History & Staff
At Thompson Funeral Homes, we provide personalized service options that allow you to honor your loved ones in a way that is both meaningful and healing. We hope to provide support and caring while delivering memorial services that celebrate life and help families find the peace they deserve.
If you’re seeking an honorable celebration of life in Lexington & Columbia and the surrounding areas, we invite you to learn more about where we came from, our vision, and the dedicated people behind our work.
A History of Caring
Thompson Funeral Home
Our Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park
Learn The Legacy
The history of Thompson Funeral Home dates back to 1928 when J.R. "Buddy" Thompson started the business with the simple idea of providing unparalleled personal service to the families of Cayce, West Columbia, and Columbia. In return, through the years the people of this area have been very faithful to Thompson Funeral Home.
As with most depression-era businesses, "Buddy" Thompson was assisted throughout the years by his parents, his wife Bleeka; his sisters, Minnie Price, Inez Sox, and Thelma Morrison; his brothers, Clifford Thompson and E.L. "Tootsie" Thompson; as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Thompson Funeral Home has also been fortunate over the years to have many excellent, loyal associates from within the community.
In 1935, "Buddy" Thompson completed the first building in this area that was built strictly for the use as a funeral home. That building still is operational today at 200 State Street in West Columbia. In 1999, Thompson Funeral Home opened its second location (our "Lexington" chapel) at 4720 Augusta Road (Hwy #1) in Lexington to better serve all the families of Lexington County.
In 2013, Greenlawn Memorial Park and Thompson Funeral Homes merged to create Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park. This allows families in Richland County and downtown Columbia the opportunity to experience the Thompson Funeral Home difference.
Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park offers all-encompassing services to provide the Columbia community additional value and benefits. Services include funeral services, on-site crematory and memorialization options. Additionally, it employs a diverse staff, all with deep roots in the community, representing the entire Columbia area.
Our professional staff has well over 100 years of combined experience in caring for families in our community. We pledge to provide excellent service for those families that we are privileged to serve.
Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park
Greenlawn Memorial Park has been providing for the needs of families since 1937. We are proud of the reputation we have established during almost 75 years of service to our community.
From the beginning, Greenlawn has endeavored to provide only the finest in service and facilities for families in their time of need. An early Greenlawn brochure stated, “We envision a future of continuous growth, increasing beauty and loveliness. Our past, successful as it has been, is only our ‘prologue’.”
The first thing you will notice upon entering the grounds at Greenlawn is the natural beauty of dogwoods and crepe myrtle as well as centuries old live oaks and other mature trees of various species. The pond at the center of the memorial park serves as a focal point for our annual interdenominational Easter Sunrise Service which has been a Greenlawn tradition for over 50 years.
For those families who prefer other than in-ground interment, our Mausoleum provides the ultimate in above-ground entombment. Constructed of the finest domestic and imported marble, the Mausoleum was the first in the Columbia area and is still unmatched in its richness of detail and striking beauty. The Mausoleum Chapel, constructed as a wing of the mausoleum itself, is available for services in conjunction with funerals at Greenlawn. Niches for cremation urns are an integral part of the mausoleum, an excellent choice for a permanent memorialization.
A key element in our success in providing unsurpassed service through the years has been our ability to make arrangements for many families before the time of need. Consider for a moment the emotional stress of losing a loved one. It is precisely for this reason that approximately ninety percent of funerals at Greenlawn during recent years have been arranged for prior to the death of the family member. Our staff stands ready to assist at any time, but we strongly recommend that arrangements be made in advance for the sake of your family and your own peace of mind.
In May of 1998, our services expanded to include a conveniently located, modern funeral home facility. Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park Funeral Home serves families all over the Midlands. Our funeral home is conveniently located adjacent to Greenlawn Memorial Park on Leesburg Road and also convenient to Fort Jackson, just one exit north on Interstate 77. Our funeral home offers a variety of funeral options, including both traditional options as well as cremation. It is our desire to make every funeral or memorial service a personal time of remembrance to capture, share and preserve your special memories of life.
At Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park, we are proud of our pioneering efforts in making special packages available for veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States. Special discounts for veterans are just one of the ways we recognize the contributions of those who have served our country. Considerable savings can also be realized for non-veterans as well for arrangements made prior to the time of need.
Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care
A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. At Thompson, our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.
General Manager, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer & Cremation Specialist
Greg Edwards is a twenty-five-year Air Force veteran and a 2012 graduate of Piedmont Technical College with a degree in Mortuary Science. He has worked in funeral service since 2006 and and is a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer. Greg has three wonderful children with whom he loves spending time. He is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Sumter, SC and volunteers parts of his summer leading youth groups repairing houses for families in need. He also enjoys spending time camping with his family and playing golf.
Location Leader, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Daniel relocated from Tennessee to South Carolina to join the Thompson Funeral Home family. After exploring the area and hearing from the community the legacy Thompson has of caring for and serving the Midlands, he knew this was where he wanted to be.
Daniel is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Carolina. He worked as a college instructor in the mortuary program at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Prior to entering the funeral profession full time, Daniel served as Executive Pastor at a growing church in Chattanooga, TN.
He earned his Associate of Applied Science degree from Northwest Mississippi Community College, in Southaven, Mississippi, his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee and his Master of Arts degree from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Daniel is married to Donette Moore, a South Carolina native employed by International Paper Company. They have two children, Samuel, a United States Marine and Luke, a student training to become a commercial airline pilot.
Market Leader, Licensed Funeral Director, and Cremation Specialist
Gregg is a native of Saluda and began his career in the funeral industry while in high school after losing a childhood friend in an accident. The time he shared with this friend’s family during the funeral caused him to choose a career in funeral service. He is a lifelong resident of the Midlands and was first employed with Thompson Funeral Home in 1987. He rejoined the team several years ago and now serves as the market leader.
Gregg is a graduate of Saluda High School, LaSalle University, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and Business and a 1984 graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. He is a licensed funeral director, embalmer, pre-need counselor and licensed pre-need insurance agent.
Gregg is a member of the Cayce-West Columbia Lions Club and Lions Clubs International, having served as District Governor. He is an active member of the Lexington and Cayce-West Columbia Chambers of Commerce, the National and South Carolina Funeral Directors Associations and Wightman United Methodist Church where he is a vocalist and musician on the Praise Team, Chairman of Finance and serves on various other committees. Gregg also is a member of the West Columbia River District, where he serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors.
Gregg is married to Tracie Pitts Turner who is employed with Bernardo Geriatric Medicine. They have two children, a son, Tyler and a daughter, McKensey, both of whom are married. He and Tracie have one grandson, Bennett.
Family Care Advisor & Licensed Funeral Director
Makeba joined the Thompson Funeral Home family as a licensed funeral director with years of service to families.
Assisting families in advance with preplanning their service is a passion of hers and credits her family with instilling benignant traits in her as a child.
She is involved with various organizations, including, but not limited to Rotary, Hospice, Junior League, as well as Habitat for Humanity.
Funeral Director and Cremation Specialist
Tom is the former owner of Maddux Funeral Homes in Hopkinsville and Pembroke, Kentucky. He is a graduate of John A. Gupton School of Mortuary Science in Nashville, TN. After several years of retirement, Tom decided to return to the funeral profession and ultimately joined the staff of Thompson Funeral Homes.
Tom and his wife, Carolyn, were married in 1958, and later became the parents of two sons and one daughter. Their oldest son, Mike, died in 1987 and their second son, David, died in 2013. Their daughter, Kathryn, lives in Lexington, SC. They have been blessed with six grandchildren.
Tom is member of Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce and has been a member of Gideons International since 1964.
Licensed Funeral Director & Lead Embalmer
Audrey McKnight recently joined the Thompson Funeral Home family in April of 2021. She is a graduate of Piedmont Technical College with a degree in applied science in funeral services. She also holds certifications as a crematory operator, cremation services provider, and is also licensed to sell pre-need funeral insurance. She currently lives in Greenville, SC with her spouse and their four-legged children.
Travis J. Youmans
Licensed Funeral Director & Cremation Specialist
A native of Brunson South Carolina, Travis was born into a rural humble southern setting. At the tender age of 7 during the loss of his paternal grandmother is when Travis received his call to the funeral service industry. From that day forward this dream that would soon become reality was stuck in his head. As Travis entered into his late teen years his career path took a slight shift into other fields, but never losing sight of his dream. The opportunity to enter the funeral industry formal came in April of 2012 when Travis was hired as a funeral attendant. For the next 9 years Travis carefully studied and was groomed to become the best funeral director possible.
Travis is a proud 2020 graduate of Piedmont Technical College holding a certification in funeral directing. Following graduation Travis began his apprenticeship in the Columbia area. In 2022 Travis joined the Thompson Family continuing his apprenticeship. Travis brings a wealth of knowledge with him, and is passionate about serving families. He believes that funeral service is a ministry, and that he was created to serve as referenced in (Matthew 22:14).
Travis is the son of Ms. Wilhelmenia Youmans and Mr. Sammie Singletary Jr. of Hampton, South Carolina. In his spare time Travis enjoys spending time with his family and friends, cooking, reading and traveling.
Licensed Senior Funeral Director and Embalmer
Timothy, a native of Scranton, South Carolina, began his career in funeral service in 2015 after dedicating eleven and half years to both state and federal law enforcement agencies. Knowing it was his passion from a young age he decided to attend mortuary school in 2015 to fulfill that dream. After serving his apprenticeship as a funeral director and embalmer in Batesburg-Leesville, SC, he graduated from Fayetteville Technical College in 2017 with a degree in Mortuary Science. He is a licensed funeral director-embalmer and holds his certification as a crematory operator.
With a desire to serve he not only provides care for families in the funeral industry, but he’s also a pillar of the community and respected leader. He is the founder and senior pastor of The Source Church, a multicultural ministry in the great city of Columbia, South Carolina.
Timothy is a published author and has a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry from Piedmont Divinity School-Carolina University, and holds his Doctorate of Ministry from Liberty University. He is married to Falisha McLamore-Brand and is the proud father of one daughter and three sons.
Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Family Care Advisor & Licensed Funeral Director
Gina is a 1992 graduate of Winthrop University with a BS in Business Management. She received her BA in Funeral Service at Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, SC. Gina is a licensed funeral director/embalmer with the SC and NC Board of Funeral Service, a licensed Preneed Insurance Consultant, and a Celebrant. She is married to Glenn Garrison; they have two children and five grandchildren.
Funeral Director/Embalmer Apprentice
Athena is a native of Lexington, South Carolina. Lexington is where she was born and raised and where her family has continued to reside over the years. During her early years of high school Athena knew immediately her passion was to serve families of her community. Upon graduating high school, she enrolled at Piedmont Tech to join the funeral service program.
Today, Athena is happily employed as a Funeral Director and Embalmer Apprentice at Thompson Funeral Home. When she’s not working with the people she considers her second family, she spends time with her loved ones and friends. She looks forward to providing quality care to you and your loved ones in the future.
Licensed Apprentice & Cremation Specialist
FDE Apprentice 4346
Brittany, originally from New York City, relocated to Columbia, SC with her family several years ago. From a young age, Brittany knew she wanted to pursue a career in death care and entered the Mortuary Science program at Piedmont Technical College in 2019. Following graduating in 2021, she began her apprenticeship at Thompson Funeral Home. With a background in retail management and a keen eye for details, Brittany has successfully transferred the customer service skills obtained in her prior managerial positions to her role as a funeral director apprentice. With a heart for people and a warm personality, she has found serving families to be tremendously rewarding.
Brittany is in the process of obtaining degrees in both biology and chemistry from the University of South Carolina. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and five furry children: her beloved rescue dog, two kittens, and two guinea pigs. She also enjoys baking, cooking, reading comics, following New York Giants and the New York Mets, playing video games, attending to concerts, and going on long runs through the park.
Office Manager - Greenlawn Memorial Park
Tonya grew up in Columbia, SC and attended AC Flora High School. Tonya and her husband, Ray, currently reside in Pelion, SC. Together Tonya and Ray have 2 children, 3 step-children and several grandchildren. Tonya attends and is an active member of the West Columbia First Church of the Nazarene.
Tonya has been a passionate cemetery professional for 23 years, with the majority of her career being at both Greenlawn Memorial Park and Woodridge Memorial Park. Tonya really enjoys being a part of a great team of professionals who are caring and passionate about serving and assisting families.
Tonya enjoys being involved in the community and spending time with her family.
Manager of Administration
Simone has joined the Thompson Funeral Home team in June of 2022. She is a native of Blythewood, South Carolina. She has been in the customer service and administrative field since 2014, and loves making a positive impact on the people that surround her. Before joining the Thompson Funeral Home team, she was in management where she grew and coached her team for the last 5 years leaving them to be one of the best spas in the Columbia area at time of departure. Simone is currently working towards her Business Management degree to continue growing in her career field.
She has a large family and quite a few friends who she loves to spend her spare time with. Simone’s intentions for her new role are to continue being the best version of herself while growing and evolving in her personal and professional life to exceed in her goals for the future.
Libby, a native of West Columbia, is the proud mother of three boys and a doting "Granny" to five grandchildren and four beautiful great-granddaughters. She has been a valuable part of the Thompson Funeral Home staff for 20 years. Libby assists our families with death certificates and insurance matters, and genuinely loves helping people. She attends True Life Fellowship Church in South Congaree.
Sandy is originally from Long Island, NY, where she started her administrative career over 25 years ago in the payment processing industry. In 2018, she made a move to Raleigh, NC, where she continued to put her administrative skills to good use but decided the death care industry would be a more rewarding path. In 2021, she and her family made the move to Irmo, SC and it was an easy decision to continue her career in death care and joined the Administrative team for the Thompson family.
Sandy mainly handles the facilitation of all memorial products ordered for services, obituary postings and assists in all other administrative duties as well. She particularly enjoys the production side of the memorial products as it brings out the creative more meaningful side of assisting families by adding a personal touch to each and every product.
She and her husband, Ronnie, who is in the death care industry as well, share a beautiful blended family which includes two grown boys, a beautiful teenage daughter, an exquisite granddaughter and three amazingly crazy but adorable dogs that are spoiled rotten. She and her husband enjoy rocking on the front porch, talking about their days and what’s to come.
Carol has been a part of the Greenlawn Memorial Park team for over 20 years. She serves as an administrative assistant at Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park and can be found helping others on a daily basis. She truly enjoys her work and finds tremendous satisfaction in assisting families and supporting her coworkers.
Carol has spent most of her life in Southeast Columbia. She has one son and enjoys meeting people from all walks of life. Carol has a heart for animals and especially treasures time with her two miniature poodles and three cats.
Kendra joined the Thompson Funeral Home team in January of 2023. She is a native to Maryland and moved to South Carolina to be closer to her brother. She comes from a long career in administrative support from government contracts to churches and legal offices. She brings her love of people to Thompson Funeral Homes and looks forward to serving the families of South Carolina.
Laurel is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a resident of Lexington, South Carolina since 2007. She and her husband are empty nesters to a combined total of 8 children.
In her younger years, Laurel pursued a career in music. After finishing her bachelor's degree, she began working in information technology, where she remained for ten years until retiring to become a full-time mom. Recently, Laurel was introduced to the world of Thompson Funeral Home while volunteering with their community outreach program. It was obvious to her that given the opportunity, this would be the perfect place for her to reenter the workforce.
Laurel has always enjoyed serving others. In her job as administrative assistant at Greenlawn Memorial Park, she is able to give back to the community in a meaningful way by assisting families in an ongoing capacity after losing a loved one. In her spare time, Laurel enjoys making greeting cards, walking for causes, scuba diving, listening to music, line dancing, college fantasy football, and teaching piano.
Family Service Advisor
Rachel was born and raised in Columbia, SC, and is grateful to have joined the Thompson/Greenlawn family in September of 2017. She graduated from Cardinal Newman High School, and received a Bachelor in Social Work degree from Columbia College. She has two daughters, Madison and Taylor, and is a member of Shandon Baptist Church.
Family Service Advisor
Sherry began her career as a cemetery counselor in 2011. She discovered that taking care of people in their time of need and assisting with their preparations brings her great satisfaction and enjoyment. In previous years, she worked in sales, but feels most passionate about her position as a Family Service Advisor.
Sherry is a native of Sumter and graduated from Sumter High School. She continued her education at DeVry University in Decatur, Georgia and at Central Carolina Technical College, where she studied computer technology.
Sherry is the mother of two, Aliyah and Alexandria, and also grandmother of two, Khloe and Kaveyah. In her spare time she enjoys crafting for others.
Family Service Advisor
Kenneth was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school. He worked his way through college and attained an Associate degree in Management and Supervision Technology from Bishop State Community College.
He began his career as a Family Service Advisor six and a half years ago in Mobile AL. Kenneth has always been passionate about helping people and when this opportunity opened up for him it felt like something he was always called to do.
Kenneth has worked for a few cemeteries now and always strives for the best way to help families through the most difficult time of their lives. Kenneth married his lovely bride, Rebecca, in 2014 and they have an adorable rescue dog, Minnie. Whenever Kenneth is not at work he enjoys spending time with his wife, the rest of his family,playing video games, or keeping up with the latest streamed TV show.
Community Relations Coordinator and Creative Support
Robin is originally from Batesburg-Leesville, SC and joined Thompson Funeral Homes in February 2018. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA in Studio/Graphic Art Design. Robin is excited to be a part of this new industry after having been in magazine design for 27 years.
In her spare time, Robin enjoys gardening, watching Gamecock football and spending time with her spouse and their four-legged family members.
Market Sales Manager
Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dan has always worked in professions that involve helping people. Having worked in the Cemetery/Funeral industry for over 20 years, he is passionate about his work as a Market Sales Manager in the Columbia/Lexington area of South Carolina.
Dan is dedicated to the families and staff who call on him, seeking assistance, guidance, and practical solutions to their needs. He is trained to listen and personally address particular issues and concerns. He specifically enjoys sharing the necessary information needed to make informed decisions about making arrangements now or planning for the future.