The following is a memorial I wrote for my late husband William L. Thompson. If you want a memorial or a more formal obituary written for your loved one, I provide that service at a reasonable rate. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll discuss your needs.
William Luther Thompson
Born December 24, 1924, Died: April 10, 2009
Bill was born on Christmas Eve and died on Good Friday. He and Jesus were tight! All of you who knew him know that to be a fact. Born and raised in Saluda, North Carolina, smack dab in the middle of the proverbial Bible belt, Bill walked the aisle of Friendship Baptist Church at the age of nine and began a journey that led him through the lives of countless grateful people and right on up to the pearly gates.
I could start at the beginning and tell you how he lost his left eye at the age of five cutting a piece of string to use as a shoelace for the shoes he rarely wore on his grandfather’s farm; or a little later where, despite the absence of one eye, he refused to take a 4F status and avoid serving his country in WWII, but I think I’ll start where he met his beautiful wife (that’s me by the way). He always said it was the hair hanging to her waist, glistening in the Golden, Colorado sun that caught his eye. Whatever it was, he decided to make her his own, which he did on December 31, 1968. That union brought into the world four wonderful children: Rebecca Feasel, Sara Thompson, Peter Thompson, and the tag-a-long born in Bill’s old age, Joshua Thompson. All of whom survive their father and miss him more than words can say.
Bill’s journey through life took him through a myriad of jobs: factory worker, landscaper, foreman at C & H sugar refinery, but it was his work with the poor of Mexico and his years as pastor of Grace Church at Clifton that defined him as the great man he was. In 1960 Bill drove into Yuma, Arizona, pulling a tiny travel trailer, convinced he had a call to tell the people of Mexico about the love of God. He did that with far more than words.
Although his Spanish was extremely limited, for a span of almost fifty years he hauled food and clothes and whatever else he could cram into his current van or truck to people living in shanties smaller than most American closets. Sometimes these shanties held up to a dozen people who would have had no food in their stomachs and few clothes on their backs had Bill not made the sacrifices of money and time that he did. The people loved “Hermano Bill,” and he loved them. I’d love to have just a small portion of the reward he found awaiting him in heaven. I’ll probably be stuck mopping the floors of his mansion.
He is no less loved and revered by the people he pastored both in Silver City, New Mexico, and Clifton, Arizona. For close to two decades he taught them God’s Word, dedicated their babies, baptized their children, buried their dead, cried with them, laughed with them, and loved them as few men of the cloth do.
His earthly journey ended at 7:45 A.M., April 10, 2009, at Life Care of Yuma’s nursing facility. In his short stay at LCY, he won the hearts of both residents and staff, many whom attended his memorial service.
Someone told me that I could talk to Bill by asking the Father in Heaven to send him a message. I replied that I don’t think heaven would be heaven if your wife could nag you from earth. However, if I could talk to him I would tell him that I miss him. And that our forty years of marriage had its difficult moments, but I treasure them all.