OUR HISTORY | BUSINESS PROFILE
Established in 1982 in Atlanta’s Historic West End community, the Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home brand is synonymous with service. It is a full service funeral home providing individualized funeral services designed to meet the unique needs of each family. The location is staffed around the clock, every day of the year, to serve the community whenever needed. In every regard, Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home lives its motto “Where the Name is Service”.
Since opening 28 years ago, the business has expanded to four locations, with a fifth in development, serving residents throughout Metro Atlanta. It is now Atlanta’s busiest mortuary, presiding over more than 1000 funeral services a year collectively, grossing more than $6 million annually with 47 employees. Each location is designed to make guests feel at home, and each is strategically integrated into the community it serves.
Location #1 – West End: Known as the “mother ship”, the original location in the heart of the Historic West End District of Atlanta is centrally positioned for convenience to most sections of town. It is easily accessible from all major expressways coming into downtown Atlanta. The funeral home, with 15 permanent employees, is the oldest black-owned business in the West End, enjoying strong ties to the community. This location hosts the annual Memorial Day Praise in the Park, attracting approximately 3-thousand people who come to enjoy food, drinks, raffles and live entertainment.
This is the highest grossing location, conducting more than 800 funerals annually. Among those memorialized from this location are dignitaries Coretta Scott King, Bishop Earl Paul, Honorable Billie McKinney, Senator Hilary Shumate, and Rev. Howard Creecy, Sr., to name a few.
All of the innovative features that have become Willie Watkins signature services originated from this location, including horse drawn carriages, top hats and tails, doves, flower cars and silver and black hearses.
Location #2 – Douglasville: Opened in 2006, the Douglasville location was converted from the town’s oldest church into a stately funeral home. It was started in response to request from residents who wanted quality funeral services in their community. We give back to the community in many ways, most notably through our annual 4th of July concert in a downtown Douglasville park, where local residents are invited to come out for a day of fun. The business has grown steadily over its five year existence, now averaging around 90 services a year. Hiring is done locally, so that employees are part of the community. The well appointed setting offers a comfortable atmosphere that evokes the feelings of home.
Location #3 – Lithonia: A former Masonic Hall building located on Redan Road became the third satellite in 2009. This is a multi-purpose event center and funeral home. The building houses a chapel and dining hall, available for the convenience of Dekalb County residents for funeral arrangements and services. It also serves as a rental location for conferences, receptions, weddings, family reunions, parties, etc. The dual purpose makes this a very popular location that is booked well into the future.
Location #4 – Carrollton: Located off I-20 West, this was an existing funeral home that went into foreclosure before opening as Willie Watkins Funeral Home in January 2011. Already, the location answers 2-3 calls per week.
Location #5 – Stone Mountain: This location, a mansion situated on 9 acres at the top of a hill off of Memorial Drive, is currently in development. It is being remodeled and is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2011.
Location #6 – Riverdale: This location is situated off of Church Street in Riverdale, Georgia.
A- Watkins Limousine Service: A-Watkins Limousine is a premiere, full-service limousine company serving the entire Metropolitan Atlanta region. A fleet of 32 vehicles is available for airport transportation, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, or just a night out on the town. Among the vehicles in service are vintage cars, Cadillac and Lincoln Stretch Limousines, Hummer Stretch, Lincoln Signature Towncar and an SUV passenger bus, available for business and personal transportation needs.