Mrs. Mary Ellen (Brice) Thompson

March 31, 2022


Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:1-3 (NLT)


Mary Ellen Brice Thompson, age 98, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday night, March 31, 2022. Her steadfast faith put the love of Jesus Christ into action. She modeled that love for her family by always being there for them. She demonstrated that love by helping others in need.

Mary Ellen was born on July 12, 1923, to John and Bessie (Meada) Camak Brice in Blair, SC. She grew up in the church, being a life-long member of Hassion Hill Baptist Church. She married the love of her life, Tommy Lee Thompson Jr., on May 31,1944, just before he went to fight in Europe during WWII. While he was away, Mary Ellen aided the war effort at home by working in a parachute factory in New York City.

After the war, Mary Ellen and Tommy moved their growing family to Columbia, SC. The enterprising couple built and ran the Club Paradise nightclub in those days. The venue also served as a Sunday School, where Mary Ellen spent many years teaching the Word of God to neighborhood children. They also ran a vegetable store from the back of a pick-up truck, providing fresh vegetables to the far reaches of Fairfield and Richland Counties. The family eventually moved to Starks Terrace subdivision, where they became life-long friends with many members of that community. They joined Dennis Chapel Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School, eventually becoming its Superintendent, and also sang in the choir.

In 1961, Mary Ellen and Tommy moved their family to Los Angeles, CA and joined Holman United Methodist Church. They participated in its Double Ring Club, and Mary Ellen volunteered in its Nurse’s Auxiliary. She studied at Los Angeles Community College and earned a nursing degree, later working for many years as a Registered Nurse at the Queen of Angels Medical Center. She often donated her time as a political volunteer, registering voters and going door-to-door in support of Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Her family lived most of their LA years on Inadale Avenue, where they met many of the beloved friends now considered family.

Mary Ellen and Tommy returned to Blair in 1979 after building a house near Pinetop, the Camak family home where Mary Ellen was born. They returned to worship at Hassion Hill Baptist Church, where she served as a Bible Study leader, Sunday School teacher, Sympathy Club worker and choir member. During that time, Mary Ellen worked as a Registered Nurse at The Chester Medical Center and the Babcock Center, a group home for special-needs adults.

The couple spent many happy years living on John Brice Road (named after her Father) in Blair, hosting family events, growing a large vegetable garden, raising chickens and caring for members of the community. Mary Ellen was a legendary cook who made the world’s best three-layer chocolate cake, coconut cake, cornbread dressing and monkey bread. She also loved growing roses, although that meant waging a years-long war against the deer who loved to snack on them.

Following the passing of her beloved husband, Mary Ellen moved to Roswell, GA in 2003 to be closer to her children. There, she joined Christ United Methodist Church. Unfaltering in her Christian faith, she participated in Sunday School, Bible Study, and was a member of her church’s Young At Heart and Nimble Fingers groups.

Her generous heart blessed many throughout her life. Mary Ellen donated to many organizations including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Feed the Children, UNICEF, Christian Children’s Fund, Clean Water Act and others.

Mary Ellen was greeted in heaven by her husband Tommy, her parents, John L. Brice and Bessie R. Camak Brice, and her siblings: Charlie Brice (Sarah), Jessie W. Brice, and Frances Silvera.

The Lord blessed Mary Ellen and Tommy with four children who will cherish her memories: Sandra Jean Williams, Tommie Teresa Whitaker, Runeski “Ricky” Lee Thompson (Debra) and Teri Laquita Irons-Thompson; eight grandchildren: Oscar “Rhaskara/Rhas” Williams, Devri Whitaker-Reerink (Jack), Ricky Thompson (Lindsay), Adam Nelson (Thembi), Nicole Slaughter (Shaunn), Marcus Thompson, Edward Irons (Ciara) and Ashley Irons; and 19 great-grandchildren Rhaskara, Willem, Tommie Mary-Ellen, Akiele, Xavyer, Israel, Quinton, Elias, Anya, Azuri, Sydney, Kobe, Brice, Tabari, Domino, Aiko, Jett, Rori, Mars, and sister-in-law Hattie Brice. She was beloved by her many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family. She was also a mother, grandmother and sister in spirit to many, many loved ones.

Funeral service will be 1:00 pm (viewing from 12 noon to 1:00 pm) Wednesday April 6, 2022 @ Hassion Hill Baptist Church with burial @ Gethsemane Baptist Church (Thompson Cemetery). There will be no visitation, only viewing will be at the church.

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