Crest Lawn Funeral Home, where for more than half a century the wide, manicured front lawn lent a parklike feel to a shopping-centered stretch of Pio Nono Avenue in south Macon, has closed.
“It was a difficult decision,” manager Mike Odom said Monday.
The funeral home’s owners spoke over the weekend and opted to shutter it.
Crest Lawn had just two employees. One will be given a severance, Odom said, time to find another job. The other will stay on in the coming months to help close the business.
Crest Lawn opened as Horton-Ivey Funeral Home in 1960 at the intersection of Pio Nono and Newburg avenues when the city’s south side was a bustling home to new businesses and restaurants. Westgate Mall was just up the street. Horton-Ivey was renamed Crest Lawn in 1966.
“When Horton-Ivey started, it served the south Macon blue-collar community and it has continued to do that, but’s it’s just been declining pretty consistently now for six or seven years,” Odom said.
“It’s just been a slow decline in the number of calls. Despite the efforts of the staff and the owners, that trend has not changed, and so the decision was made to cease operations.”
Crest Lawn has two owners, one of which owns Hart’s Mortuary and Crematory, said Odom, who also works for Hart’s.
Any pre-arranged funerals that had been planned through Crest Lawn will be honored by Hart’s, he said.