Dedicated to Service for the Gage County Community

Dedicated to Service for the Gage County Community Main Photo

12 Jun 2024

As one of the newest board members for Gage Area Growth Enterprise (NGage), Samantha Thompson is a fourth-generation funeral director at her family’s firm, Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel, Inc., and is the full-time manager of the Laughlin-Hoevet Funeral Home location in Wymore. She is eager to extend her professional dedication to finding a way to make the memory of a loved one live on to serve the development of the Gage County region.

“My passion is helping people, and my job is my community ministry in any way I am called,” she said. “I also love knowing that the people I serve are truly my neighbors – people I see at the grocery store and in my daily life. It allows me to be more than just their funeral director.”

Thompson began her term with NGage in February 2024. She is a 2010 graduate of Beatrice High School, attended Northwest Missouri State University and studied Mortuary Science at Des Moines Area Community College. She married her high school sweetheart Nick in 2014, and they moved back to the area in 2016. Nick is the 5th-8th grade band director at Beatrice Public Schools, and they reside in Wymore with their three-year-old daughter, Adeline, and newborn son, Wesson.

“Of course, the obvious answer for moving back is that my family’s business is here, but that’s not the only reason,” Thompson said. “Our family and support system is here, and after living in other places for a few years, nowhere else ever felt like home like Gage County did. We want to raise our children here, and we want to give back to our community.” 

Community dedication

Her role as a funeral director is steeped in caring for people. Thompson extends that attitude to her community involvement because she believes the people of Gage County are its greatest strength.

“The nature of my business puts me in situations where I see the individuals of Gage County at their worst. But in seeing this, I see the resilience of our people and communities. When problems arise, we come together to help solve them,” she said. “This leads right into the economic development of our county because the industry here is so versatile and allows us to grow the economies of each community within the county.”

Her tremendous list of current involvement includes:

  • Past President of Southern Gage Kiwanis in Wymore
  • Fund Advisory Committee member of the Wymore-Blue Springs Area Fund
  • Cottonwood Hospice Charitable Foundation board member
  • Wymore Housing Authority Board Member
  • Beatrice Rotary member
  • Co-creator and chair of the McCandless Spooktacular event in Wymore 
  • “Catch The Glow” Committee Member
  • Co-leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Southern Jr./Sr. High in Wymore.
  • Advisory Committee for the Mortuary Science Program at Des Moines Area Community College
  • Re-Accreditation Committee for the Mortuary Science Program

Past local involvements include: 

  • Chair of Leadership Beatrice Advisory Committee
  • Secretary/Treasurer of Blue River LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Advisory Council
  • Communication Committee Co-Chair for the YMCA 2020 Capital Campaign
  • NGage County C4K initiative committee.

Excited to serve

When asked why she wanted to add the NGage board member to her list, Thompson believes her lifeline residency in the area will bring a unique perspective on the county’s economy of the entire county. She is proud to be part of an organization that has adapted through the years as the community has grown and changed, tackling problems like childcare that plague families beyond the scope of “brick and mortar” business. Thompson is excited to have a front-row seat with projects tackling other issues, like area housing.

“My connections can help leverage new ideas and bring solutions to issues specific to the southern part of the county as well as increase the tax base in the area,” she said. “I believe this organization does great things within our county. I am truly excited to see what we can grow upon and accomplish to make the entirety of Gage County a thriving place for future generations.”

To learn more about what NGage does, how they support the community, or how they can help your business, contact us today!