History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
Claffey and Rota Funeral Home doing business for more than 65 years
Working together, Ernie, wife Eloise and son Bob Rota have managed and grown a family venture into the successful business. Now, Ernie and Eloise's daughter Leslie Rota and grandchild Suzanne Simas have joined the team.
Ernie Rota got his start in the funeral business at another funeral home alongside future business partner Ed Claffey, the two spent 10 years working as embalmers at the funeral home.
With dreams of their own business, the Rotas bought an acre lot bordered by Main and G streets in 1955. Formerly owned by the Maxwell family, the Rotas broke ground the same year. Partnering with Ed Claffey the two opened Claffey and Rota in February 1956.
To everyone's shock, just one year after opening, Ed Claffey died suddenly of a heart attack.
Facing this loss Ernie Rota remained determined. "I made up my mind. I was going to continue with the operation," he said.
"I hired some people to help me and just went on with it. I've been here ever since."
In 1977, his son Bob joined the Claffey and Rota staff.
With an estimated 225 death calls a year the business keeps father and son occupied. "When you own your business the owner is on call all the time," said Ernie Rota.
"We pride ourselves from never being more than six rings away from a telephone.
"This business is really built on taking care of the people and the families."
Sadly, Bob passed away in 2016, Eloise in 2017, and Ernie in 2021. Since 2016 Leslie and Suzanne have stepped in to help keep the family business running strong.
Our Valued Staff
Ernest Rota, Retired Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Ernest Rota was born in Napa, the son of Italian immigrants. He attended St. John’s Catholic Grammar School and graduated from Napa High School in 1942. Like most men of his generation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Ernie flew 30 combat missions as the Flight Engineer of a B-24 with the 15th Air Force, 484th Bomb Group in Foggia, Italy. While attending flight school in Lincoln, Nebraska he met his wife Eloise and they were married in 1946 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Napa. In 1947 Ernie attended the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science and became employed by a local funeral home in Napa. While there he met Ed Claffey and in 1955 they began construction on their own Funeral Home. The Claffey and Rota Funeral Home opened in 1956. Just a few years after opening the business, Ed Claffey died suddenly. The business has continued on for over 65 years.
Leslie Rota, Licensed Funeral Director
Suzanne Simas, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Selene Crull, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Luz Diaz de Leon, Certified Funeral Arranger
Fluent in Spanish.