STONINGTON, Ill. — Private family committal services will be held Saturday, May 11, 2019, at the Old Stonington Cemetery for former Lake Iroquois resident Raymond E. Thompson. His ashes will be interred with his late wife, Sharon.
Mr. Thompson died Nov. 2, 2018, from injuries sustained in a one-car accident near Toledo, Ohio, earlier that day. He and a son, Ray Scott Thompson, were returning to his residence in Corning, N.Y., after attending funeral services for Mr. Thompson’s older brother in Paxton, Ill., the day before. Per his wishes, he was cremated.
Mr. Thompson was born March 19, 1934, at Taylorville, Ill., a son of Robert Raymond and Nellie Edith (Newcome) Thompson. Following the death of his mother, he was raised by housekeeper, Mert Barker, who nurtured him with his younger brother, Larry. He graduated from Watseka High School and was a member of the local ROTC.
Mr. Thompson was a member of Paxton Masonic Lodge # 316 AF&M and a member and usher of the Evangelical Covenant Church. He was a loyal supporter and promoter of the National Thompson reunions in Vandalia, Ill.
Mr. Thompson was first married to Karen Sue Roberts in Watseka, Ill. They had two sons, Raymond Scott and Brian Paul Thompson. On Oct 17, 1992, he married Sharon L. DeLong at Beecher, Ill. The couple relocated to Paxton in 1997 and built their retirement home at Lake Iroquois.
In March 2013 the couple were in the process of moving to Coopers Plains, N.Y., when the couple were involved in an accident. Sadly, Sharon died from injuries sustained in the accident near Hornell, NY. After months of rehabilitation, Mr. Thompson was able to complete his move to their new home.
Mr. Thompson was a retired professional truck driver who began his career with the Illinois Department of Transportation in 1953. He later was a member of the Teamsters while driving for Chippewa Motor Freight for 17 years followed by seven-plus years for Yellow Freight company, pulling double semi-trailers from Chicago to and from several Western states. Upon retirement in 1995 he indicated he was grateful to have had an accident-free career but would miss the challenges of living on the road and especially the fellowship with other drivers. He was happy to be in good health.
A Chet Adkins fan, Mr. Thompson aspired to learn how to play a guitar like him. His CB handle was “Dance Man” as he recalled that he was light on his feet as a young man. He never met a stranger and had a million life-experience stories that he could relate to any “trigger” subject.
He is survived by his sons Ray S. Thompson and Brian S. (Caryn) Thompson of Homewood, Ill.; his grandchildren Ray Yeong (Amanda) Thompson of Lockport, Ill., James W. Thompson of Elk Grove Village, Ill., Nicholas Thompson of Bend, Ore., Emily K. Thompson of Oberlin, Ohio, and Jake A. Thompson and Zach R. Thompson of Homewood, Ill.; two stepdaughters, Christine (DeYoung) Mancini and Susan (Bob) Hall, both of Painted Post, N.Y.; one step-son, Robert (Rachel Wood) DeYoung Jr. of Bath, N.Y.; and great-grandchildren Ray E. Thompson, Keyra J. Thompson and Eva Karen Thompson, all of Lockport, Ill.
Mr. Thompson was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Nellie Thompson; his caretaker, Mert Barker of Taylorville; his grandparents J.W. “Bill” and Nancy Catherine Thompson; a sister, Geraldine Prentice of Fremont, Calif.; and three brothers, Orville L. Thompson of Mattoon, Robert N. Thompson of Paxton and Dr. Larry L. Thompson of Danville, Ky.