A Glance In The Past
Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
In the early 1800's many large, elegant houses were clustered around the west DeKalb Street area. In 1823, Phineas Thronton, “seller of racoon skins, groceries and other items” bought land at the northeast corner of DeKalb and Campbell Streets where he built a large two story home. In 1889, the property was purchased by Elizabeth Collins. In November 1914, her son, A.R. Collins, placed an ad in THE CAMDEN CHRONICLE indicating “Collins Brothers, Undertakers for Colored People, Telephone 41” was opened for business.
Collins operated his funeral home out of a small building facing Campbell Street until the structure was razed in the early 1950's. The business moved to its current site in the white, two-story structure, while an empty lot (for parking) now faces Campbell Street.
Amon, Sr. died in 1960. His eldest son, George, became owner and operator with his brothers, Mack, Sr. and Amon, Jr.
Before earning his spot as a highly-respected citizen and businessman in Camden, George graduated from Mather Academy and attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina and the McAllister School of Embalming in New York. Amon, Jr. followed in his brother's footsteps and graduated from the McAllister School of Embalming in 1947.
Amon, Jr. worked at Collins Funeral Home until 1966, when he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and entered the insurance business. He died in 1967.
Mack, Sr. disassociated himself from the funeral home professionally and attended the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago after graduating from Mather Academy. He moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and worked for an insurance company during the last decade of his life. He died, December 31, 1975.
George, on the other hand, operated Collins Funeral Home up until his death, March 14, 1974.
The glass hearse that sits in front of the funeral home was first used at the beginning of the business in 1914. After motorized vehicles came on the scene, the hearse was retired in 1923. But the quaint glass carriage has been used just once since then. In March, 1980, one of Mrs. Collins students asked to be transported to the local cemetery (Cedars Cemetery) for burial by the carriage. Mrs. Collins honored the special request and the carriage was restored to its proper place in front of the funeral home as the landmark.
Mrs. Willie Mae Collins became sole proprietor, following her husband's death, until June, 1999. She died June 28, 2006.
For nineteen years (1999-2018), Collins Funeral Home was owned and operated by Roosevelt Osborne, Sr. and Beverly J. Osborne. On March 14 of 2018, A.J. Bracy purchased all shares of the business and joined the staff on a full time basis overseeing daily operations of the firm and becoming the sole proprietor. He has been charged with serving the community for the next generation.
From a humble beginning to the present, Collins Funeral Home continues to serve the families of Camden, greater Kershaw County and surrounding communities with compassion, dedication, dignity, and professionalism. The motto remains the same, “rendering dignified services within the means of all.”
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
Learn the legacy.
Collins Funeral Home was established years ago, and serving families has always been our focus. We take pride in being able to guide people through some of their most difficult days. We take pride in maintaining a setting that allows people to find solace. Celebrating life is our mission. That’s never changed. And with pride, it never will.
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
Rev. Anthony J Bracy Jr.
Manager, Funeral Director, Embalmer and Proprietor
Anthony "A.J." Bracy, Jr. is a native of Camden, SC. A.J. grew up in Cassatt and down on King Street in Camden, South Carolina. He has numerous roots and ties to Kershaw and Sumter county. He would later move to Columbia and graduate from Spring Valley High School. A.J. holds an Associate in Arts, Associate in Occupational Studies in Funeral Service, Bachelor of Liberal Studies with Honors with minors in Christian Studies, Psychology and Business Administration, Master of Arts in Religion with Pastoral Counseling and a Masters of Divinity with Pastoral Counseling. A.J. completed his apprenticeship at Haile's Funeral Home and went on to work for several prestigious firms such as Job's Mortuary, Crawford Funeral Home, Collins Funeral Home, McEwen Funeral Service Charlotte Chapel and Thompson Funeral Homes. Prior to returning to Collins full time, A.J. managed Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park and Greenlawn Crematory. This location served a diverse clientele. In his role as a funeral director and manager, A.J. was able to serve numerous faith groups and communities such as: Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Korean Presbyterian, Presbyterian, Law Enforcement, Veterans and Humanistic services. He would later accept a position as Care Center Supervisor where he oversaw daily operations for four locations in the Columbia market and attended to the management of the staff and decedent care. In this role, he assisted with serving over 1400 families annually. A.J. is a certified crematory operator and has experience serving all faiths and ethnicities. In addition to funeral business, A.J. worked for BlueCross BlueShield of SC for ten years in several different positions from operations, customer service, compliance to learning and development. A.J. is an ordained Baptist minister and has served as a minister at Agape Church in Columbia, SC and was the first Youth Pastor of First Northeast Baptist Church. He is the father of Joshua Bracy. He and his wife, Cassandra, are members of Next Level Church and enjoy traveling.
Roosevelt Osborne Sr.
Licensed Funeral Director, Cremation Arranger and Previous Owner
Roosevelt Osborne is a native of Camden, SC. He is an honor graduate from Jackson High School. Roosevelt also completed a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and a Master's Degree in Education. Roosevelt has worked at Collins Funeral Home for over thirty years. He has served as the manager for over twenty years and proprietor for nineteen years. Under Roosevelt's leadership, the building has undergone numerous repairs, the fleet has been upgraded and the level of service has increased. Roosevelt retired from the United States Army Reserves as a Lt. Colonel. He has also served as the Night Magistrate for Kershaw County for 17 years and spent 5 years as an Employment Coordinator for the Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. of Columbia, SC. Earlier in his career, he worked for 6 years as Assistant Director at the Greater Columbia Community Relations Council and spent 7 years as an Ombudsman for the Kershaw County Public School System. Roosevelt has been on staff at Collins Funeral Home for 30 years, 19 of which he spent as owner. He and his wife are members of Rafting Creek Baptist Church and enjoy traveling and spending time with their grandson, Ethan.
Beverly J Osborne
Service Ambassador, Administrative Assistant and Previous Owner
Beverly, a native of Augusta, GA relocated to Camden, SC in the early 1970's. She has served at Collins Funeral home over twenty years as an administrator and previous owner. Beverly previously worked for seven years in Utilities Department at City Hall for the city of Camden. She also spent 13 years as a Clerk for the Kershaw County Treasurers Office and four years in Accounts Receivables at Builders Transport. Beverly is the proud mother of Roosevelt "Ozzie" Osborne, Jr and the proud grandmother of Ethan Roosevelt Osborne. She and her husband enjoy travel and family time.
Rev. Willie J Duncan
Senior Chaplin, Community Services and Service Ambassador
Rev. Willie J. Duncan was born and raised in Kershaw, South Carolina. Willie worked as a truck driver for 28 years and pastored a Baptist church. When he came off of the road full time, he joined the staff of Collins Funeral Home where he has served for 19 years. Rev. Duncan is currently the pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Heath Springs, South Carolina and works as a supervisor at the Department of Special Needs and Disabilities of South Carolina. He and his wife, Valerie Galloway Duncan, share seven children.
Operations Supervisor and Service Ambassador
Joe Wilson was born in New York. He graduated from the former Jackson High School in Camden, South Carolina. Joe is married to Lorraine M. Wilson. The couple have three daughters and six grandchildren. Joe has been actively involved in the funeral business for nearly forty years. Joe and his wife, Lorraine, own J & J Removal Services in Camden, SC. Their business offers support to funeral homes and coroners transporting decedents from their place of death to local funeral establishments, coroner offices and pathology facilities. Joe is also part owner is a local drag race team. You can find him at the shop when he is not at the funeral home getting prepared for races. Prior to his retirement, Joe served Camden and Kershaw County as a fireman full time for twenty five years and he is a United States Air Force veteran. Joe and his wife are members of Sanders Creek Baptist Church where he serves as trustee.
Lawrence, also known as "Tony", is a native of Camden, South Carolina. He is a graduate of the former Jackson High School and his alma matter is South Carolina State University. Tony served his country in the United States Army. He worked for Dupont's May Plant for 25 years before working another 10 years at Sears and 7 years for Partnership Properties. Tony and his wife, Gladys, have been married for 48 years and have three children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He is a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church. In his spare time, Tony enjoys watching old T.V. shows, taking pictures of nature, going for scenic rides in the country, watching fast pitch softball, football, and grilling.
Henry is a graduate of the former Winnsboro High School. He is married to Loretta Anderson Long and is the proud father of two children, Laken B. Long and Kirsten A. Long. Henry is retired from the South Carolina Department of Transportation. He and his wife are members of White Oak Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon. Henry has been with Collins for four years and when he isn't working, he enjoys fishing.
Ned worked in shipping and receiving for a number of years. He is active in his church, James Chapel AME Church. When he is not at church or at Collins, Ned enjoys playing cards, helping people in the community with yard and maintenance work and caring for his grandchildren. He and his wife are the proud parents of six adult children.
Johnny Frank Turner
Deacon Johnny Frank Turner, Sr is a lifelong resident of the Camden area. He is married to Sally Stover Turner and they have three adult children. Johnny has served his country in the United States Army and he has owned and operated Turner's Barbershop in Camden, South Carolina for over fifty years. He has been in funeral service for over fifty years as well. He is a member and a deacon at Red Hill Baptist Church in Cassatt, South Carolina.
Rian A. Dennis
Rian is currently attending Central Carolina for nursing. She is a Crestwood High School graduate. Rian is a member of Next Level Church and enjoys spending time with family and friends when she is not assisting with office administration and visitations.
Cassandra Dennis Bracy
Community Relations and Service Ambassador
Cassandra Dennis Bracy is the daughter of the late Eddie and Alberta Dennis. She graduated from Hillcrest High School and Georgia Medical. Cassandra worked for BlueCross BlueShield of SC in government programs as an accounting tech and claims customer service representative. She also worked as the Human Resources director for JBE, Inc in Hartsville, SC and Human Resources Coordinator at Medical Services of America (MSA).
Joshua Bracy is a scholar and the future CEO of Collins Funeral Home, Inc. He enjoys church, martial arts, sports and video games.
Ross P McClary
Born in Kingstree, SC, Ross P. McClary is a graduate of Kingstree High School and Gupton Jone Mortuary College in Atlanta, GA. Mr. McClary assists Collins as an on call embalmer, service director and advisor. He is the owner of McClary's Funeral Homes.
Poiette McGill Bromell
PreNeed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Poiette is a 1988 graduate of the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City earning an Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Mortuary Science. She is a 2007 graduate of Francis Marion University earning a BS in Secondary English Education. Poiette is a licensed embalmer and funeral director who takes great pride in serving clients beyond their expectations.
She is married to Dr. Cecil L. Bromell, DMin. of Loris, SC and is the mother of Shakira McGill (Timothy)Gilchrist and Victory Williams. She is the grandmother of Mercy, TimTim and Michael Wisdom Gilchrist.
Poiette is a member of the Sixth District Morticians Association, the SC Morticians Association, and the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association.
Charles C Clyburn
Family Service Counselor and Service Ambassador
Service Ambassador and Grounds Caretaker
Richard Fletcher was born and raised in Kershaw County, SC. He graduated from Baron DeKalb High School. He received a small business certificate from ATEC. He worked twenty years for Dupont's May Plant before changing careers and becoming a truck driver for Kerwest, J&C Transport for 23 years. After retiring, he started his own small lawn care business, Seasons 2 Seasons. He is married to Carolyn Mickle Fletcher, and they have a daughter, Dr. Victoria Fletcher-Barnes. He has two grandchildren, Taylor and DJ. Richard and his wife are members of Bingham Chapel AME Zion Church in Westville, SC where he serves in many capacities. In his spare time, you can find him out in his "he/she" shed or outside landscaping and planting.
Rev. Gregory V Smith
Rev. Gregory V. Smith was born in New Roachelle, NY. He is a graduate of Camden High School and Austin Peay State University and has completed studies at Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina. Greg enjoys watching basketball, NASCAR and attending anything related to church. He served in the United States Army and the Army Reserves which he retired from. Greg currently enjoys mentoring people and coaching AAU Basketball. He is married to Johnette Turner Smith and has two children, Ashley E. Shaw (Sidney) and Julian K. Smith who is attending Francis Marion University on a basketball scholarship. Greg is an ordained minister and is an Assistant Pastor at Sanders Creek Baptist Church. He has been in the funeral business for 31 years. His favorite Bible verse is Psalm 23.
Service Ambassador and Photographer
1949-2019 (Service Ambassador)
Photographer and Service Ambassaor