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Our History in Arcadia. | In Memory of Fred J. Grady

Our History in Arcadia.
The Funeral Home as it looked the day 13 year old Fred J. Grady started working at it on July 19, 1936.
The Funeral Home as it looked the day 13 year old Fred J. Grady started working at it on July 19, 1936.

P onger-Kays-Grady Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Arcadia has a rich history. Our beginnings date back to 1924 on the corner of SR 70W (Hickory St) and US 17N (Brevard Ave) in the old A.C. Freeman home as Bozarth Funeral Home owned by R.C. Bozarth. Then later bought by Johnny Blake and Lovell Lanier was named Blake-Lanier Funeral Home. In 1936 Willie Robarts bought it and changed the name to Robarts Funeral Home then later in 1939 the funeral home was bought by Willie’s brother Howard Robarts. Most important to us was in 1936 a young 13 year old boy named Fred J. Grady started working for the Robarts Family. In 1963 Mr. Fred as he in known locally and his wife Betty Jean Albritton Grady bought the funeral home from Howard Robarts. The Funeral Home became Robarts-Grady Funeral Home and remained so till 1992. In 1991 Ron Kays and Edward Ponger whom have been in the funeral business for many years in Charlotte County and together owned Kays-Ponger Funeral Homes and Cremation Services for many years, decided to open a funeral home in Arcadia. After the completion of Ponger-Kays Funeral Home at 50 N Hillsborough Ave. 1992 there was a merger of the old Robarts-Grady Funeral Home and the new Ponger-Kays Funeral Home and the name was changed to Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral Home and Cremation Services. In 2000 the old building that stood at the corner of SR 70E and US 17N and served the residents of DeSoto County for so long as their Funeral Home was tore down due to disrepair and remains an empty lot to this date. The newer facility that stands at 50 N Hillsborough Ave continues to honor, and serve the residents of DeSoto County with tradition and dignity. The Funeral Home is still Locally Owned and Operated by Ed Ponger and his daughter Allyson Ponger Christ.


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