• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Clark Funeral Home properties sold; family will continue operating businesses

CLARK FUNERAL HOME hosted a military service on its front lawn along Rose Hill Avenue in April. The Clark family has sold its funeral home properties, but will continue to operate the businesses, according to David Clark. (File photo by Bob Vlach)

The Clark family has sold its funeral home businesses to an Orlando, Fla.-based company that owns and operates more than 140 funeral homes, cremation centers and cemeteries across 20 states.

The sale to Foundation Partners Group includes the Clark Legacy Center at 3000 Versailles Road ($1.95 million) and a second Legacy Center location in Nicholasville as well as Clark Funeral Home at 241 Rose Hill Avenue in Versailles ($725,000).

“This is going to be a great thing for everybody,” David Clark told the Sun Monday. With the expansion of funeral services offered to families here, “we decided that it was the right time to join forces with a larger, privately-owned group of funeral homes …,” he explained.

Clark said becoming a part of Foundation Partners Group will give Clark Funeral Home and its Legacy Centers more resources to grow the business. “Our name, our core values, our staff all remains the same, but we’re going to have access to significantly more resources to build on,” he explained.

Three generations of the Clark family have owned and/or operated a funeral home here. D. R. Duell – step-grandfather of David Clark – opened a funeral home in the downtown Versailles storefront now occupied by Pizza Hut in 1915. The Duell-Clark Funeral Home moved to its current Rose Hill Avenue location in 1946 when Dorsey Clark – David Clark’s father – joined the family business.

After David Clark became a part of Clark Funeral Home in 1973, he and wife Julie expanded the business by opening the first Clark Legacy Center in 2000. Their son Guy joined the business in 2003 and daughter Linzi followed in 2007 – the same year Clark Legacy Center in Nicholasville opened.

“We’re going to continue to stay, continue to lead,” said Clark of his family. “And the people that our communities are accustomed to working with, and our staff all stays the same. None of that’s changing.”

Joining Foundation Partners Group “was a perfect fit for us,” Clark said in a news release announcing the sale. Foundation Partners CEO Bob Bukala said the concept of Clark Legacy Center aligns with the Florida-based company’s “ShareLife philosophy,” in his company’s release.

“We were painting every service with the same brush and I grew tired of the traditional funeral home model,” Clark said of his family’s rationale for opening the Clark Legacy Center. “Expanding our services and building new facilities where our community could truly celebrate their loved ones’ lives brought me back to our mission of helping families.”

During his interview with the Sun, Clark described the ShareLife philosophy as very similar approach to funeral services offered at Clark Legacy Center, which “honors and celebrates the life of a loved one.”

“So we’re really excited about what we’re going to have to be able to offer the community,” he added.

Clark said Foundation Partners Group approached his family about working together to enhance funeral services provided to other families in their time of loss.

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