The cemetery at Turner Funeral Home is something of a hidden gem in Spring Hill; a tree-lined, green-grassed haven that many drive by on a daily basis.
“While folks in Hernando know Turner Funeral Home, so many people don’t know we have a cemetery here,” said Jason Baer, family service manager of Turner Funeral Home, 14360 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill.. “They drive by every day, and don’t realize that this beautiful, peaceful acreage is a full service cemetery.”
Indeed, outside the main building of Turner Funeral Home is a cemetery marked by lovely florals, elegantly carved headstones, landscaped lawns, artistically designed statues and memorial stones. A special garden is set aside to honor veterans, with signage, sculptures and memorials, and several families have reserved tall, stately, house-like mausoleums on the property.
“Florida Hills Memorial Gardens offers several options for planning your family burial estate. These include ground burial, lawn crypts and mausoleums. We also provide a variety of private estates,” read the information. “Throughout our history, we have maintained the distinction of being the only perpetual care cemetery in Hernando County, ensuring that the beauty and maintenance of our park will continue for generations to come.”
Turner Funeral Home, where Joseph L. Merritt serves as funeral director and location manager, has been there for Hernando families for generations.
“John W. Turner formed the Turner Funeral Home in 1959 and the Spring Hill location opened in 1978,” read information prepared for The Hernando Sun by Turner Funeral Home. “From the start, Turner was driven by a lifelong dream to assist families by offering professional and compassionate funeral care. In 1985, the funeral home was remodeled and expanded to include a chapel and crematory. ”
Turner found the ideal corporate partner in Florida Hills Memorial Gardens. “Today, Turner Funeral Home and Florida Hills Memorial Gardens are sister locations and members of the Dignity Memorial Network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers.”
Through the years, Turner Funeral Home has operated in accordance with a single professional edict. “The Turner family has always believed that the deceased and their families deserve unwavering respect and dignity throughout the entire funeral and burial process, regardless of faith, social status or circumstances. Our commitment to service and quality remains the cornerstone of Turner Funeral Home and Florida Hills Memorial Gardens.”
This edict is evident in full effect both inside and outside the funeral home. The building’s stylish interior is marked by the presence of sample memorial displays, brimming with those specialized photos, mementos and symbolic collectibles that tell the tale of a person’s life.
The way that people are laying their loved ones to rest is also undergoing a decided metamorphosis.”Both anecdotally and through research, we’re seeing an evolution in the way Americans want memorial and funeral services to look and feel,” read the information. “Instead of traditional, solemn graveside burials, the trend appears to be that many are seeking unique, personalized life celebrations. Individuals want life celebration to provide a joyful experience for friends and family who attend a funeral or memorial service. They want an experience that truly represents the individual’s personality and spirit.”
“People come up with the most unique ideas when they’re really welcomed to explore and show some creativity,” it continued. “The possibilities are virtually limitless for creating the funeral or burial that’s not only professional and carefully thought out, but fitting for you as an individual.”
The same is true for cremation services, according to the funeral home. “Today’s cremation funerals are evolving as well,” the information read. “They can be religious ceremonies or lively celebrations with themed decor, favorite foods and live music.
Either way, they should reflect the personality and passions of the person being remembered.”
A program known as Life Story is custom designed to pay divine tribute to a lost loved one. “We celebrate the lives of our loved ones in a special way through a service we provide called Life Story,” the information read. “Life Story is a means to tailor the service to the loved ones’ interests, accomplishments, and life events. Our event team, responsible for the celebration of life, collects information from the funeral director and arranges family heirlooms and other objects onto vignettes. The family can also choose specific colors for the tables. The centerpieces for the vignette display are constructed to go along with the same interests. Additionally, our staff creates distinctive keepsakes that are given to the guests’ friends and relatives.”
Turner cremation services also come complete with a true distinctive flair.
“Turner Funeral Home has a private on-site crematory, which means your loved one never leaves our care. Cremation is important in certain religions and cultures, and more and more people are choosing cremation over more traditional burial options, but most people aren’t familiar with all of their choices when it comes to cremation. You may choose a direct cremation without a funeral or memorial service of any kind; a funeral with the body present, followed by cremation; or a cremation followed by a cemetery service or celebration of life. If you wish, cremated remains can be interred at Florida Hills Memorial Gardens.”
Community involvement is another cornerstone of service at Turner Funeral Home.
“Our professionals are active in our community through their churches, service club affiliations and the Chamber of Commerce, and we proudly work with all hospice groups, service clubs and churches of all denominations to provide personal, compassionate care to those in need,” read the information.
“We organize a number of events all year long in connection with our cemetery,” it continued. “For instance, on Mother’s Day, we welcome visitors to our cemetery and give them flowers to set on their loved one’s grave. Other activities include cookouts, the releasing of butterflies, and an annual candlelight ceremony held during the holiday season.”
Overall, the folks at Turner Funeral Home seek to serve the people of Hernando County.”At Turner Funeral Home, we understand that losing a loved one is an emotional and difficult experience, and we are committed to providing compassionate care and professional and personal service,” the information read. “Our warm, welcoming funeral home includes an inspirational chapel with seating for more than 90 guests.”
“Whether you wish to arrange for a traditional funeral service, are interested in a Life Well Celebrated memorialization, plan to have a large gathering or would like a more intimate service, our expert associates work with you one on one to ensure your needs, wishes and budget are met. It is our promise to provide you with the utmost care and a celebration of life that is meaningful and personalized.”
Turner Funeral Home encourages Hernando County residents to take a second look at the lovely, peaceful cemetery property they may have been driving by for years. For more information about Turner Funeral Home and Cemetery, call (352) 796-9661 or visit www.turnerfuneralandcremation.com.