First Black Owned Gas Station
Leevy’s Funeral Home was founded in 1932 by Mr. and Mrs. I. S. (Mary) Leevy. Mr. and Mrs. Leevy were both born in Kershaw County, South Carolina. After completing Hampton Institute, Mr. Leevy returned to Columbia and opened the Leevy Department Store on Washington Street, where he specialized in custom clothing and dry goods. In 1930 he and his wife opened an Esso Gas Station, the first black owned gas station in the state.
Founded in 1932
Seeing the need for an additional funeral home in the Midlands area, Leevy’s Funeral Home was established in 1932. The original mission was and continues to be to provide every person with a dignified and affordable funeral regardless of their economic situation. With the help of their children and grandchildren, the funeral home embarked upon a course of unparalleled service. Ruby Leevy Johnson, their oldest child, served as President of Leevy’s Funeral Home from 1995 until her passing in 2012.
Growth & Expansion
In 1995, I. S. Leevy Johnson, the grandson of the founders, became the sole owner of the family business and the late Ben Piper was named Manager. Under his ownership, the funeral home was completely remodeled; Lincoln cemetery was refurbished; and a modern fleet was purchased to enhance the quality of service provided by the funeral home. In 1997, Leevy’s Funeral Home opened its Lower Richland Chapel to serve families in the Lower Richland Community. Additionally, in 2006 a 350-seat chapel was added to the Taylor Street location.
Reverend Chris Leevy Johnson, son of I. S. Leevy Johnson, has been entrusted with continuing the Leevy Legacy. With the assistance of a dedicated staff of over 45 employees, Leevy’s Funeral Home remains committed to the original mission of providing a dignified funeral to everyone. That is why it makes a big difference who you select as your funeral director. When you select Leevy’s, you will always receive superior personnel, superior service, superior equipment, and understanding care, at a very fair and reasonable price.