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.
The Wanzo Funeral Home was established in 1912, by Mr. Elvin B. Wanzo. It was the first Black funeral home in Toledo. The first location was 1412 Monroe Street, the second 1303 Washington Street and the third 1210 Washington Street. Finally, in 1937 he purchased 572 Nebraska Avenue from the Foth Funeral Home. Mr. Wanzo was a pioneer as a Black businessman in Toledo , OH. He established and maintained an ethical and well respected business over the years of his direction. His records, reflecting the families that he served from 1912 through his sale to Mr and Mrs.. Dale, remain a treasure of the funeral home. The E.B.Wanzo Funeral Home was purchased by Clarence and Genevieve Dale in 1946. They continued the legacy of Mr. Elvin Wanzo and established their own reputation for ethical, quality and compassionate funeral services. The C.J. Dale Funeral Home, which evolved into the Dale Funeral Home Inc has provided funeral services of the highest standard in the city of Toledo. It became one of Toledo’s most prominent Black businesses.
Allen “ Jack Jr” joined the firm and made his impact on the business. He recognized the need for the funeral home to expand at the present location. Jack Jr. guided the construction of the new chapel which was completed in 1987. In 1992, Sheryl A. Riggs joined the firm. Carla Hodge, came late in 1995 and they all worked together until Allen’s retirement in 1998. He has relocated to Tennessee with his two children.
Mr.Clarence J. Dale died December 11,2002. Mrs. E. Genevieve Dale died May 2, 2007. They left a stellar reputation in the business community and funeral service industry. Mr. and Mrs. Dale were loved and respected by everyone who knew them. They lived truly Christian lives and led by their actions and by example. Their impact on Toledo will never be forgotten. The love given to Sheryl by the Dales continues to inspire her as she continues the legacy of both Mr. Wanzo and Mr. and Mrs. Dale.
Our Valued Staff
Mrs. Sheryl A. Riggs, Manager/Director
Mrs. Riggs is a 1970 graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in Social Work she went on to pursue her license as a funeral director/embalmer and graduated from Wayne State Mortuary School in 1980. Mrs. Riggs was owner and Operator of Riggs Funeral Home in Detroit, Michigan from 1984-1987 and has worked for several firms in the Detroit area. Mrs. Riggs has since relocated to Toledo, Ohio where she holds the position as Managing/Director of the Dale Funeral Home Inc. since August of 1992. She contributes tirlessly to the betterment of the Toledo Community with national and local causes. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Toledo Chapter of the Link's Inc., Toledo Chapter of Girlfriends, Inc. and Top Ladies of Distinction.
Over the years, she was a pioneer in the area of grief counseling and initated a program in Toledo for Mother's who had lost children. She has worked with SIDS, AIDS, Homelessness and other issues facing our community. She is an advocate and supporter of the citizens of the Toledo, no matter what their endeavors.
Deborah Sandridge, Hall Office Manager
Debbie is the office manager for the Dale-Riggs Funeral Home. Debbie is responsible for the high level of efficiency of the office of the Dale-Riggs Funeral Home. She handles the clerical functions and assists Mrs. Riggs with the clients and many crucial services of the funeral home. Debbie's pleasant voice is the one that many times greets you, on the telephone.
Nathaniel M. Williams, Assistant Funeral Director
Nathaniel works closely with Mrs. Riggs in maintaining the Dale-Riggs Funeral Home. He supervises the part time staff, scheduling them for funerals and other tasks. He also assists the funeral directors on funerals and handles all Death Certificates and maintains many office functions. And is in charge of all removals, he has been with the company since 1998.
Douglas Dunklin, Physical Plant Manager
Doug maintains the physical plant of the Dale Funeral Home. He also cares for the automobiles and the landscaping. He is the oldest member of the staff he joined the firm in 1984.
Mr. Nathaniel M. Williams, Administrative Assistant
(pictured on left)