Born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Michael began his work in funeral home ministry in 1983. He is a graduate of Edisto High School, University of South Carolina at Coastal, Gupton-Jones of Mortuary Science and attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been employed with Barron and Dantzler-Baker Funeral Homes since 1994. Michael is also a bi-vocational Pastor where he serves First Baptist Church of Lowrys. Michael is the husband of Karen Tyler Shaffer, also employed with Barron and Dantzler-Baker Funeral Homes.
James R. Baker
At age 18, James knew the funeral service profession was the only career for him. Following graduation from Great Falls High School, he enrolled at Cincinnati College of Embalming and graduated in March of 1964. Soon after, he married Barbara Mitchum of Georgetown, SC. Married for 44 years, they have two children and four grandchildren.
Early in his career, James was employed with McAlister’s Funeral Home in Charleston, SC for two years. In 1966 James and Barbara along with R. M. Dantzler established the Dantzler-Baker Funeral Home in Great Falls. In January 1995 James and Barbara purchased Barron Funeral Home in neighboring Chester, SC. James served as president and his wife Barbara as vice-president and secretary of Dantzler-Baker and Barron Funeral Homes until the firms joined Rollings Funeral Service, Inc. in 2005.
James is a member and deacon at First Baptist Church in Great Falls and is a past master and past secretary of Great Falls Masonic Lodge # 277. South Carolina Governor Richard Riley appointed him to the SC State Board of Funeral Service in 1985. Beloved by his hometown neighbors, James was twice elected mayor of Great Falls and has served the Chester County Chamber of Commerce as board member; in 1982 he was elected Chester County’s ambassador for economic development. Dedicated to all aspects of community service, James has also given his time and talent as a board member for Chester Department of Social Services, as first chairman of the Great Falls Economic Development Commission, and past president of the Great Falls Merchants Association and Optimist Club. Currently James serves on the advisory board of First Citizens Bank.
James has always believed that “SERVICE” is the primary ingredient which preserves the very foundation of all we do as funeral directors.
Barbara M. Baker
Barbara was born in Williamsburg County, SC and is a graduate of Winyah High School in Georgetown, SC and Winthrop College where she earned a degree and certification in elementary education. It was while a student at Winthrop that Barbara met James R. Baker. It was a perfect match and they were married in 1964. Barbara taught school for several years, first in Charleston where James was employed with McAlister’s Funeral Home, and then in Great Falls where she and James along with R. M. Dantzler established the Dantzler-Baker Funeral Home. Barbara became a licensed funeral director in 1969 and continues to direct and console the bereaved families of her beloved community. Barbara was vice-president and secretary of Dantzler-Baker and Barron Funeral Homes until the firms joined Rollings Funeral Service in 2005.
Barbara and James have two children and four grandchildren. Barbara is a member of First Baptist Church of Great Falls and has served on the Board of Trustees, Stewardship Committee, Scholarship Committee, and has been a Sunday school teacher. She is also a former chairman of the Great Falls United Fund. Barbara enjoys reading and her favorite pastime, Friday Bridge Club.
Karen T. Shafer
Karen was born and raised in Loris, South Carolina. She is a graduate of Loris High School and attended Horry-Georgetown Technical College. Karen married Michael Shaffer in 1986, who is also on staff with Barron and Dantzler-Baker Funeral Homes. She has been employed with Barron and Dantzler-Baker Funeral Homes since 1994.
Johnny Broom Funeral Assistant
Johnny was born and raised in Great Falls and has spent all of his life except about four years here. During his youth, Johnny was a skilled baseball player. He once signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles. However, during spring training he discovered he preferred the quiet streets of his hometown and returned to stay.
Johnny is married to Betty Jo Parris and together they have 3 sons, 2 granddaughters, and one grandson. He is retired from Liberty Life Insurance Company after 40 years of service and is also a dedicated member of First Baptist Church in Great Falls. There Johnny serves as deacon and member of the stewardship committee. Monday mornings find Johnny delivering recorded tapes of the Sunday morning service to the homebound members of the church. He also teaches a married couples Sunday school class. Johnny began teaching Sunday school about 35 years ago, working with the babies in the Cradle Roll Class.
A faithful employee, Johnny has been on staff with Dantzler-Baker since 1966 when the firm was established. His dedication to the funeral home is directly associated with his love for the Great Falls community. Johnny declares he has never worked for a better person than James Baker; they have never had a cross word.
James Harvey Osborne Funeral Assistant
Born and raised in Great Falls, James Harvey is dedicated to family. He and his wife Shirley Moss Osborne have three adult children. They enjoy making memories with their 5 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
On staff at Dantzler-Baker since 1992, James Harvey is retired from J.P. Stevens Company and is well-respected in the Great Falls Community as a former member of the Town Council and in service to the Greenlawn Cemetery Committee. He is very active at First Baptist Church of Great Falls, where he serves as deacon, Sunday school teacher, and assists with any project that needs his helping hands. He always encourages the funeral home staff to call if they need anything. James Harvey is indeed the person to call when you need a helping hand.
S. Austin Broome Funeral Assistant
Born in Flopeye (the fabled nickname for Great Falls) and, except for a few years in the U.S. Army, Austin has lived his entire life in the hometown that he loves.
Retired from Duke Energy after 34 years, Austin joined the funeral home staff in January of 1998. He and his wife Jakie Schweiterman Broome are avid sports fans and regulars at the South Carolina Gamecocks events. Together they have five children and ten grandchildren. Austin takes pride in his heritage in the Baptist faith and enjoys attending the Methodist church near his home. Austin always has “just one more thing” to tell you before he goes.
Rev. F. Marion Dry Funeral Assistant
Marion is a retired Baptist minister who was born in Lando, SC in 1934 and moved to Great Falls just one day before his 14th birthday. What a wise decision that move became, when Marion met and married his lovely bride Tracy Day Dry. They have two girls and two boys, eight grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter and one great-grandson.
When Marion retired from Duke Energy in December of 1991, he reminded funeral home owners James and Barbara Baker that they had offered him a job. Two weeks later, Marion became a permanent member of the Dantzler-Baker family. He and Tracy always bring a smile when they the enter room.
Vernon Roberts Funeral Assistant
Brenda Cobb Office Manger
Jimmy Richardson Advanced Planning Funeral Director
Jimmy Richardson has been a licensed funeral director since 1989. A native of Charleston, he began his career in funeral service at McAlister Funeral Home while a student at the College of Charleston. Jimmy continued his education at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science where he earned his bachelor’s degree. In 1999, he began to specialize in advanced funeral planning and continues in that capacity today. He and his wife, Rebecca, have been married since 1991 and have two adult children, Ross and Kara, and two grandchildren, Raelynn and Keaton. They also have three dogs: Biggie, Tank and Ricky. Over the years, Jimmy has served in his church as a deacon, in his community in the Lions International, and in the Gideons International. Music, reading and running are among his hobbies, but his occupational passion is to help people be prepared. “I want to keep an emotional loss from also becoming a financial loss. That’s a burden bereaved families don’t need and that’s why I’m such an advocate for advanced funeral planning.”