1937. The Bobbitt family continued to operate the business on ‘F’ street with their son, James Russell Bobbitt, Sr. and later with two grandsons, James Russell Bobbitt, Jr. and Gary M. Bobbitt.
In 1964, the Bobbitt family dropped the long time reference to George Stephens and moved the mortuary business outside of the city’s historic core to its present location. The new Bobbitt Memorial Chapel opened at 1299 E. Highland Avenue and the former building at 1156 N. ‘F’ Street was sold to the San Bernardino Lodge of the Odd Fellows.
The Bobbitt family has been honored with the privileged of serving families in the Inland Empire for over 90 years. Through each generation a renewed commitment has been made to meet the needs of each family with care, professionalism and personal attention. The Bobbitt family sincerely appreciates the trust that has been placed in them and wishes to thank all those in the community who have supported them through the years.