January 20, 2022
Lelia Lucinda Gripper Thompson was born November 9, 1941, to the late Richard and Mary Jane Woodard Gripper in Ridgeway, South Carolina. She departed this life on January 20, 2022, at her residence. Lelia was joined in holy matrimony to the late Vicque Thompson, Sr. To this union five children were born, all of whom survive her passing. After the passing of her parents, she served as matriarch for her siblings and later adopted two of her foster sons whom she raised from infancy. She graduated from Hanberry High School and furthered her education at the University of South Carolina, where she received her Registered Nursing license in 1979. Her love and concern for helping others extended over a 30-year career as a registered nurse, working at Richland Memorial Hospital and the South Carolina State Hospital, retiring after a successful career of ministering to the health needs of her patients. She joined Bethel Holiness Church and worked diligently in many capacities. The Lord joined her and Pastor Dorine Williams Attaway as spiritual sisters. They traveled across the state and southeast, having revivals, vacation Bible schools and witnessing for Christ. She began her Christian journey as a member and grew in her service, being elevated to the office of elder, and pastor of Holy Gospel Tabernacle and State Mother of the Holy Gospel Tabernacle, Inc. Movement. Lelia spent her retirement years going to prayer services daily at various churches. She ran a food pantry from her home and did whatever she could to assist her neighbors, family, and friends. She was on a true missionary journey, both in word and deed. She never met a stranger and through her faith in God she approached every act of kindness with humbleness and a genuine smile. Her strong Christian convictions, coupled with her concern for others and her medical background, led her to become a certified foster parent to children in need. She loved having a house full of children and bringing love and stability into their lives. Her dedicated service in this capacity enriched the lives of many children, all of whom still refer to her as “Mama.” She loved sharing God’s Word and visited many nursing homes, bringing her foster children, grands, and other family members with her to provide worship services, concerts, and Christmas celebrations. Everyone knew that at family gatherings there would be singing and giving praises to God for his goodness. Lelia served others. She volunteered as a homeroom mother at J. P. Thomas Elementary School, receiving several school and district awards, including Volunteer of the Year for her tireless service to the teachers and staff. She also received recognitions from Alcorn Middle School and Eau Claire High School for her dedicated efforts in providing meals and snacks for the athletic teams. Lelia had a heart of love. She opened her home to many individuals and families in need until their circumstances changed. She loved animals of all kinds and was never without their companionship. Her love of gardening and flowers was often recognized with yard-of-the month recognitions in her Haskell Heights neighborhood. She loved interacting with her senior friends in exercise class at the Greenview Park and with her Red Hatters friends. She gave a lot of herself, but her greatest love was living for Christ and sharing his love with others. Lelia was preceded in death by her husband, Vicque Thompson, Sr., and brother James Gripper. She leaves to cherish her precious memories her seven children: Toney (Renee) Thompson, Andrena Grooms and Barbara (Luther) France, and Jordan Thompson all of Columbia, SC; Regina Faye (Terence) Lewis of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Vicque (Christalyn) Thompson, of Jacksonville, NC, and Kenneth Thompson, Lincolnton; one sister, Cynthia (Benjamin) Bell, Hopkins, SC, and two brothers, Richard (Francina) Gripper, Columbia, SC and Chris Gripper, Virginia Beach, VA., a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, great, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many family and friends, all of whom will miss her dearly.
Lelia Lucinda Gripper Thompson was born November 9, 1941, to the late Richard and Mary Jane Woodard Gripper in Ridgeway, South Carolina. She departed this life on January 20, 2022, at her residence. Lelia was joined in holy matrimony to the... View Obituary & Service Information
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