Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.
James C. “Sam” Thompson, Sr., age 92, of Holshouser Road, Rockwell, NC, passed peacefully while surrounded by family on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at the WG “Bill” Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC.
Sam was born in Stanly County, NC on July 22, 1919 to the late Jasper R. Thompson and Mary Ethel Cranford Thompson. He grew up in Albemarle and, after high school graduation, joined the US Coast Guard. During this time, he met Julia “June” Ruth Fesperman of Rockwell. They married on October 15, 1944 and embarked on adventures during their sixty-year marriage.
Dedicated to the service of his country, Sam chose a military career that spanned several decades. He served briefly in the US Coast Guard and then spent many more years in the US Navy. He served in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam prior to the Vietnam War, and the Mediterranean during the “Cold War” period. His assignments included service on a submarine, the USS Red Fish, and three destroyer ships, USS Tingey, USS J C Owens, and USS Noa. He retired from the Navy in 1962.
Sam and June raised three children and were stationed in a variety of places, including San Diego, Long Beach, and Mare Island, CA; Washington, DC; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; New London, CT; Norfolk, VA; Green Cove Springs, FL; and Charleston, SC. After retirement, they returned to Rockwell and built a home on the family farm. He worked at John’s Tavern on Stokes Ferry Road until retiring again.
Sam was a proud Life Member of the NRA and was also active in establishing the Rockwell VFW Post 9134 where he was Commander and Life Member. Cooking was a passion of his, evident even while residing at the VA Medical Center, Building 42, Community Living Center during the last two years. He leaves behind many wonderful friends among the staff and residents at the VA Center.
He was preceded in death by his wife, June Thompson; his infant daughter, Sandra Gail Thompson; granddaughter Susan Madden of Alaska, and sister Ruby Thompson Troutman of Albemarle, NC.
Sam will be greatly missed by family and friends. Family members left to cherish his memory are: son Jim Thompson (Jan) of Encinitas, CA; daughter Patti Thompson Odin (Mike) of Eagle River, Alaska; son Steve Thompson (Tatiana) of Rockwell, NC and niece Beckie Hammill Loflin (Doug) of Mooresville, NC. Grandchildren are Richard Thompson of Ventura, CA; Debbie Thompson Isherwood of Surprise, AZ; Travis Madden of Eagle River, Alaska; Katie Madden of Eagle River, Alaska; and Shane Loflin of Charlotte, NC. Sam had the joy of being “Grandpa Sam” to eight great-grandchildren. He leaves two sisters: Kathleen Swaringen of Porter, NC and Mildred Smith of St. Petersburg, FL.
Family and friends will be invited to gather for Sam’s memorial later in the fall at which time he will be interned with full military honors at the National Cemetery, Salisbury VAMC.
Memorial gifts in James Thompson’s name may be sent to: VAVS, Salisbury VA Medical Center, 1601 Brenner Avenue, Salisbury, NC 28144, account #9136.
Carolina Cremation of Salisbury, North Carolina is assisting the Thompson Family. Online condolences may be made at www.mycarolinacremation.com.