After more than 60 years at the same location in the heart of Conyers, the George W. Levett Sr. and Sons Funeral Home has relocated to a new and bigger facility right outside the edge of the city on Milstead Avenue.
“Bigger” may be an understatement. The new facility located at 1299 Milstead Avenue is about 13,500 square feet (sq. ft.) in size – nearly seven times the size of the old facility at 1041 Bryant Street.
“That building, the old building, fits comfortable in the chapel here,” said George Levett Jr., director of the funeral home. “The chapel is 2,400 sq. ft.”
The additional space will allow George Levett Jr., and his other siblings – brothers Jerome and Grote and sisters Marilyn and Sonya – who also own a stake in the family business, to serve more customers at once, he says.
“This gives us a better opportunity to serve more families at a time one time. Nowadays, people are looking for large facilities,” he said. “We could have as many as three funeral services going on at one time.”
However, the major gift from the move, and why it was needed, was for better visibility to attract new customers. Being set on a corner in the middle of Conyers at their old facility offered little visibility to people who weren’t from the community or didn’t live in the area.
With the business having been operating since March at the new facility, only a few yards away from the Rockdale Medical Center, George Levett Jr. says they have been able to bring in new customers already because “a lot of people didn’t know where we were,” he says.
“It was just really time to move,” said George Levett Jr.
George Levett Sr., Levett’s father who passed away in 2004, started the funeral home business in 1950. A few years later in 1959, the business closed, but then George Levett Sr. opened a new funeral business in 1964. This remained operational at the Bryant Street location and became the funeral as we know it today.
George Levett Jr. and his siblings all grew up in the funeral home. Not only did they live there, they also helped their father during services.
“We all had a passion for it,” said George Levett Jr. “We were raised up in the funeral home.”
But things have changed considerably in the funeral industry since their father started his business 65 years ago. Those changes also spurred the Levett children to deciding it was time to relocate.
“When the funeral home was established where it was established, the funeral industry was really based around neighborhoods,” said George Levett Jr., who took over as funeral director in 1990. “Communities were small. Conyers, Rockdale was not as big and vast as it is now. You know you have neighborhoods all around.”
The Levett children decided in March 2014 they would begin looking for a new facility. They took over ownership of the former Harry White Chapel in September and after renovations began fully operating at the Milstead Avenue facility in March.
They still own the property at Bryant Street; however, they’ve leased the property out to another tenant, a religious ministry.
“It’s just a new era for us here,” said George Levett Jr.
While it may be a new beginning for the Levett family in a larger facility, the one thing they don’t want to forget is how to treat people.
“One thing that makes us different from our competitors is that we’re small enough that we can give you the attention that you need just to feel like you’re the only person we’re concerned about at that moment,” said George Levett Jr. “A lot of larger firms, people come in and out and they don’t get the attention I think families deserve. And yet, we can provide the same type of service, same level of professionalism at a good price.”
For more information, call 770-483-9885.