Funeral home owner pays fees

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 30, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Local funeral home owner Abraham Applewhite on Wednesday paid fees owed to the State Corporation Commission in order to have Carver Memorial Cemetery Park’s corporate status reinstated, an SCC spokesman confirmed.

But he has not appealed to the state Cemetery Board to have the East Washington Street cemetery’s business license reinstated, said Mary Broz, spokeswoman for the state Department of Occupation and Professional Regulations. That department’s enforcement division began monitoring cemeteries two years ago to make sure state laws are being followed.

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On Tuesday, the board unanimously revoked the cemetery license during an emergency meeting, Broz said. The action came after Applewhite’s wife, Irene Applewhite, who is the company’s compliance officer, contacted the DOPR on Friday saying she wanted to surrender the license.

She and Abraham Applewhite Jr., the company’s vice president, signed a consent order agreeing to the revocation on Monday, Broz said.

&uot;Should the corporation wish to reapply, the Cemetery Board would be pleased to consider the application for licensure,&uot; she said. &uot;It would be up to the board’s discretion.

&uot;Board members have been very concerned about the cemetery and its operation,&uot; she continued. &uot;One would anticipate they would be very careful to make sure all outstanding issues surrounding the application have been addressed.&uot;

Chief among those concerns are potholes and unpaved thoroughfares through the cemetery, abandoned vehicles sitting on the rear of the property and a general lack of maintenance to the cemetery.

Earlier this month, the board placed her husband, Abraham Applewhite, on probation for failing to provide reasonable maintenance to the East Washington Street cemetery’s buildings and grounds.

The SCC terminated the company’s corporate entity on July 31, when it failed to pay its renewal fees, the SCC spokesman said. Companies have to renew their corporate status every five years.

Failure to keep that corporate shield makes the company’s officers personally liable if lawsuits are filed against the company.