September 12, 1920 - November 14, 2008
Tommy Thompson, 88, of Payson, died Nov. 14, 2008. He was born Sept. 12, 1920 in Greenville County, Ky. to Ray and Mamie Thompson.
He was proud to serve his country during World War II and was chief pilot of DC3 “gooney birds” and flew paratroopers in the war. At one time, he had to ditch a C-47 transport into the Pacific and spent 17 days on the ocean along with sharks until he and his crew were rescued.
Mr. Thompson met Sammie Virginia Wallace at an Air Force dance in Denver, Colo. They married and were true to one another until Ginny’s death in February 2004.
They had three children, Sheri Lynn (deceased June 17, 1999), Jennifer (Loren) Stedman of Witchta Falls, Texas and Stephen R. Thompson of Payson. He is also survived by his former daughter-in-law, Tanya Thompson (Barry); granddaughters, Tatiana Thompson (Chris) Alred of Tucson, Destinee Thompson (Shaun) of Tucson and Airlia Thompson (Jose) of San Francisco, Calif.; and great-granddaughter, Teja Elan Thompson Alred (daughter of Tatiana), 17 months old, of Tucson.
Mr. Thompson worked as an independent insurance agent, retiring in 1992. In his earlier life, he enjoyed golfing, fishing, keeping in shape and was the best host anyone could ask for. Many will attest that Tommy and Ginny could throw a great gathering and made sure guests’ glasses never had a chance to become empty. He loved to barbecue and everyone will miss his cooking. He spent much of his later life taking care of Ginny, who suffered a stroke in 1983.
A celebration of life will take place at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Nov 28 at the Ponderosa Baptist Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway in Payson. Burial will occur at a date to be announced.