CLOSING OF MORTUARY PROMPTS CONCERN

January 16, 2001 11:00 pm

With the closure of Scantlins Mortuary in Brookings and Gold Beach, the licensing status of Curry Countys remaining funeral home, Litty Funeral Directors, has caused concern among members of the Southern Curry Cemetery Maintenance District board.

But Paul Litty II, owner of Litty Funeral Directors, said Tuesday there are no problems with his licensing.

Were open for business as usual, Litty said.

The cemetery boards concern was spurred by the Jan. 5 filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy by the owner of Scantlins, Terence Saylor.

Saylor operated under the name Brookings Mortuary and Crematory, Inc.

Cemetery board members said at their regular Monday night meeting that Saylors partner had died in November. They said Saylor then walked away from his business.

Board members had no idea what would happen to those who had prepaid funeral services with Scantlins.

Saylor could not be reached for comment this week. Scantlins phone had been disconnected and the business was closed.

Cemetery board members were concerned that there was now no licensed mortuary in Curry County.

Secretary Genie Cavin and Treasurer Maryanne Neil said at the Monday meeting that Litty hadnt been licensed in years, though he was currently having a person come in from outside the county to handle cremations.

Litty disagreed and sent The Pilot a letter explaining the licensing process.

He said Oregon law requires facilities like his that provide funeral services to be licensed by the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board.

He said Litty Funeral Directors, Inc. has renewed its establishment licenses for the Brookings and Gold Beach chapels and for Seahaven Cremation Services in Brookings.

The corporation also has a crematory facility which is not in use and the license for it has not been renewed at this time.

According to Litty, state law requires the corporation to have a licensed funeral services practitioner in its employ in order to provide funeral services.

That person is Charles Yost, back with the company after a brief period with another facility.

Litty said his lawyer informed him there may be a legal issue as to whether or not Yost needs to obtain a waiver from the state board to operate both the Brookings and Gold Beach facilities.

Litty has asked the state board for a ruling but said it has not yet responded. Messages left with the board by phone Tuesday by The Pilot were not returned by press time.

Since Litty has historically operated both facilities under the authority of a single licensed practitioner, he will continue to offer funeral services for people who die, until the state board advise otherwise.

He said he is not licensed to enter into any new contracts to handle future deaths at this time and is not doing so now, but may obtain a license in the future.

Cavin said Wiers Mortuary Chapel and Crematory in Crescent City is also licensed to operate in Oregon, and has been for years.

Neil, a retired mortician from California, said people have also expressed interest to her about buying Scantlins and reopening for business.