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
Market Leader

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.

Gregg Turner
Location Leader, Licensed Funeral Director & 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 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.

Kim Dennis
Director of Operations

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 Assistant 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.

Anthony Bracy
Funeral Director / Embalmer

A.J. Bracy began his funeral service career in December, 2001. He has been honored to serve at several firms in the Midlands area as well as Charlotte, NC. A.J. was born in Camden, SC but moved to the Northeast Columbia area at an early age. He attended Richland School District Two schools, and graduated from Spring Valley High School. A.J. is also a graduate of Midlands Technical College (Associate of Arts), Limestone College (Bachelor of Science), The American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service (Associate of Occupational Studies) and Liberty University (Master of Arts in Religion). A.J. is married to Cassandra Dennis Bracy, and they have one son, Joshua A. Bracy. In addition to being a funeral director and embalmer, A.J. is an ordained Baptist minister. He has served as the youth pastor at First Northeast Baptist Church and continues to work in the gospel ministry. A.J. is a board member of the Richland School District Two Education Foundation Board, Vice Governor for the fifth district of the SC Morticians Association and is a member of the Academy of Funeral Service Practitioners. A.J. enjoys reading, bowling and traveling.

Craig Clardy
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.

Greg Edwards
Funeral Director / Embalmer

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 homes since 2006, and is a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer. Greg is married to Jennifer (Everhart) Edwards and they have one daughter, Ivey Elizabeth. 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.

Tom Maddux
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, since 1964, A member of Gideons International.

Sean Schreffler
Funeral Director/Embalmer

My experience in the funeral industry started very early in my life. My parents bought our family business from my grandfather John Schreffler in 1972. For the next 28 years, my mother and father ran the business. In 2000, I took over the day to day operations for the Schreffler Funeral Homes. In the year 2015, an opportunity presented itself for us to sell. After the sale was complete, for the first time in my life, my family was able to relocate anywhere we wanted to go. We decided to come to the Columbia area mainly to be by my wife’s family. We couldn’t have made a better choice. I was very fortunate to immediately find an opening at the Thompson Funeral Homes. They welcomed me with open arms and accepted me into the Thompson family. I look forward in bringing my many years of funeral experience to Columbia and help the Thompson Funeral Home team continue the same excellence in funeral service that the Columbia area is accustomed too. 

My 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 ones, and to honor the life that was lived. I always considered this profession an honor to be a part of and I look forward to serve the families of Columbia for years to come. 

My education background includes receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL. After receiving my degree I attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, IL obtaining an associate’s degree in Mortuary Science. My wife Virginia along with our children John, Ava Rose, and Max reside in Irmo, SC. Virginia is a teacher at St. John Neumann Catholic School and we are members of Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church in Columbia. 

Jamie Shelley
Funeral Director/Cremation Specialist/Embalmer

Jamie joined Thompson Funeral Homes recently. Jamie began his career in Funeral Service in 1996 where his served his apprenticeship at Goldfinch Funeral Homes in Conway/Murrell’s Inlet. Jamie is a 2001 Graduate of Gupton Jones of Funeral Service in Atlanta, GA. Jamie obtained his South Carolina Funeral Director/Embalmer License in 2001. Jamie relocated back to Atlanta in 2006 and obtained his Georgia Funeral Director and Embalmer License. While in Atlanta, Jamie worked at A. S. Turner Funeral Home and Crematory, and Paws, Whiskers and Wags Pet Crematory. Jamie moved to Charleston, in October 2012 to be the Crematory Manger at Carolina Memorial Funeral Home. Jamie moved back to his hometown in Marion, SC where he worked with Palmetto Professional Service as an Embalmer, and a South Carolina Public School Bus driver in Horry County.

Jamie has been a certified Crematory Operator with Matthews Cremation, Facultatieve Technologies, ICCFA. Jamie has been a member of Georgia Funeral Directors Association, South Carolina Funeral Director Association, and National Funeral Director Association, and a member of SCAPT - South Carolina Association for Pupil Transportation.

In Jamie’s spare time he enjoys camping, hiking, anything outdoors. Jamie Is a proud father of 2 dogs, McKenzie and Bella

Clayton Summerton
Funeral Director/Cremation Specialist/Embalmer

Clayton began his funeral service career in 2013. A native of Elgin, SC he has spent the last several years working in funeral homes across the upstate before relocating to the midlands and joining the staff at Thompson Funeral Home. He is a 2012 graduate of Lugoff-Elgin High School and a 2014 graduate of Piedmont Technical College with an A.A.S degree in Mortuary Science. Clayton is a licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer, Cremation Specialist and Pre-need insurance agent. He is married to Kaylee Boone Summerton, and they have one daughter, Avery Kate. In his free time, Clayton enjoys leading contemporary worship, woodworking, gardening, and spending time with his wife and daughter.

SGT Benton Jones
Apprentice Funeral Director and Embalmer

SGT Benton Jones was born in Lake View, SC. He began his career in funeral service under the late Elder Kevin Thomas of House of Thomas Funeral Home in Dillon, SC . He joined the United States Army in October 2012, and served 4 years. SGT Jones is currently a student at American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. He is married to Raveen Anthony Jones, and they have two children, Ke'sean (6), and Lauryn (2).

Mary Hollowell
Apprentice Funeral Director and Embalmer

Mary comes to Columbia, SC via Charleston via Denver via San Francisco via her home grown roots of North Carolina.  She has also traveled to West Africa, Paris, Germany and all over the USA.  Growing up the daughter of a Methodist Minister, Mary definitely got used to moving around.

Being a Funeral Director has been a dream since Mary was a little girl.  It all started while visiting the sick and attending all the funerals her dad preached.  But, Mary was a little rebellious and did not follow the path straight away.  She worked in Rock-n-Roll for a couple of years before going to the prestigious art conservatory N.C. School of the Arts.  There Mary received a BFA for Stage Management for the Theatre.   She is an Honor Graduate from Fayetteville Technical Community College with an Associates of Science – Funeral Service and Embalming.  Mary also received her Certification to Cremate from the National Funeral Directors Association.

Mary loves the beach and gets there every chance she can.  She has three siblings she adores and a mother that has been her cheerleader thru it all.  She lives in Columbia with her cat Willie G.  Mary is definitely living the dream put on her heart by God.   She is a UNC Tar Heel all the way.  Mary also loves her NE Patriots.    

Cindy Maxheimer
Administrative Assistant

Cindy grew up in Lexington County, attended Airport High School, USC, and Midlands Technical College, where she graduated with Associate degrees in both accounting and finance. She retired from JB White after 15 years of service. 
Cindy is married to Rick and they are the proud parents of one son, Drew. She attends and is an active member of Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church in West Columbia. Cindy volunteers and serves as an advocate supporting colon cancer awareness and research. She enjoys spending time with family, friends and their four-legged family member, Crumpet.

Libby Miles
Administrative Assistant

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.

Tonya Brazier
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. 

Teresa Higgins
Administrative Assistant

Teresa joined the cemetery staff in June of 2016. She comes from a very large local family and is a graduate of Lower Richland High School. Teresa recently returned to Columbia from many years in Boca Raton, Florida where she has devoted her life to customer service through various administrative services including municipal, medical and multiple lines of insurance. As a marker specialist, Teresa prides herself in assisting with the creation of a lasting memorial to your loved one.

Teresa and her husband Patrick are the proud parents of one daughter, two sons and five grandchildren who are the light of her life. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family and friends, shop and cheer on her beloved Gamecocks!!

"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. - Albert Pine"

Brenda Trafficanti
Administrative Assistant

Brenda has been employed at Thompson Funeral Home since 2004. She is an active member at Temple Baptist Church. She was blessed with a wonderful son Jonathan who passed away in 2010.

Carol Trakas
Administrative Assistant

I am an Administrative Assistant at Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

I have spent most of my life in Southeast Columbia. I am happily married; I have 1 son, 1 step- son, a miniature poodle and three kitty cats. I love meeting people from all walks of life.

Breanna Forrester
​Family Service Advisor

My name is Breanna Forrester, I graduated from Airport High School in 2016 and started my career about a month ago. I can’t wait to expand my skills and really be an asset to the team and help Greenlawn Memorial Park grow and prosper. I’m excited to be aboard and cannot wait to see what's to come. 

Rachel Muckenfuss
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 (13) and Taylor (9), and is a member of Shandon Baptist Church.

Joanne Anderson
Family Service Counselor - Licensed Funeral Director SC/NC

Joanne, a licensed funeral director since 2002, joined the Thompson Funeral Home team in 2019 following relocating from Charlotte, North Carolina. She has extensive experience in both cemetery and funeral home management. She finds that helping prepare families for one of the most challenging times in their lives, the death of a loved one, is a tremendously rewarding way to serve her community. She notes that it can be a challenging subject to discuss, but the peace of mind gained is well worth it.

Two of Joanne’s passions are animals and football. In her free time, Joanne enjoys cheering on her favorite team, the Cleveland Browns.

Alicia Clark
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. 

Greg Cordak
Family Service Director

Greg’s mission is to help families preplan for what will likely be one of the most difficult days of their lives. The loss of a loved one.

Greg is a high performance manager with 14 years cemetery management experience. He has a record of accomplishment for results in whatever market he has managed.

Greg was born and raised in Chicago, IL. Greg Studied Business and Marketing at The College of Lake County, IL. He is an avid sports fan and pulls for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons. Greg enjoys spending with his two children whom he adopted from China. 

Mersini Chavis
Family Service Advisor

Mersini joined the cemetery staff February 2019. She was born in El Paso Texas. She graduated from midlands technical collage with an associate degree in criminal justice. She is married and has one daughter, Alyssia and is a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. She truly loves helping people. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her family and friends and her singing golden retriever named Hudson. She also loves watching collage football and pulling for her two favorite teams; Texas longhorns and the Gamecocks!

Ronny DePalma
Family Service Advisor

Ronny joined the cemetery staff in February 2019.  She was born here in Columbia SC.  She has 2 sons, Stephen who was a Marine for 6 years and recently just graduated from the University of SC with a Public Health Degree.  AJ just graduated for Cardinal Newman and is attending USC Lancaster in the fall for baseball.

In her spare time she loves spending time with her family and friends.

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present."

-Bil Keane

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.

Robin Ridgell
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.