Bell-O’Dea Funeral Home, Inc., is a family owned and operated funeral home located in Brookline, Massachusetts serving families in Brookline and surrounding areas of Chestnut Hill, West Roxbury, Newton, Brighton, as well as many others.
Founded in 1915 by the late Robert H. “ Bob” Bell, Bell Funeral Home, Inc., operated under Mr. Bell’s direction at its original location on Washington St., where the Court House now stands in Brookline Village.
It was in 1940 that Mr. Bell purchased the home two buildings away from the Court House where the business now operates. Not having children interested in the funeral business Mr. Bell hired August A. “Gus” Calen, Jr. a licensed funeral director who would help run the funeral home until Mr. Bell’s death in 1962. It was then that Gus took over the operation of The Bell Funeral Home.
In 1976 Gus passed away and his widow, Elsa C. Calen returned to school to receive her funeral director’s license. Operating the funeral home on her own from that point until April of 1983. In April of 1983, George T. O’Dea, third generation funeral director merged with Elsa creating the now Bell-O’Dea Funeral Home, Inc. It was with Mr. O’Dea’s wife Marie’s encouragement and support of his children Cathy, George T. Jr., and John that Mr. O’Dea left as the manager of the former Lacy Funeral Home, Brookline to pursue his dream of owning his own funeral home.
Now seeing the fourth generation, George Jr. and John. The O’Dea’s entered school to obtain their licenses, but in 1989, George Jr. died after a very brief illness at the age of 24. Finishing school in 1990, John joined the funeral home as a licensed director. It was in 1999 that Elsa passed away.
Today, the funeral home still operates under the direction of George T. O’Dea and his son John.