On Tuesday, Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home celebrated the opening of its new home at 100 Corporate Plaza Drive off of North Morgan Street.
Owner Willie Edmondson thanked those in attendance for coming and for supporting the business through the transition.
“We had some bitters and sweets,” Edmondson said. “It was bitter that we had to get put out, but it was sweet that we had somewhere to go. And so, we really owe it all to the good Lord.”
Edmondson, who is also senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church and a LaGrange City Council member, noted that the building’s parking lot could hold more than 100 cars, something the old building didn’t have. He invited attendees, who wore masks, to explore the building and mingle.
“The green [ribbons] here today, represents money,” LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce Chairman George Bailey told the crowd. “Gold represents the unity that you have with your chamber of commerce.”
In an interview, Edmondson said the widening of Hamilton Road led to the old property being acquired by the Georgia Department of Transportation through eminent domain, forcing the funeral home to relocate.
The new building was formerly Higgins Funeral Home. Higgins moved to 506 Hill St. after buying Hunter-Allen-Myhand Funeral Home and moving into their building.
“This place was available, so the Higgins family was gracious enough to sell it to us,” Edmondson said.
Despite the relief of finding a new facility, Edmondson was disappointed the home had been forced to move from its old site, where it had been since 1959.
“It’s been horrible, to be honest with you,” Edmondson said when asked what moving was like. “Confusing for some people because we’ve been there for so long. It was a landmark in the community.”
At the old location, Edmondson said people knew they could come in and receive help with a variety of things separate from the funeral home business.
Staff took people to the doctor, helped with notary work, gave advice, and even provided food, water and clothes to the homeless.
COVID-19 has also presented challenges and limited the home’s ability to provide normal funeral home services.
“What we’re doing, viewing one room, just one hour viewing for the families. And we normally would have viewing all day long,” Edmondson said.
The funeral home was first established in the early 20th century as Potts and Potts. The name has changed several times as owners came and went, becoming Potts and Lakes, then Lakes and Dunson and finally Lakes-Dunson-Robertson in 1958. Edmondson has owned the business since 2002.