Fort Sumter Cemetery gets state boost

Sandra ClarkFeature, Halls

State Rep. Bill Dunn has partnered with a Knox-area nonprofit to secure a $100,000 community cemetery grant for Fort Sumter Community Cemetery. The funding will be used to assist with operational and maintenance costs at the cemetery.

The cemetery is adjacent to the former Salem Baptist Church off Hill Road in deep north Knox County. It was spun off as Halls Memorial Gardens Inc. and has been operated by nonprofit Fort Sumter Community Cemetery Corp. since 2009 after its previous owners raided accounts used to cover property expenses and also oversold burial plots.

Resident Bobbie Woodall championed state help for the cemetery to ensure that the grounds are maintained and those who are buried there are treated with respect. Dunn worked with Woodall and the state Department of Commerce & Insurance to obtain the grant, according to a press release from his office.

“We are grateful to Rep. Dunn for his advocacy and his leadership in helping our cemetery obtain this important funding,” said Woodall. “He has been a tremendous partner throughout this extremely difficult process, and we appreciate his support and all that he has done to help our loved ones finally rest peacefully.”

Dunn said: “I am pleased that our local cemetery is receiving this essential funding, and I know it will help better maintain this property and the graves of those who are buried there. “I am grateful to Bobbie Woodall and her colleagues for their work as caring guardians of this plot for almost a decade. Their efforts have guaranteed that the cemetery is properly preserved and that our deceased are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Dunn represents District 16 in the House of Representatives. He chairs the House Calendar & Rules Committee.

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