The old Maxton Funeral Home in Du Quoin is getting new life, thanks to a couple of southern Illinois entrepreneurs.
Bill and Vonda Rosado are sprucing up 11 S. Hickory to make it ready for the new Maxton-Rosado Funeral Home and Event Center, which they will debut sometime this summer.
"We're not going to gut the house and start over," Bill said Sunday. He said the inside of the building is "gorgeous," with a huge wooden staircase, pocket doors, wood floors and more. Instead, he said, they are improving the landscaping outside and are painting inside.
Bill Rosado grew up in Elkville and attended Sacred Heart Catholic School in Du Quoin before going to Elverado High School. He is the executive manager of the funeral home and event center.
Vonda, meanwhile, of Herrin, has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer for more than 26 years. She learned the trade under Larry and Diane Hughes of Hughes Funeral Home in Marion, and Bill says while she didn't know Frank Maxton terribly well -- he died in 2014 -- she certainly knew of him.
Keeping the Maxton name in the business is to honor Frank Maxton "and everything he's done for the community," Bill Rosado added. "We didn't want to discard that, instead we want to carry on his traditions."
Besides being a local businessman, Maxton was heavily involved in Du Quoin community service. He was named the Du Quoin Citizen of the Year in 2005 and upon his retirement in 2012, then-mayor John Rednour declared Oct. 27 as Frank Maxton Appreciation Day.
The 5,000-square-foot home will also be available as an event center, for family reunions, wedding receptions, board meetings, community functions, intimate gathering rooms and more.
"We felt the need to offer additional event services ... and this facility will enable us to provide services and events like no other in the surrounding communities," Vonda said in a news release.
"We envision having programs for families, including movie nights, children's activities, and socials," she added. "We envision the center as a place for all people from all walks of life to enjoy the facility for whatever purpose they intend."
The home also has a chapel, that pre-COVID-19, was being used as a church for a small group of women including Frank's sister, Bill added. He said the chapel will continue to host the church group on Sundays.
"We have a tremendous passion for helping people," Vonda Rosado wrote. "When you lose a loved one, it's the most emotionally draining experience you could ever go though. To help people in that time of their life is very rewarding -- we are beyond thankful to be able to share this opportunity with the Du Quoin community."
• Maxton-Rosado Funeral Home and Event Center can be reached at (618) 542-2020, on Facebook or at www.maxtonrosado.com.