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.

Our History

Valente Marini Perata & Co. (VMP & Co.) was established in 1888 by Frank Marini, John B. Perata and Virgil Valente in San Francisco's burgeoning North Beach district to serve its growing population of immigrants who arrived at the end of the 19th century. The company became a vital and central member of this colorful new community. Never was its dedication more evident than during the crucial, tumultuous days after the great 1906 earthquake and fire, as VMP & Co.'s horse-drawn livery and transport wagons served double duty as emergency rescue vehicles.

In the same spirit as the famous A.P. Giannini rescuing the cash assets of the Bank of Italy (predecessor to Bank of America), Frank Marini resourcefully buried the firm's historical records in Washington Square Park during the fire. As the City quickly rose from the ashes, these records, containing family information, addresses and other vital statistics, aided survivors in reclaiming property, businesses and citizenship rights.

As subsequent generations moved to the outlying areas of the city, so did the company, from its first branch office at 29th and Mission Streets in 1917 to its present location in San Francisco's Excelsior district in 1925. In 1970, VMP & Co. merged its North Beach operations with its Excelsior location and doubled the size of the facility, to the large modern building you see today (a photographic tour is available on the location page). All of this has given VMP & Co. the ability to provide today's Bay Area residents with comfortable and immaculately maintained facilities with extensive, complimentary parking, and a professional staff that prides itself on excellence.

VMP & Company’s business today has evolved much like San Francisco itself, serving families from myriad cultural and ethnic backgrounds throughout the greater Bay Area. VMP & Co. is now in its fifth generation of being family owned and operated and continues its unparalleled legacy of service - providing all of our families with personal assistance in a time of need, and creating professional and dignified funeral service.

Our Valued Staff

Matthew J.  Taylor

Matthew J. Taylor, Manager

Heather  McDonald

Heather McDonald, Manager

I am originally from Pacifica and that is where my husband and I are raising our three children. I started my career in Funeral Service in 1992 when I attended the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science. I have had the privilege to work at a few different funeral homes before coming to Valente Marini Perata & Co and have been serving families here since 1999, where the neighborhood has a small town feel that I really enjoy. The opportunity meet and help people through the first few steps on their journey after the death of a loved one, to not only care for the deceased and get them where they need to be, but also to care for the living and get them on the path to where they need to be, is an honor, and a passion for me and the whole reason I chose funeral service as my career. When I am not at the funeral home, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am also very crafty and love to sew my own garments and make jewelry.

Stephen J.  Taylor

Stephen J. Taylor, Funeral Director

Esther  Fong-Ishisaki

Esther Fong-Ishisaki, Counselor

Matt Lara

Matt Lara, Administrative Assistant

Born and raised all 24 years in San Francisco- the first several years in the Excelsior District with the last 19 years in the Portola District. Avid baseball, football, basketball, and soccer fan, especially of the Giants, 49ers, and Warriors. And proud graduate of Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory and San Francisco State University.
Matt has been part of the team here at Valente Marini Perata & Co since 2012 and has proven to be a true asset in many ways. Matt not only helps us with our administrative needs but is willing to help in any way he can.

Ed Sandmeier

Ed Sandmeier, Funeral Director and Embalmer

Ed Sandmeier joined funeral service in 1997 at the age of 17 and graduated from the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science in 1999. After completing a two year apprenticeship and earning his license in 2001, Ed enlisted as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist in the U.S. Army where he served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan ensuring those soldiers who lost their lives would be returned home. Ed then re-enlisted as an Airborne Infantryman and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He was sent to New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina and served two more tours of duty in Iraq before being honorably discharged in 2008. He then returned to San Francisco to continue serving Bay Area families in their time of need. Ed has dedicated his time to community initiatives in the Mission, Excelsior and surrounding districts in San Francisco and to his fellow Veteran's as Commander of the Cesar E. Chavez Post 505 of the American Legion. He also serves as a committee member for the War Memorial Veteran's Building and as an officer of the American Legion 8th District Council. Ed has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and is a 32 degree Master Mason.

Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman, Funeral Counselor and Embalmer

Erin hails from rural Minnesota and is a proud graduate of The University of South Dakota where she received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in biology in 2008. Deciding to pursue a career in funeral service, she then enrolled in the University of Minnesota's Mortuary Science program. After graduating with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mortuary Science 2009, she returned to South Dakota to complete her apprenticeship. Following a wonderful hands-on experience working closely with families and all aspects of funeral service, she received the opportunity to move to Northern Virginia to further hone her skills. While in Northern Virginia, Erin had the privilege to work with Arlington National Cemetery and a wide range of diverse individuals and religious affiliations. After working in Virginia for about 3 years, Erin made the cross country move to California. Following a brief assignment in Sacramento, she had the golden opportunity to move to San Francisco to work for Valente Marini Perata & Co. and continue to learn and grow as a funeral service provider.

Apart from funeral service, Erin enjoys spending time on the water, reading, watching movies, traveling, and taking the opportunity to learn whenever possible.