Granddad

Friday, August 30, 2002 at 1:00am

Keisha Gardner Beard and husband Gregory are renovating her grandfather's funeral home, K. Gardner's on Jefferson Street, and transforming it into a retail and commercial space.

Kossie Gardner Sr., who is listed in the 1925 Colored Directory as "the youngest funeral director in the city," ran the business for 62 years until his death in 1990. Beard recently acquired the building from her father, Kossie Gardner Jr., who ran the business until 2001.

Proof she was doing the right thing came days ago when she called BellSouth to set up a phone service. When the operator read her the new digits, she heard the same number her grandfather had when he ran the business.

"I think its God and Granddaddy [that made that happen]," Beard laughed. "I started realizing

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