Meet Our Staff

Recent Obituaries

History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Since 1932 our funeral home has prided itself as being a leader in service to the families of Columbia. Over the years, Shives Funeral Home has seen the city change and grow, yet our commitment to outstanding service and caring for people has never changed.

The funeral home, built in a beautiful, colonial style, is located near downtown Columbia. Originally founded and operated by the Talbert family, the funeral home was purchased in 1967 by William W. Shives. Mr. Shives continued in the tradition of providing exceptional care for the families of our area, and over the next 30 years, he completed major renovations and additions to the funeral home facility.

Today, the funeral home is owned and operated by E. Randolph Shives III. He, along with the caring and highly experienced funeral home staff, provide the families of the Midlands with dignified and personal funeral services that honor and celebrate the lives of their loved ones.


Our Valued Staff

E. Randolph Shives III

E. Randolph Shives III, Funeral Director / Owner

Randolph, a native of Lincolnton, NC, is a 1993 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 1995 graduate of Gupton Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, GA. After college, he moved to Columbia and joined his uncle and aunt at Shives Funeral Home. Randolph assumed management of the firm in 1999 and ownership in 2012. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and a member of the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association as well as the National Funeral Directors Association. Randolph is married to Brandon Davidson Shives of Columbia, owner of Brandon Davidson Interiors. They have two children, Alexander and Eliza Madison. Randolph and his family are members of First Presbyterian Church where he served as Deacon. Additionally, Randolph, an Eagle Scout, is a member of the Executive's Association of Greater Columbia (President Elect), Rotary Club of Columbia, St. Andrew's Society of the City of Columbia (Steward), is a past president of Brennen Elementary School Improvement Council, and is on the Board of Directors for the Richland County Coroner’s Foundation. You may e-mail Randolph at RShives@ShivesFuneralHome.com


William W. Shives

William W. Shives, Funeral Director / Former Owner

Bill is a native of Lincolnton, NC where he started working in the funeral profession at Warlick Funeral Home. While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bill was drafted into the US Army which led him to Ft. Jackson in Columbia. Following the Korean Conflict, Bill graduated from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science as well as earning a BS in business administration from University of South Carolina. In 1967, Bill purchased Talbert Funeral Home which he operated as Talbert Shives Funeral Home until his retirement in 1999. Since then, Bill has continued to be active in the business. He has resided in Blythewood for nearly 50 years where he and his wife, Barbara, who worked alongside him in the business, are members of Trinity United Methodist Church. Bill has served on the SC Board of Funeral Service, the Transplantation Committee of the American Red Cross for the Southeastern United States, Washington Street United Methodist Church Administration Board, the advisory board of Transport for Christ, member of Blythewood Rotary Club, The Colonel Thomas Taylor Chapter of the Son's of the American Revolution, and The American Legion Post #6.


Jerry C. Deese

Jerry C. Deese, Funeral Director

A native of South Carolina, Jerry began his career in Funeral Service in 1993 following his high school graduation. He earned his A.A.S. Degree in Mortuary Science as an honor graduate from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service in Houston, Texas. Jerry is a Licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer and a Certified Crematory Operator. He has one son, Jaydan, and attends Reformation Lutheran Church in Columbia. You may email Jerry at jdeese@shivesfuneralhome.com


Eric R. O'Dell

Eric R. O'Dell, Funeral Director

Eric is a native of Lexington County and a 1990 graduate of Airport High School. He first came to work with Shives Funeral Home in 1992. He was associated with the CWC Jaycees and is a former member of the City of Cayce Beautification Board. Eric earned his CFSE with honors at Piedmont Technical College and is a licensed funeral director. He spends much of his free time playing with his cat, Liza Jane, whom he adopted on Christmas day at our Colonial Chapel and his two Chihuahuas, Ricky and Rusty. Eric also enjoys working in his yard and giving assistance to many seniors in and around our community. You may e-mail Eric at EOdell@ShivesFuneralHome.com


Sean O. Riley

Sean O. Riley, Funeral Director

Sean, a native of Oklahoma City, OK, is a 2000 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma. A veteran of both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army, Sean has worked in various capacities serving families with funeral planning and preparation since 1997. Additionally, he has served as a student minister and worship pastor at churches in both Oklahoma and South Carolina. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and a member of the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association. Sean is married to Bonnie Elizabeth Riley of Oklahoma City, and they have three children: Benjamin, Jacob and Lydia. Sean and his family are members of Northeast United Methodist Church, where he serves as Worship Leader and where Bonnie serves as the Director of Children’s Ministries. Additionally, Sean, a Drill Sergeant with the Army Reserve, continues to serve at Fort Jackson and has been involved in leadership with the Columbia Lions Club, the North Springs Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, and with Pack 200 of the Indian Waters Council of the Boy Scouts of America.


Aaron R. Small

Aaron R. Small, Funeral Director

Aaron is a Columbia native and a graduate of Dreher High School, the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, and numerous courses from the National Fire Academy. Aaron served in the Mortuary Affairs Section of the U. S. Army doing recovery, identifying and returning our fallen soldiers and served in the Army Reserves for eight years. He owned and operated funeral homes in Denmark, SC, was a partner in McMillan-Small Funeral home in Myrtle Beach, SC, and has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer for over 50 years. Aaron semi-retired in 1997 and returned to his home in Columbia to care for his parents.

Aaron’s second enjoyable profession is being associated with the volunteer and paid Fire Service and serving on committees with the South Carolina State Firefighters' Association.

He married Betty Hilton Small in 1961 and they have two adult children and two grandchildren.

It is a pleasure being on the staff of Shives Funeral Home & Crematorium working with such dedicated and caring professionals.


Rev. R. Joseph Copeland

Rev. R. Joseph Copeland, Licensed Funeral Director

Joe is a native of Valdosta, GA where he graduated from Valdosta State University. He received his Masters of Divinity from Columbia International University. In 35 years of ministry, Joe served churches in Valdosta, Bamberg, SC and Columbia. For the last 15 years, he worked in pastoral ministries at North Trenholm Baptist Church, especially enjoying his work with senior adults. Prior to joining North Trenholm, Joe was a supervisor with the Lexington County Department of Social Services, specializing in Adult and Child Protective Services. Joe is married to Martha Tucker Copeland of Columbia and they are members of North Trenholm Baptist, where they continue to teach Sunday School classes. They have five grown children: Sam, his wife, Miller; Paul and his wife, Ainhoa; Anna, her husband, Chris and their son, Bender; Andrew; and Caleb. Joe’s life-long focus on helping families will continue as part of the Shives staff, which he joined in January 2015. You may email Joe at jcopeland@shivesfuneralhome.com


Andrew Copeland

Andrew Copeland, Apprentice Funeral Director

Andrew, a native of Columbia, is a graduate of the Homeward Bound Education Association, a former student of Christian Studies at North Greenville University, and a current student of the funeral service program at Piedmont Technical College. He has served as a pastor’s aid at Temple Baptist Church in Simpsonville, SC and previously provided the Sunday morning service and worship for the Palmettos Assisted Living Facility on Parklane. Andrew has passion for music and dance and devotes his free time to teaching and serving with the Palmetto Swing Dance Association.


Amy J. Henson

Amy J. Henson, Office Manager

Amy is a native of Charlotte, NC. Through the process of a job transfer, Amy’s family relocated to Lexington 17 years ago where she and her husband raised their three children and now enjoy spending their free time with their four grandchildren. Amy and her husband, Jim, are members of Radius Church in Lexington and she likes to travel in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is photography and through her travels has enjoyed many sights through the lens of her camera. Amy also enjoys a love of baking cultivated by cooking when her house was filled with her children and their friends. You may email Amy at AHenson@ShivesFuneralHome.com


M. Eugene Harris Jr.

M. Eugene Harris Jr., Certified Cremationist and Funeral Assistant

Born in Greenwood, SC he was a graduate of Greenwood High School and attended Clemson University and Lander College. After serving in the US Army, Gene moved to Columbia where he went to work with the SC Highway Patrol. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant after a rewarding 30 years. Gene has a son, twin daughters and six beautiful grandchildren. For many years he coached and played men’s softball as well as coaching little league football. He now resides in the Cedar Creek Community of Richland County and spends much of his free time hunting. Gene has worked with Shives Funeral Home since 1999 and earned the Certified Crematory Operator designation by the National Funeral Directors Association. You may email Gene at GHarris@ShivesFuneralHome.com


Trenholm Buyck Hardison

Trenholm Buyck Hardison

Trenholm, a native of St. Matthews, SC, is a 2006 graduate of the University of South Carolina. After graduation, she continued to reside in Columbia working various retail and sales jobs before finally joining Shives Funeral Home as an administrative assistant in 2015. Trenholm is married to Owens Hardison of Orangeburg, SC and they have one son, Loitton. She is a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, serves on the Board of Director’s for the Richland County Coroner’s Foundation and is a past member of the Junior League of Columbia. Trenholm’s second enjoyable profession is working with Brandon Shives at Brandon Davidson Interiors. When she isn’t working, Trenholm loves cheering on her Gamecocks at football games and various sporting events as well as spending time with her family and friends at her family’s beach house at Edisto Island. You may e-mail Trenholm at THardison@ShivesFuneralHome.com.


Beth Cheslak

Beth Cheslak, Office and Funeral Assistant

Beth, a Columbia native, graduated from Cardinal Newman High School and the University of South Carolina. She worked for AT&T as an Office Assistant until her retirement in 2012. She and husband Mark have two adult daughters. Beth is a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, traveling and spending time with friends and family. You may email Beth at BCheslak@ShivesFuneralHome.com


Mr. Randolph P. Hayslett

Mr. Randolph P. Hayslett, Funeral Assistant

Randolph Pennington “Randy” Hayslett is a Columbia native, having graduated from Columbia High School, Class of 1953. He married the former Ethelyn Rickenbaker in 1956 and received his B.S. degree in Banking & Finance from USC in 1961. He was an agent for the IRS, worked in banking and financial management, and managed a law office in Rock Hill before his retirement. He is a former member of the National Association of Legal Administrators, having served as chapter president in North and South Carolina, and an associate member of the American Bar Association. Randy and Ethelyn have four children and six grandchildren. They are active members of Shandon Baptist Church.


Craig Houston

Craig Houston, Funeral Assistant

A native of Blakely, Ga., Craig attended Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Ga. and is a graduate of Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fl. He moved to Columbia to accept the position of Graphic Designer for the SC Educational Television Network and later became a partner/owner of The Ad Company in Columbia. Since retirement, Craig uses his talent as a fine artist at The Climb Studio in downtown Columbia. He is also the Fine Art Superintendent of the South Carolina State Fair. Craig is married to Julie Hoover Houston of West Columbia and they have a son, Mark, and a daughter, Lauren Houston Wilson, and five precious grandchildren. Craig is an active member of First Baptist Church, Columbia, a former Sunday School Teacher, Deacon and member of the church choir. Craig joined the Shives staff in 2014.


John Kelley

John Kelley, Funeral Assistant

John Kelley is a native of Walhalla, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Clemson University where he received his EdS in administration and supervision. Upon graduation, John began a 40 year career in education. In 1999, he completed his public school career as Associate Superintendent of Instructional Services with the School District of Oconee County. In 2000, he began a new career as State Director for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. During this time, he traveled to the Middle East and Latin America evaluating schools seeking American accreditation. With 40 years of public and private school experience, he officially retired from the field of education in 2010. During his career, John was awarded various national, state, regional and local honors. In 2015, he joined the staff of Shives Funeral Home. John is a member of Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia.


Ed Kennedy

Ed Kennedy, Funeral Assistant

Ed, a native of Columbia, is a graduate of Dreher High School, Furman University and The School of Banking of The South at LSU. He is retired from a career serving the Greater Columbia area in commercial and mortgage banking. Ed is married to Kay Wilson Kennedy of Shelby, NC. They are members of Shandon Baptist Church, where Ed has served as Deacon, Stewardship Committee Chairman, and a Sunday School Director and Teacher. His community service has included Division Chairman of the United Way, Chairman of the Richland County Housing Authority, and Membership Chairman of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. In his leisure time, Ed enjoys reading, sports, spending time with friends and family, and playing golf.


Robert Leonard

Robert Leonard, Funeral Assistant


Rosie Leonard

Rosie Leonard, Funeral Assistant


Richard Lyttleton

Richard Lyttleton, Funeral Assistant

Richard is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. After high school graduation, he attended Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana. He entered the banking business in Cincinnati, where he was office manager, loan officer and collections director. A few years later, Richard felt a call to full time ministry, whereupon he entered the ministry with the Church of God. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in theology from Everglades Seminary. During his forty-four years of ministry, he pastored seven churches in five states. He retired in 2009 after pastoring in West Columbia for twenty-two years. Richard is a veteran of the Ohio Air National Guard, where he served for six years. Since retirement, Richard has worked for the US Census Bureau and Lexington Hospital. He enjoys fishing, snow skiing, and wood working. Richard married his wife, Annette, while pastoring in Darlington, SC, and they have one daughter who works for SLED.


Kenny Mattox

Kenny Mattox, Funeral Assistant

Kenny Mattox, a native of Blythewood, joined Shives Funeral Home in 2012. Kenny’s Blythewood roots run deep, having graduated from Blythewood High School in 1963 and working for Mattox Electric until retirement after 26 years. Kenny, along with his wife, Shelia, and daughter, Hayden, are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ridgeway Ward. He also has two adult children, Carla and Duane, and six grandchildren. When Kenny is not with his family, he spends much of his time volunteering within his community, offering a helping hand to anyone in need.


Diane T. McLaughlin

Diane T. McLaughlin, Funeral Assistant

Diane is a native of Camden, having attended Camden High School, North Greenville College, and USC where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration. She has two daughters and two grandchildren. Diane lives in northeast Columbia where she is a member of Northeast Presbyterian Church. Since retiring from the USC School of Medicine, she has enjoyed volunteering with the Richland County Public Library and becoming a Master Gardener. Diane has worked with Shives Funeral Home since 2000.


James F. Munn

James F. Munn, Funeral Assistant


JoAnn Dowey Richardson Null

JoAnn Dowey Richardson Null, Funeral Assistant

JoAnn, a Columbia native, graduated from Dentsville High School and went on to attend Columbia Commercial College. For 27 years, she owned and operated Ashley Rose, Inc. She joined Shives Funeral Home in 2012. JoAnn is a member of Killian Baptist Church. Following the death of her first husband, Roger Richardson, JoAnn married Herbert Null. She has one son. When not working, she enjoys shopping and decorating.


Brian E. Ogburn

Brian E. Ogburn, Funeral Assistant

Brian received a B.A. Degree from The Citadel and Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an ordained Baptist minister. Years before going into the ministry, he worked for and later managed his family insurance agency in Winnsboro, SC. In addition to being a funeral assistant, Brian is a musician and often plays bagpipes for funeral services. He is also a hospice chaplain and available to render pastoral care to families in need. Brian is married to wife Bunny and has two children, Earl and Caroline.


L. Michael Priest

L. Michael Priest, Funeral Assistant

Mike was born in Anchorage, Alaska, grew up in Mooresville N.C. and graduated from Mooresville Senior High School. He moved to Columbia in 1978 and received an Associate of Arts degree from Midlands Technical College. After serving as an Air Traffic Controller for the U. S. Navy, Mike spent 25 years in the Automotive Sales Management industry here in Columbia. In his leisure time he enjoys golf and cooking. He, along with his wife Janet and their daughter McKenzie are currently members of Salem United Methodist Church.


Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan, Funeral Assistant


Benji Holder

Benji Holder, Facilities Maintenance

Benji was born in Panama and joined the US Army in 1989. After serving in Korea he was discharged at Ft. Jackson and remained here in Columbia. Benji is a member and employee of North Trenholm Baptist Church where he serves as the Director of Facilities and Grounds. He has three children and enjoys playing soccer in his free time.


Valerie L. Shealy

Valerie L. Shealy, Accountant

Valerie is a Columbia native born to George L. and Margaret H. Taylor. She is a 1987 graduate of Airport High School and joined Shives Funeral Home in 1989. She currently works part-time at Shives in the accounting department. Valerie and husband, Frank, have four children, Sarah, Matthew, Emma, and Paul, and currently reside in Blythewood. They are members of Transfiguration Catholic Church, where Valerie serves as parish secretary, lector and Eucharistic Minister. When not hiking in the wilderness of Oconee County, Valerie can be found curled up with a good book. You may e-mail her at VShealy@ShivesFuneralHome.com


Frank E. Shealy

Frank E. Shealy, Certified Cremationist

Frank is the son of Blythewood native, Eula M. Blume Shealy and the late Sherrod Earl Shealy, originally of Newberry. He spent his early years in Charleston, SC, moving to his mother’s hometown in the mid-1970’s. He is a graduate of Spring Valley High School. After graduation, he joined United Technologies which later became Ambac International. He also worked at Yutaka Technologies in Camden and Allied Air in Orangeburg. He retired in 2006 to spend time with his four children and farm the family land. Frank earned the Certified Crematory Operator designation by the National Funeral Directors Association as well as Matthews International. Frank enjoys farming, sitting around the campfire with his family, hunting and fishing. He is a member of Transfiguration Catholic Church.


Sherry Peake Stockman

Sherry Peake Stockman, Accountant

Sherry Stockman is a Ridgeway, SC native. She first joined Shives Funeral Home in 2007 and worked in a part-time administrative capacity until mid-2010 when she took a sabbatical to devote all her spare time to caring for her mom. She returned to the administrative team, again part time, in early 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Columbia College. Employed with SCANA since 1997, Sherry also has a full time career as a senior accountant. She and her husband, John, have two children and four grandchildren. Sherry and John are active members of Trinity Baptist Church in Lugoff. They volunteer once a quarter providing supper at a local children’s emergency shelter. John and Sherry attend, on a regular basis, plays at Town Theater and enjoy occasional weekend getaways exploring bed and breakfasts; but, they are happiest visiting the grandchildren every chance they get.