JEFFERSONVILLE – Randy Lankford's parents passed away, just six months apart.
Neither had planned or saved up for funeral expenses. Neither had life insurance.
Lankford found himself struggling to pay $16,000 for two funerals.
Following that experience, Lankford left his work in the ministry and pursued becoming a funeral director, in an effort to help other families afford those needed services. He now owns Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center, at 3106 Middle Road, in Jeffersonville.
"We are able to offer a low cost funeral service and cremation service as well," said Lankford, owner/director of the new center. "We keep our prices lower, knowing that most of the families we encounter do not have any life insurance."
He is able to offer discounts by discounting his professional fees for families, Lankford said.
"I don't want any other family to be in the situation I was in, so I offer my services at a discounted price," Lankford explained.
Though he opened in April under the previous owner's name of Woodlawn Life Celebration Center, he only recently received his full-service licensing, so that he can offer everything on site. Last week, the name was officially changed to Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center.
More than the name change, the interior was updated. A digital casket selection room was added to give more choices to families at various price points. Lankford also added a children's activity room.
"So, when a visitation or funeral is going on, there is an area available for children to watch cartoons, movies, play with toys and such to keep them occupied," Lankford said.
Lankford said he feels he still gets to fulfill his first career in ministry by helping people navigate the grieving process.
"I'm still serving family members during the most difficult time of their lives and helping them walk that journey of grief with them," Lankford said.