Denalee E. Penn Mackey has returned home as the licensed funeral director for Evergreen Mortuary.
During Evergreen Mortuary’s Grand Opening on Oct. 14, a radiant Penn Mackey shared how she had left her home of Crown Haven at the age of eight to live with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Simpson Penn in Nassau.
With her father dying when she was only three, and having a mother suffering from substance abuse, most people would have given her a reason to fail. Added to her harsh family circumstances, her community was a poor one with no running water, going without food, barefoot.
“I could have given up,” she reflected.
While speaking at a local school recently her intent was to encourage the young people of Abaco to rise above the odds as she has. Being in a male-dominated profession, Penn Mackey was pleased to note that she is among the few licensed funeral directors in the country.
“I have defied the odds; I’ve risen above the odds,” Penn Mackey acknowledged. “I am a success story and a product of Abaco.
“This is my home, and I am not just saying that because the market is ripe for this type of service, but I am home.”
With its opening in Abaco, Penn Mackey is confident that Evergreen Mortuary will be seen as her way of doing something meaningful for the Abaco community.
She said the day was dedicated to the people of Abaco for them to tour the facilities to see what they have accomplished, and with their continued support, more will be done.
Penn Mackey’s relative Senator Frederick McAlpine also showed his support along with a host of North Abaco residents including pastors. Viola Johnson was also in attendance and contributed her old-fashioned, Rake n’ Scrape gospel performance to the delight of all who were there.
Darold Miller, Bahamian veteran broadcast journalist was also on hand with his Darold Miller Live show engaging those who stopped by to share their impressions of the funeral home as well as their testimonies of Evergreen’s services as they spoke on 96.9 Guardian Radio FM.
For the past 14 years, Evergreen Mortuary has become well-known, well-established and offers top-quality service. Evergreen Mortuary offers the following services: burial; cremation; complete funeral packages; ship out abroad; floral arrangements; limousine service and carriage service. They also offer the full SUV line of vehicles like Escalades and Denalis.
On site, there is a selection room for families to select caskets or urns, there are two viewing suites for private viewings, a conference room for making final arrangements, an inviting lounge, and a preparation room.
She said that for local deaths that are not referred to the police, Evergreen assists the bereaved family in saving about $2,000 because there would be no need to transport the body to Nassau. The body can be collected, and embalmed and prepared at Evergreen Mortuary’s Abaco location.
Future plans are to gain full use of the building by utilizing the remaining office space as a flower shop or clothing shop for burial attire. However, Penn Mackey emphasized that the most important aspect was to open the funeral home to facilitate the needs of Abaconians.
Currently, the staff is comprised of Romano Sawyer, Shavanda Miller and Lamont Lightbourne. However, Evergreen Mortuary is looking to employ female attendants.
Although Penn Mackey has the task of travelling back and forth from the Nassau and Abaco locations, she pledged to do her best to be on Abaco so that clients receive the personal touch she brings to the business.
Evergreen Mortuary is located on Queen Elizabeth Drive adjacent to Frederick’s Agency, and is open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On viewing days, Friday’s hours will be extended to 6 p.m. Evergreen offers 24 hour service as well in the event there is a death on Abaco.
Telephone numbers are: 1(242)699-1029 (Abaco); 1(242)356-7008 (Nassau); and Emergency contact: 1(242)601-1587. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.