History and Staff

Greenlawn Memorial Park has been providing for the needs of families since 1937.  We are proud of the reputation we have established over more than 80 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.  Approximately ninety percent of funerals at Greenlawn during recent years have been arranged prior to the death of the family member helping them avoid the stress of last minute planning.  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 funeral home facility to serve families all over the Midlands.  Thompson Funeral Home is conveniently located adjacent to Greenlawn Memorial Park on Leesburg Road and is 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 Greenlawn, 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 , 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.

Brenda Trafficani
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.

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"

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.

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