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 West Columbia, 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.
Chad Frye CFSP
Chad is a lifelong resident of Lexington County and has spent his entire funeral service career in the greater Midlands. Knowing at an early age that he wanted to serve his community, Chad found his calling in funeral service where he serves each family with care and compassion. Chad began his career working in all aspects of funeral service from washing cars, setting tents, to becoming a licensed funeral director-embalmer, and certified crematory operator. Chad has also earned the distinction of becoming a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner.
An active member of Willow Ridge Church in Lexington, Chad serves on the Church Praise team, where he plays multiple instruments. Chad’s passion is serving his community through various organizations and speaking engagements.
Chad has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Western Governors University as well as an associate degree in funeral service from Piedmont Technical College. Chad is married to Robin Campbell Frye, formerly of Hopkins, and is the proud father of triplets.
Location Leader, Licensed Funeral Director & Cremation Specialist
Raised in Alcolu, S.C., William Lynch began his career in funeral service as a funeral assistant in 2013, right after graduating from Sumter High School in 2012. After training as an apprentice funeral director and embalmer in Columbia, SC, he graduated from Piedmont Technical College with a degree in applied science in funeral services. He became a licensed funeral director in early-2018 and also holds certifications as a crematory operator, cremation services provider, and pre-need insurance provider. William has served Lexington and Richland counties since 2015 And sees the funeral profession as his calling to serve every family with compassionate care during challenging times.
William serves his community away from work as well. He is an active volunteer firefighter with the Lexington County Fire Service and a member of Chapin United Methodist Church. William is a member of the Town of Chapin Planning Commission and is the announcer for the Chapin High School Football Team “Go Eagles!”.
Currently he serves as the Board Chairman for the Chapin Chamber of Commerce and is active with the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association, where he serves on the Executive Committee and is chairman of the Central Coastal Funeral Directors Group.
Location Leader/ Licensed Funeral Director/Cremation Specialist
Sean’s experience in the funeral industry started very early in his life. His parents bought their family business from his grandfather, John Schreffler, in 1972. For the next 28 years, his mother and father ran the business. In 2000, he took over the day to day operations for the Schreffler Funeral Homes. In 2015, the family chose to sell their funeral home, which presented an opportunity for Sean and his family to relocate anywhere they wanted to go. They decided to move to the Columbia area to be near his wife’s family. Shortly after his arrival, Sean joined the Thompson Funeral Home family. He looks forward to bringing his many years of funeral experience to Columbia and to help the Thompson Funeral Home team continue the same excellence in funeral service to which the Columbia area has become accustomed.
His philosophy on the funeral profession is simple; it is to help those who are going through one of the hardest times in their lives create a personalized tribute of their loved one and to honor the life that was lived. He has always considered this profession an honor to be a part of and he looks forward to serving the families of Columbia for years to come.
His educational background includes receiving a Bachelor of Science in business management from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL. After receiving his degree, he attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, IL, obtaining an associate degree in Mortuary Science. His wife, Virginia, along with their children, John, Ava Rose, and Max, reside in Irmo, SC. Virginia is a teacher at St. John Neumann Catholic School and they are members of Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church in Columbia.
Manager of Administration
Kimberly Dennis started her business management experience with an international security firm, where she developed a strong background in human resources, payroll and personnel management. Kim has worked with some of the biggest names in the retail industry along with hospitals, golf courses, and industrial plants helping tailor their needs to services available to them. Prior to the security industry, Kim worked for ambulance services and hospitals as an EMT and technician. Kim has a strong desire to help people in their time of need.
Kim was born in Franklin PA and spent her childhood there before moving to South Carolina in 1996. Kim currently lives in Irmo, SC with her husband who is the Chief of Police with a local police department and their 2 children Carlton and Jackson. She currently serves as an ambassador with Serve and Connect, a non-profit in Columbia, SC, where she enjoys interacting with the community.
Senior Funeral Director/Embalmer
Craig joined the Thompson team in 2014, after a successful career in funeral service in Easley, SC. He and his wife, Rhonda, have two children; Chandler and Haley; a grandson, Braden James, and live in Lexington, SC.
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 and Embalmer
Johnnie, a native of Ringgold, Georgia, graduated from Ringgold High School in 2003. He continued his education at Kennesaw State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in psychology. He worked for the Georgia Department of Corrections as a state probation officer for several years. In 2012, he began his funeral service career. He graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in 2013, where he received his Associates of Science in funeral service, graduating as salutatorian of his class. For the first few years of his funeral service career, he worked for a privately owned funeral home in Smyrna, Georgia and became a licensed funeral director and embalmer in 2014.
In 2017, Johnnie relocated to South Carolina along with his wife, Terri Cain, who is a registered nurse with Prisma Health Richland. Johnnie is pleased to join the Thompson Funeral Home team and is dually licensed in both Georgia and South Carolina.
Licensed Funeral Director & Cremation Specialist
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.
Licensed Apprentice & Cremation Specialist
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.
Marla, a Greenville, SC native, made Columbia her home in 1988. She attended College of Charleston and prior to joining Thompson, was a national advertising account executive with an apparel/retailer technology publication, Apparel, for 25 years.
In her free time, Marla enjoys baking sweets, watching old movies, playing in her garden, and reading all types of novels. She and her spouse share a home with four cats and a Golden Retriever named Banks.
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.
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.
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.
Martin “Marty” Minor
Family Service Advisor
Martin “Marty” Minor, originally from Edgefield, grew up in New Orleans and Mississippi. He has a passion for athletics and was All-conference in both basketball and football. In addition to sports, Marty is actively involved in community affairs and enjoys dancing, the Shag being his favorite. He has two children and six grandchildren.
Marty has enjoyed a wealth of interesting experiences throughout his career to include work in insurance, law enforcement, counseling, merchandising and advertising. His passion for serving others brought him to Greenlawn Memorial Park and Thompson Funeral Home. He is thrilled to have this opportunity and looks forward to helping families as a family service advisor.
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.
Family Care Advisor - Licensed Funeral Director
Alicia is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as being licensed to sell preneed insurance.
She holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Furman University and an Applied Associate of Science degree from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.
Alicia moved to South Carolina from Massachusetts and has been a resident of Lexington for 10 years and enjoys her free time with her son Jody.
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.
Mary Beth Lamey
Community Care Coordinator
Mary Beth joined Thompson Funeral Home after working in the field of hospice and end of life care. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master of Social Work degree and has provided counseling and support to grieving families in the Columbia area for over twenty years. Currently, Mary Beth is licensed both as a clinical social worker and as a funeral director apprentice. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to new places, attending concerts and spending time with family and friends.
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.
Operational Support 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 South Carolina midlands and was first employed with Thompson Funeral Home in 1987, and has recently rejoined their staff.
He 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 Past District Governor. He is an active member of the Lexington and West Metro Chamber of Commerce, the South Carolina Funeral Director’s Association 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 is married to Tracie Pitts Turner who is employed with Bernardo Geriatric Medicine. They have two children, a son, Tyler and a daughter, McKensey.