John Glenn Thompson, 69, met his Lord and Savior face-to-face on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. at Southern Hills Church of Christ, with burial to follow at Texas State Veterans Cemetery with Phil Ware and John Risse officiating. The family will be receiving friends at North's Funeral Home, 242 Orange Street, on Sunday, Nov. 27, from 2-4 p.m.
John was born Sept. 4, 1942, in Monahans, Texas to Sterling and Beatrice Thompson. Due to his father's career in the Air Force, John spent his teenage years in Maine, but found himself back in Texas, finishing up at McCallum High School in Austin. He then enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served proudly on the U.S.S. Oriskany, U.S.S. Antietam, and the U.S.S. Shangri-la, from 1959 to 1963.
Upon honorable discharge, John moved to Midland where he established himself in the mortgage loan business. He later spent time working in El Paso, Dallas and Lake Jackson as a mortgage banker and home builder. In 1972, he came to Abilene to build the Las Brisas Apartments, and ended up meeting and marrying the love of his life, Rita Hankins Jowers. John and Rita made their home in Abilene, where he spent many years as a talented home builder, developer and realtor.
In 1984, he became a Taylor County Commissioner and served two terms. He then moved the family to Austin in 1994, where he continued his passion of home building. John and Rita then moved back to Abilene in 2005, where he worked in disaster relief with the Small Business Administration following Hurricane Katrina. Upon return, John attempted to "semi-retire," but was unable to resist having his hand in some building project at all times.
Throughout his career, he was a contributing member of the community through his involvement with the Ben Richey Boys Ranch, Dixie Little League, Abilene Board of Realtors, Abilene Home Builders Association and was currently serving on the board for Abilene's Habitat for Humanity. He was active in the Southern Hills Church of Christ and became a member of the Sweetwater Emmaus Community in 2009, following his Walk to Emmaus, which he would say was a "life-changing experience".
While all of his professional accomplishments and civic responsibilities brought him pride, the great joy of his life was his family. John and Rita have four children, and anyone that spent time with him, knew that they were his first priority. He relished in coaching his three boys' football and baseball teams, and there was no doubt that his only daughter had him wrapped around her finger. The family enjoyed traveling together and spent numerous summers and weekends at Port Aransas and Brownwood Lake. John also enjoyed drag racing and dabbled in the hobby with his own 1968 Camaro. Upon he and Rita's "Empty Nest," they became avid dog lovers and were passionate about rescuing their "furry babies" from the pound. He left behind four dogs that he loved dearly.
John's survivors include his beloved wife of 38 years, Rita Thompson of Abilene; four children, Mark Thompson and Glenn Thompson of Austin; Tony Thompson and wife, Heather, of Bastrop and Ginger Thompson Paty and husband, Cody of Sweetwater. He is also survived by five beautiful grandchildren that he adored, Hannah and Katie Thompson of Bastrop; and Claire, Gregory and Meredith Paty of Sweetwater. Additionally he is survived by his father and step mother, Sterling and Robbie Thompson of Lufkin, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to MD Anderson Cancer Center of Houston or Rescue the Animals Shelter of Abilene.