In an effort to accommodate larger services, Memorial Park Funeral Home will be adding a new visitation room at its main location on Memorial Park Road
“It’ll be the largest parlor in Hall County,” said Memorial Park Vice President Billy Hendrix.
In addition to the parlor, the funeral home will be expanding its casket selection room with the hope to fit at least 30 to 35 caskets in the room.
The decision to expand came after a need to create a more comfortable experience for larger services, particularly for dignitaries or well-known people.
“We do a lot of volume, and we’re getting to the point where our existing rooms just cannot accommodate the large families or larger families,” Hendrix said. “After a couple of services, we just felt like there was a need to expand and accommodate the need that’s out there.”
The funeral home will also make a move toward securing its vehicles by enclosing an area with garage doors.
Hendrix said the funeral home was prompted to make the move after a stretcher was stolen on New Year’s Day.
Gainesville police were investigating vehicle break-ins at local funeral homes including Little-Davenport Funeral Home and Ward’s Funeral Home.
Little-Davenport reported a GPS taken out of a pickup van, while Ward’s indicated to police that nothing was taken despite damage to a vehicle.
In total, $2,950 in valuables were taken from Memorial Park including the $2,500 stretcher.
“We just felt like after that, there’s bad people in the world, and that was just one part of it,” Hendrix said. “We just felt like we needed to probably look at doing something.”
Hendrix said he was unaware of any progress in the stretcher case.
The expansion is set to be completed by the end of June, Hendrix said.