Local company offers transparent pricing, all-inclusive packages

By Jill Whitley | jill@newnan.com

After working in the funeral industry nearly her entire life, Christine Hunsaker, owner of Southern Cremations & Funerals, is an expert at guiding people through the process of securing their legacies. Still, it was a touching surprise when she got a call last year from Tony House, the owner of Fairburn’s Holly Hill Funeral Home. 

House, who opened the funeral home in 1974 and worked closely with Hunsaker after she acquired Holly Hill Memorial Park in 2014, was ready to retire but wanted to make sure the families he served would be well-cared for in the future.

“Out of the blue, Tony called me up one day, and said that he was looking for someone to take over his business,” Hunsaker said. “We owned the cemetery, and he had seen our commitment to doing everything above-board, as transparently and openly as possible. He believed it was a natural fit; that we were the right family to take over the funeral home.”

Now known as Southern Cremations & Funerals at Holly Hill, the facility, one of three owned by Hunsaker and her brother Robert, is committed to providing the same compassionate death-care services that Fairburn residents have come to rely on—even keeping the former owner on staff for as long as his health allows.

“Tony is so well respected in the community, and we are grateful that he chose us to take over his business, and that he will continue to stay on as part of our team,” Hunsaker said. 

While it might seem that nothing but the name has changed at Holly Hill, the Hunsaker family is quietly leading a revolution in the death-care industry, right here in metro Atlanta.

Holly Hill Memorial Park is located adjacent to the funeral home, giving families every service they may need at one convenient location. The cemetery offers affordable burial, mausoleum and cremation memorial options.

“We know that, whether it’s expected or sudden, there is never a good time to lose a loved one. No matter the circumstances, saying goodbye is always difficult,” Hunsaker said. “Because we are locally owned and family-operated, we’ve been able to innovate, making the process as easy, transparent, and affordable as possible for the families we serve.”

“Our pricing is readily available on our website,” Hunsaker explains. “We offer ten all-inclusive memorial packages: four for cremation, starting at $595, and six for more traditional funerals, which start at $2,295. We can provide a full-service funeral, a casket, burial space, and vault for under $10,000.” 

Hunsaker notes, “That’s typically 30% to 50% less than a traditional funeral home.”

Southern Cremations & Funerals is the only woman-owned death-care service in Georgia, and it is evident that Hunsaker’s unique position in the funeral industry has shaped the company’s position on advance arrangements.

“It’s well known that women live longer than men, and often, funeral arrangements are left up to us. Whether we are caring for a spouse or our parents, we’re often left wondering what our loved one would have really wanted.”

While Hunsaker acknowledges that death can be an emotionally-charged subject, she believes that “funeral pre-planning is a wonderful gift that can greatly ease a family’s emotional and financial burden after a loss.”

“Many of the families that own property in our memorial parks haven’t passed away yet, but have made their own advance arrangements. Whether they’ve put funds in trust or insurance—their money is kept safe, and is available when it’s time for them to come into our care.”

Whether you are considering your own advance arrangements, or find yourself facing the loss of a loved one, the staff at Southern Cremations & Funerals encourages you to come in to tour their Fairburn facilities.

“Our people are kind, skilled, licensed, and professional, and their sole job is to make this process as easy as possible. We had a woman come in recently after a loss, and she wanted a full-service funeral in a well-known chapel with a great reputation, but she said that she could only spend $4,900. Because we’re not part of a larger corporation—our only company policy is to say yes whenever and however we can to help people through this difficult time—we were able to do it,” explained Hunsaker.

“Saying goodbye is hard enough without having to empty your bank account. Funeral arrangements shouldn’t be complicated. We don’t want families to worry when their hearts are already broken.”

Southern Cremations & Funerals at Holly Hill is located at 431 SW Broad Street in Fairburn. For more information or to arrange a tour, call (770) 964-7833, or visit their website at SouthernCremations.com.