History & Staff

At Mission Mortuary, we provide personalized service options that 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 in Monterey and the surrounding areas, we invite you to learn more about where we came from, our vision, and the dedicated people behind our work.

A History of Caring

Mission Mortuary opened its doors in 1946 at a location on Munras Ave. in Monterey and moved to our current location on Camino El Estero in 1952.  Being centrally located on the Monterey Peninsula and adjascent to the San Carlos and Monterey City Cemeteries, Mission Mortuary has been the premier funeral home choice for Monterey and the entire peninsula.  While times certainly have changed, so has Mission Mortuary in keeping up with the changing needs of our families.  We offer a  large, remodeled, facility with a chapel that seats 180, our signature reception room that many have said "rivals any fine dining restaurant", and our 'Memories Cafe' which is our hospitality room offered to our families.  Whether a handful of friends and family or large crowd, we can accommodate all.

We offer families choosing cremation peace of mind by having the option to have cremations done right across the street at Monterey City Crematory.

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. At Mission Mortuary, 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.

Paul Nelson
Location Leader

Paul Nelson was raised and has lived most of his life in the heart of the Gold Country, or the Mother Lode, of California. “I started this incredible journey in funeral service as a sophomore in high school at the young age of sixteen. Working at a funeral home just around the corner from my high school I quickly learned the fragility of life and death.” Paul served his apprenticeship in Southern California and earned his Mortuary of Science Degree from Mt. Hood Community College of Oregon in 1994. 

Paul has dedicated his entire working career to the funeral service, working in many capacities along the way. “From washing cars, digging graves, pushing a mower, weed eating to managing day to day operations of both the funeral home and cemetery, owning a funeral home, and more, I’ve learned the incredible value each one of us brings to creating the experience we ourselves would hope for during our most painful hours.”

Paul is a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife Nicole enjoy the outdoors, wine tasting, traveling, and time with friends.   

Sandra Stella
Funeral Director/Embalmer

Sandra Stella, originally from Boston, Massachusetts moved to the Monterey area in 2011. She earned her degree in Mortuary Science from Mt. Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts in 1999. Sandra began her career in the Boston area before moving to Las Vegas, NV where she spent 10 years serving the families of Palm Mortuary. In 2011 she joined The Paul Mortuary in Pacific Grove, California where she served families as a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer for 5 years. Sandra joins Mission Mortuary with education, experience and her passion for helping families.

Edgar Carabello
Advanced Planning

Edgar Carabello, originally from Riverside, California, moved to the Monterey area in 2017. He began his career in the Southern California area where he spent 22 years serving the families of Riverside and Los Angeles Counties. In 1995 Edgar joined the Oakdale Mortuary & Cemetery team where he served families as a Funeral Arranger and quickly moved into management roles such as Funeral Supervisor, Preneed Supervisor, and Sales Manager.

Edgar joined Mission Mortuary in 2017 as Sales Manager and is looking forward to help educate families and prepare them for planning their future arrangements. He brings experience, excellent training, and a passion for reaching out to the families in our community. He hopes to convey awareness of the importance in preparing for the future to ease the stress and complexity of the passing of a loved one.

Barton Parshall
Funeral Associate

Bart began his career with Mission Memorial Park in 1987 when the funeral home was built on the cemetery grounds. His brother was the owner of the then Monterey Peninsula Mortuary and Bart was a stockholder. 8 years later when his brother sold the funeral home and cemetery Bart stayed on working with the new owners. They aquired Mission Mortuary at that same time. The properties have changed hands several times over the years and Bart has been the one constant.
Bart loves vintage cars, especially Jaguars. He has owned numerous vintage cars including a 1950 Jag Sedan, 1954 and 1955 Jag Roadster, and currently a 1996 Jaguar Sedan. He was an avid hunter and fisherman all of his life. He is a pet lover, but adores kitty cats.

Jimmy Welch
Funeral Associate

Jimmy Welch, a Monterey Peninsula native, attended local schools and churches throughout his life. The son of a preacher, Jimmy has always had a passion for funeral services. As a child, he watched his father prepare sermons, meals, and travel for grieving families later becoming a familiar face in the funeral business himself by continuing on his fathers’ legacy. Jimmy is active in the local community in various churches, civic organizations and committees throughout the peninsula. Jimmy is passionate about helping our local families in their time of need, treating each of your loved ones as one of his own. His satisfaction comes from knowing he provided outstanding customer service to his community.

John DiCarlo
Funeral Associate

Kathy Berry
Advance Planning

Kathy Berry, Mission Mortuary, Funeral Specialist, provides pre-arrangement service for families. Pre-need funeral arrangements allow for peace of mind, security and relieves the burden for the family at the time of need.  Kathy has held a California Life and Health license for ten years. Kathy has lived her entire adult life in California and sees that as a great gift. Kathy has two adult children and a beautiful granddaughter. She enjoys hiking, reading and the Pacific Ocean.