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Open house Sunday at new funeral home

By Kay S. Pedrotti Phillip and Laura Breedlove have opened a new funeral home here after being homesick for Barnesville for many years. They grew up here and attended Lamar County schools but did not know each other well as teenagers. After Phillip’s stint in the U.S. Army and many turns along the way, they married in 1992 and blended their families. ’Each of us would always manage to come back to Barnesville for Buggy Days,’ Laura says. ‘So Phillip always said he caught me at the pig chase. That was the first time we spent time together.’ They raised their four children, Kasey, Phillip Michael, Kelly Griffin and Ashley, and took care of Phillip’s mother and step-father George McKenzie for the past seven years — a household Laura describes as ‘Interesting, but fun.’ When Phillip came out of the Army in 1990, he returned to Barnesville and went into funeral service, completing apprenticeship at H.M. Patterson and Sons in Atlanta. Phillip remained there several years. After graduation from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, he also worked with local funeral homes in Thomaston and Barnesville. For the last 15 years he and Laura both worked at Hunter-Allen-Myhand Funeral Home in LaGrange. ’We were driving Ashley back and forth from Gordon (State College),’ Laura said. ‘Buggy Days and all that driving made us homesick all the time,’ she added. They purchased a house here with the thought that Ashley would have a place to stay while in school, they could have accommodations when they came back for visits, and ‘that would be our retirement home,’ said Laura. When several friends encouraged them to return to start a new funeral home, ‘We began to look at it more seriously,’ Phillip said. They were still working for the LaGrange company, renovating the new house and the future home of their business on College Drive, all at the same time. In early June they left the LaGrange firm and began in earnest to ‘find places for things ‘¦ we had four storage units so we can take it a little at a time.’ Phillip is the son of the late John Breedlove and the late Nadine McKenzie. Laura is the daughter of Nancy (Jerry) Herndon, George Williams and the late Bobby Bohannon, and the granddaughter of the late Jody and Mary Ross Waller. The funeral home has a large lobby; flexible viewing- room area; conference room for meeting with families; embalming area and a separate room for dressing and final preparations of the deceased; an office area including controls for sound systems, video surveillance, alarms and other services; a large chapel with Nadine’s piano put there in her honor; restrooms; elegant rolling stock and ample parking. An open house is planned at Breedlove Memorial Chapel at 526 College Dr. from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4. ‘We really want the community to come,’ says Laura. ‘We’re so happy to be back here and we want to serve our ‘˜home’.’

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