Dorothy Compton

Obituary of Dorothy Gardner Compton

Dorothy Gardner Compton, “Dot” (as she was affectionately known) was born in Columbia, SC on November 6, 1930, and departed this life on February 23, 2024, in Columbia. She was the daughter of the late Will Gardner and Minnie Gardner (née Dreher) of West Columbia.

Funeral services will be held in the Mausoleum Chapel on March 2, 2024, at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Columbia, SC to honor the life of a remarkable lady. She was one of the oldest tribal elders of the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois United Tribes of South Carolina, also known as the Cherokees of South Carolina. Dorothy graduated from Lakeview High School in West Columbia, and earned a bachelor's degree from Allen University. Dorothy had impeccable talent, style, and an eye for design; she spent her life as an entrepreneur, inventor, and dressmaker. Her skills were so highly regarded that she was selected to create intricate garment samples for fashion designers Valentino and Donna Karan. Dorothy was awarded a patent for one of her many inventions. She was a former member of Jack and Jill of America, and a charter member of the Poinsettia Cotillion (where her granddaughter was presented in December 2022).

After her husband Herbert passed away, she continued his legacy of generosity by donating to many non-profit organizations and charities. Dorothy was passionate about fashion, dressmaking, writing, and baking.

She was the beloved wife of more than 60 years to her late husband Herbert Lee “Top” Compton, Jr., and is survived by their four children, a godson, three grandchildren, one step-granddaughter, three step-great-grandchildren, her dear friend; her special cousins, and a host of relatives and loved ones.

Memorial donations can be directed to Eastern Cherokee Southern Iroquois United Tribes of South Carolina (ECSIUT),C/O Chief Lamar Nelson, 649 Berry Shoals Rd.,Duncan S.C. 29334.

For those unable to attend the service in person, it will be livestreamed through the following link:


Funeral Service

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Saturday, March 2, 2024
Greenlawn Memorial Park and Mausoleum Chapel
845 Leesburg Road
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
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