Charleston native Myra Singleton Quarles Thompson joined Mother Emanuel AME Church as a young child, beginning a lifetime of devotion to the church and its members. Her deep faith and love for the church’s members led her to study to become a minister, and just before her death, her preaching certificate was renewed.
One of 16 children, Thompson attended Livingstone College where she was a member of the marching band. She later transferred to Benedict College where she earned a BA degree in English Education and became a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She furthered her education at the Citadel Military College of Charleston where she earned the degree of Master of Education in Reading and a second degree of Master of Education in School Counseling. Thompson was a retired Charleston County school counselor and teacher where she taught at Brentwood Middle School in North Charleston for many years.
She was married to the Rev. Anthony B. Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston. Her two children, Kevin Singleton and Denise Quarles, and two grandchildren were her pride and joy.
Thompson was widely known among her fellow church members for her passionate devotion to the maintenance of the church in which she grew up. As a long-standing member of Mother Emanuel’s property committee, Thompson took a personal interest in caring for the church facilities. From replacing light bulbs in sanctuary chandeliers, to helping with the renovation of Mother Emanuel’s parsonage, Thompson was involved in helping ensure that Mother Emanuel’s physical condition reflected the spiritual condition of members.
Thompson’s funeral service was held at Mother Emanuel Church. Hundreds of people wrapped around the Calhoun St. block and crowded the sanctuary to pay their respects to the family. Among those in attendance were U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, Gov. Nikki Haley, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, and Dr. David A. Swinton, President of Benedict College.