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Atkins funeral home is sold

Atkins Northland Funeral Home may have new owners, but don't expect any big changes, said Bob Atkins, who officially sold the business in May.

"Very little will change with the ownership transition," Atkins told the Pine Knot News this week. "The business names will stay the same and our employees will still be here with the goal of continuing to provide exceptional service while growing the business."

The new owners are Foundation Partners Group, a privately held funeral services company with operations in 20 states across the country.

"We chose a smaller, non-publicly traded firm so our legacy will continue, and to ensure the business will get the personal attention it and our community deserves," Atkins said. He and his wife, Karen, had owned and operated the funeral home in Cloquet since 2009, after purchasing the cooperative Northland Funeral Home at 801 14th Street.

In recent years, Bob and Karen added two crematoriums - one for people, one for animals - and the Fur-Ever Loved facility in Scanlon to their business portfolio. Foundation Partners purchased everything, Atkins said.

Foundation already owns Cremation Society of Minnesota facilities in Duluth and Minneapolis.

Atkins said he and Karen wanted to retire while they were both still healthy, but looked hard to find a partner committed to continuing the level of service they prided themselves on. They officially plan to retire in September, after helping with the transition.

Atkins stressed that the new owners bring more resources, products and expertise while keeping the name, core values and staff.

"Since coming to Cloquet in 1993, Karen and I have committed ourselves to funeral service and the families we had the privilege to serve," he told the Pine Knot. "It has been a rewarding experience and we appreciate all of the support and trust the families we have served have placed in us.

"Cloquet and the surrounding communities have embraced and supported us all of these years and we trust they will continue to support Atkins Northland Funeral Home and Cremation Service in the future."