A former owner of the historic Dent’s Undertaking Establishment was found dead Thursday, officials said.
Thomasina Ketch, 85, who assumed ownership of the business with her sister, Juliette Brown, in 1985 after the death of father Thomas H. Ketch Sr., died in her living quarters above the shuttered establishment at 930 D’Antignac St., Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen said.
Bowen said Ketch’s son, G.B. Hannon, found her dead Thursday but waited until Saturday afternoon to report the death.
Though there were no obvious signs of trauma, Bowen said, he and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Ketch’s son and will send the body to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy, which could take place early in the week.
“Until then, we’re pretty much at a standstill,” he said.
According to The Augusta Chronicle archives, the funeral home was founded by John and Julia Dent in 1888 and moved to its final location in 1900.
The funeral home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, but financial woes forced the state Department of Revenue to close it in 2008.