Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory is a family owned and operated funeral and cremation service provider that was established in 1980 by Dr. Gregory B. Levett, Sr. and his wife Betty. Mr. Levett entered the funeral service at a young age after being introduced to the industry by his father, the late Mr. George W. Levett, Sr. Dr. Levett has continued the family tradition and has passed on his knowledge and love of caring for others to his children, Gregory Bernard Jr., T. Lanier, and Deana, who all hold executive roles within the operations of the business. The company now includes four locations in metropolitan Atlanta that employs over 125 staff members and 22 licensed funeral directors to serve families of all nationalities and religions. The Levett family also owns a cremation center called Cremation Care of Georgia. The crematory also serves other funeral homes as a cremation service provider.
“I was born and raised in the funeral industry,” begins Dr. Gregory B. Levett, Sr. “My father owned the funeral home, but I had absolutely no desire to be in the funeral business and it was the last job I wanted to have. My father came to me and told me that I should always be prepared to own my own business and so I ultimately decided to get my funeral director’s license just in case I changed my mind and this also allowed me to help my family part time,” he continues.
In 1979, a friend of Gregory and his wife Betty had triplets and two of them died shortly after being born. They didn’t have the funds to handle a proper funeral or burial and called Gregory to see what his family charged. Since the start of the Levett legacy, the funeral home has never charged families for newborn services.
“My wife and I did the graveside service for those two precious newborns. Over 200 people showed up at the gravesite and after that I knew this was something I had to pursue full-time,” recalls Gregory. “My wife and I opened our first funeral home in 1980 and we were doing one call a week. Today we do over 1600 calls a year,” he adds.
The Levett name has a reputation that spans over four generations and is defined by excellence and dignified funeral service. Gregory attributes his success to providing each family he serves with the best customer service, dignity and professionalism.
“Service. Service. Service. That’s what makes us who we are. I have instilled my values and compassion for grieving families into my staff and believe it is our mission to serve every family with reliable and dignified services,” Gregory states.
The Levett family has made it their mission to serve their community in any way they can. They do so day in and day out with the funeral business, but also by giving back in other ways as well.
“Giving back to our community is the cornerstone of what we do. We give back to our churches, students, hospitals, and partnered with many non-profit organizations,” says Deana Levett, Chief Marketing Officer with Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory. “We have always made helping out our community a priority. We donate our time, resources, and money in any way we can. Each year we donate 5-10% back to the community. We want to take care of the community who has supported us for nearly 40 years,” Deana states passionately.
Everything the Levett family gives comes straight from the heart and this has not gone unnoticed by their community. The family has also started the Gregory B. Levett Sr. Family Foundation in 2016. Giving back is something each member of the family is passionate about and this passion has grown stronger with each generation.
“Our focus with the foundation is giving scholarships to minority students. At this time, we have an endowment with Clayton State University and we have just solidified plans with Allen University to have the School of Education named after our family and we have donated $500,000 to helping students there,” Gregory says proudly. “We firmly believe in the importance of education and so investing in students has always been something we are very passionate about. The endowment is only available to students that make between 2.00 and 2.99 GPA. This investment is for students who are like me. I never made the honor roll and it was hard for me to get money to go to school, I was an average kid and scholarships didn’t exist for me – I want to help change that. I was able to find my success and I want to help others so the same,” Gregory humbly continues.
Success in the funeral industry takes the right kind of person or in this case the right kind of family. The Levett family has passion for the families they serve and they set a high standard in their community. They are grateful for the opportunity to help others and to spread love and kindness into the world.
“Meeting people is the best part of this business. We’ve never met a stranger,” says Gregory.
“Being able to serve families is something I am grateful to have the opportunity to do each day,” says Lanier Levett, Chief Operations Officer with Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory. “Helping someone through a difficult time isn’t easy, but the thank you notes and cards we receive after we’ve served a family and they express to us that they couldn’t have done it without us and the love and attention to detail we provided – that’s when it is all worth it,” Lanier further emphasizes.
For Deana, her role as the Chief Marketing Officer has allowed her to change the perception of the funeral industry as a whole – which is something she is very grateful to have the opportunity to do.
“There has been bad publicity about the death care industry, but we hope to change that narrative by continuing to provide excellent service by licensed professionals to the families we serve, grassroots efforts in our community, our commitment to our foundation and strong marketing campaigns. We are changing the perception of what we do and we have been very successful in that. This career is truly a ministry and you have to love what you do. At the core of what we do it is about taking care of people and providing excellent and professional service,” expresses Deana.
Education has always been a core value of the Levett family and that is why the family values their bonds with the community so deeply, it pushes them to make their business better and to serve their families more efficiently than ever before.
“The way we are able to connect and be involved with our community is one of my favorite parts about working in this industry. My siblings and I, as well as our parents all sit on various boards within our church and civic organizations, and for me it’s a really, beautiful feeling. I am grateful for all the networks we have been able to establish. The relationships and connections we’ve made in the community make us stronger and inspire us to be better,” explains Bernard Levett, Chief Business Officer with Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory.
It comes as no surprise that the Levett family has been throughout the years. The strong foundation built by Gregory and Betty Levett many years ago based upon giving back, family values, honesty, integrity, and a passion for helping the community paved the way for the next generations’ hard work to strengthen the Levett legacy. Backed by passionate people who care deeply for the families they serve as well as their staff, the family owned funeral home will surely continue to be successful for years to come.
“One of the biggest things I am looking forward to is the legacy that we have been able to create and the legacy we can leave for our children and our children’s children and so on. For me that is the best part about our success. And not just in the funeral industry, but in our community in general. The Levett name means something and we are all really proud of that,” Lanier states emotionally.
The Levett recipe for success is simple at its core.
“If you want to start a business or improve the business you have, it has to be built on honesty and integrity. Whatever you say you are going to do, you must follow through,” advises Gregory. “We would also be lost without our team. With over 125 members on our team, we can’t imagine not having each and every one of them. For that reason, we make sure that our full-time employees get full health benefits and our management staff gets full health coverage for their families as well. We also assist them in setting up a 401k and we match their contributions. We also have a profit sharing and bonus program in place for full time and part time employees so we can pass along earnings and show our appreciation for all they do. We take care of each other so we can take care of our community,” he concludes. FBA