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Funeral homes still plan merge after senior living facility deal nixed

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Crews removed the Alexander Funeral Home sign along Nashville Pike earlier this month. The funeral home is being relocated and merged with Family Heritage Funeral Home at the corner of Dobbins Pike and Albert Gallatin Avenue. SUBMITTED

Gallatin's Alexander and Family Heritage funeral homes will still merge despite a plan that would have replaced the latter location with a 60-unit assisted senior living community being scrapped last month.

Developers have decided to search for vacant property for the project instead of building the two-story 48,000-square-foot facility on Family Heritage's property at the corner Dobbins Pike and Albert Gallatin Avenue, according to Judd Sellars, who purchased both funeral homes in 2015.

As a result, the Alexander location on Nashville Pike has been closed and will be merged with Family Heritage.

"We've decided to move back to Family Heritage with both operations there, which was my goal one way or the other," said Sellars. "Running a staff between two locations is just really hard sometimes. Now that everything has happened the way it has, I'm 100 percent at peace with staying at Family Heritage, doing some construction projects there and really concentrating on taking even better care of our families."

The Alexander name has been active in the funeral home industry for more than a century dating back to when Charles Carlos (C.C.) Alexander opened his first business in Lafayette, Tenn in 1907. Following various moves across Middle Tennessee, the family-owned business eventually settled in Gallatin in October, 1921.

Plans to continue using the Alexander name following the consolidation will have to be approved by the state, said Sellars, who owns six funeral homes in Sumner, Wilson and Macon counties. There will be no staffing changes as a result of the merge.

"We'll be building a chapel there at Family Heritage at some point just like the ones at my Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Hendersonville locations," he added. "It's only going to get better over there."

Kelsi Carter contributed to this report.

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