GBI: Former funeral home owner died of natural causes



The death of a former owner of the historic Dent’s Undertaking Establishment last week was determined to be natural, Richmond County Coroner Mark Bowen said.

After an autopsy at the Georgia Bureau of Investigaton crime lab in Atlanta, it was determined that Thomasina Ketch, 85, died from an ongoing medical condition, he said via e-mail Monday.

Ketch, who assumed ownership of the business with her sister, Juliette Brown, in 1985 after the death of father Thomas H. Ketch Sr., died Thursday in her living quarters above the shuttered establishment at 930 D’Antignac St.

Her son, G.B. Hannon, discovered her body and said he waited until Saturday afternoon to report the death because he was distraught, Bowen said.

Though there were no obvious signs of trauma, police interviewed Hannon and sent Ketch’s body to Atlanta as a precaution.

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.

Former funeral home owner found dead