This statement was placed on his Facebook page on July 5th:
This is Gary's daughter, Kristy. Dad went home to Jesus yesterday. He fought that stupid cancer to the very end....Your prayers for the family would be appreciated.Gary was born September 30, 1947, and married to Carolyn Ann Verrill Thompson on June 5, 1976. He loved his children and grandchildren, and posted his favorite photos of them on his Facebook page, proudly.
For the Mac 65 Reunion, Gary shared this for the book:
Rochester, IL ~ AT&T telecommunications specialist. First car: 1958 black Thunderbird. Gary writes: “Fast cars were always a lot of fun. My old 58 Thunderbird wasn't fast off the line but it would do 140 easy. Then I had a 1966 candy apple red Ford Fairlane 2 door hard top with a 390 4v 4 on the floor sleeper. Traded that off for a 1969 Ford Torino fastback Cobra with the 428v8 one big holley 4v; now that was fast off the line and on top end. After that settled down to run-of-the-mill stuff, until 1989. I bought a 1987 Mustang GT with T-tops 5 speed. Now that was a sweet little car. Sold that; bought a big Ford conversion van (4 kids). During this time I started restoring a 1968 Thunderbird 2-door coupe. Took the engine and transmission out; had them all gone over. The engine was a 429; had enough torque to pull a 10 bottom plow..:). Put an isky cam in with a little more overlap. Machine shop said it should have been putting out around 410 hosepower with the holley 650 on it. But alas totaled it on his way to work one morning. Sold the engine to guy for use in a tractor pull tractor. The big c6 transmission sold to another guy. I now have a 2007 Ford Edge with 10:1 compression and 270 hp. New ones got 305hp now. Man can it merge nice on the interstate; not too bad on gas either.”
He also sent in the following photo of himself for the last reunion:
Gary Lee Thompson
ROCHESTER, IL - Gary Lee Thompson, 67, of Rochester died Saturday, July 4, 2015, at his residence.
Gary was born Sept. 30, 1947, in Decatur, Ill., the son of William Richard and Louise Marie Moore Thompson. He married Carolyn Verrill on June 5, 1976 in Decatur.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force serving during the Vietnam War from 1966-1968. He worked for AT&T as an electronic technician for 40½ years. He attended Lakeside Christian Church and was a member of the American Legion and the NRA. He loved shooting, politics, trains and Ford cars. He was also an avid golfer.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandson, Jacob Thompson.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn of Rochester; three sons: William (Brandi) Thompson of Greenwood, Ind., Timothy Thompson of Springfield and Kevin (Sara) Thompson of Normal; one daughter, Kristy (Edward) Pashkov of Afton, Mo.; seven grandchildren: Gary Tyler, Ruby, and Trinity Thompson, James, Abigail and Christopher Pashkov, and Keean Reininger; one niece; and one nephew.
Visitation will be from 4-6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at Lakeside Christian Church, 225 Toronto Rd., Springfield, IL. Funeral services will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at the church with the Rev. Fred Johnson officiating. Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2015, at Camp Butler National Cemetery where the Inter-Veterans Burial Detail will conduct honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to: The Animal Protective League.
Wilson Park Funeral Home, 200 E. Main St., Rochester, IL 62563 is in charge of arrangements.
Such a loss for me as well. Gary and I go back to kindergarden, played clarinet together. Mike and Gary Farr, Gary Deadmond, and I grew up together. [Gary] and I were even in basic training at Lackland AFB at the same time. Saw him briefly at the last reunion. Like his dad, a proud veteran, patriot, a dear old friend, but most of all, a strong Christian. We'll see him again....Comfort and Blessings,
Gary was also a great supporter of connections with old classmates, and many in the class kept in touch with him. He posted the following elementary school pictures from Decatur. (Click on the images below to reveal the names at the right.)