LA FERIA — A new garden mausoleum is in the plans at Heavenly Grace Memorial Gardens, with construction set to begin soon on the $369,000 project.
The funeral home at the intersection of White Ranch Road and U.S. Business 83 is an increasingly popular venue for services and interment, particularly the facility’s two crematoriums.
The new garden mausoleum will be open-air and covered with a granite veneer on the 25-acre Heavenly Grace grounds.
“We already have some but they’re more like private ones,” said Abel Obregon, general manager of the memorial garden and the Heavenly Grace Funeral Home. “This is what’s called a garden mausoleum where multiple families can have a piece of it.
“If a family needs only one crypt, they can have one crypt,” he added “If a family needs 10, they can buy 10. It’s called a garden mausoleum, or it’s also known as a community mausoleum.”
Heavenly Grace is a subsidiary of Houston-based Service Corp. International, which operates more than 1,500 funeral homes and 450 cemeteries in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and eight Canadian provinces. Founded in 1962, SCI is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SCI.”
“We’re going to have individual crypts and we’re going to have companion crypts,” Obregon said. “We’re also going to incorporate niches for ‘cremains’ in the same building. It is going to be open. The crypts are going to be facing the outside.”
SCI purchased the funeral home and cemetery property in about 2015 from owner Dial Dunkin, he said.
“I think the previous owner, Mr. Dunkin, did a great job and we came in and pretty much we try to keep it up,” Obregon said.
The general manager said he did not have a timetable for the start of construction, but once these projects begin, work should be completed quickly.
“We’ve done some of the preliminary work already, like the soil testing, the mapping,” he said. “I don’t have a date yet for construction to start. I know once the company starts, it doesn’t take too long, it’s a matter of probably a couple of months.”