Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Twin Cities Memorial Gardens

Ink dry on purchase of troubled cemetery
from URL: http://www.thenewsstar.com/article/20081209/NEWS01/81209030

Staff report

The purchase of Twin Cities Memorial Gardens in West Monroe has been
completed, and in the near future its name will be changed to Kilpatrick's
Serenity Gardens.

Laura Kilpatrick Marchelos, Kilpatrick Funeral Homes president, said
Monday the company has already met with architects and contractors to give "this
half-century old property a new and exciting face-lift which we will be
unveiling over the next 60 to 90 days."

The cemetery was placed in receivership by the state earlier this year
because of poor management by former owner Dannie Jackson. Mulhearn Funeral
Homes had been running the facility since the state's takeover. Mulhearn has its
own cemetery, Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery, east of Monroe.

The state Attorney General's Office, which represents the Louisiana
Cemetery Board, placed Twin Cities into receivership in January while
investigating complaints over the past several years about poor management and
perpetual care and merchandise trusts not being properly funded.

Following a state investigation, Jackson was indicted on 16 counts of
improper contract for taking money for headstones that he never installed. In
February, he pleaded no contest to one count of improper contract for failing to
put the money in a trust account as required by law.

Jackson has agreed to ensure that all trust funds be fully funded and
to provide a reserve account so Kilpatrick Funeral Homes can fund contracts of
families that have not been fulfilled.

Kilpatrick Funeral Homes operates businesses in Monroe, West Monroe,
Ruston and Farmerville.
"This has been a dream of ours to add a cemetery to
our existing business and to be able to do it where it will benefit the
community of West Monroe and Ouachita Parish. It is a perfect fit," Kilpatrick

Following a state attorney general investigation and an audit by Lucy
McCann of the Louisiana Cemetery Board and the Kilpatrick staff, Kilpatrick
Funeral Homes founder Tex Kilpatrick said "that everything is in order at this

He said those with questions should contact Kilpatrick's at 323-9614.
He said all records should be ready for review "within the next few

Marchelos said people driving by the cemetery will begin to notice
immediate enhancements such as a general cleanup, a new permanent office, new
signage, updated fencing, lighting and road improvements. "Further improvements
will become evident as we get closer to spring of 2009," she said.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rural cemetery in West Baton Rouge Parish on River Road

November 25th and 26th Paul Gates of WAFB wrote a story about a small rural cemetery in West Baton Rouge Parish that likely suffered damage from Hurricane Gustav. It was found by a couple traveling in the area who emailed Mr. Gates about the damaged cemetery near Beuche, Louisiana on River Road. The Assistant Attorney General, Ryan Seideman, the Louisiana Cemetery Board, and both the West Baton Rouge cornoners office and Parish President were on hand to see that the cemetery was cleaned up. You can read more about both articles from Paul Gates here: Family shocked by cemetery destruction and Repair process begins at cemetery with damaged caskets and vaults. It is believed that the destruction found was likely caused by Hurricane Gustav and the owner may be able to get assistance from FEMA. They are still looking for the owner of this cemetery on River Road.

There are very few named cemeteries in West Baton Rouge Parish and even fewer with transcripts available on-line. In fact, Martin Gautier's Louisiana Cemeteries lists several "unknown" cemeteries that have no transcripts, photographs or recognition by USGS. I noted 10 unknown cemeteries at his site where has has listed the GPS of the cemetery. USGS lists cemeteries differently from church cemeteries. Only 10 cemeteries are noted by USGS. USGS lists several churches that may be associated with older cemeteries. Find A Grave notes 39 cemeteries totally in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana where a few more are associated with churches.
Amazon books about - Louisiana Cemeteries


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