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Hugh M. Thompson

• Aug 21, 2019 at 3:39 PM

JOHNSON CITY - Hugh M. Thompson, 89, Johnson City, died Tuesday, August 20, 2019, at his residence, following a brief illness.

Hugh was a native of Johnson City, lived at Milligan College until age twelve, at which time, he and his family moved to Johnson City, where he’s lived since that time. He was a son of the late Hughes M. Thompson, Sr. and Addie Biggs Thompson.

Hugh received his Bachelor and Masters Degree in Chemistry from East Tennessee State University.

He was a U.S. Air Force Korean War veteran.

Hugh worked as a Chemist with Tennessee Eastman Co. for thirty-five years, retiring in 1992.

He was a dedicated, active member of Central Baptist Church, where he was serving as an Usher, as Secretary of the William Rigell Sunday School Class, volunteered his time on many mission trips which involved him using his knowledge and talent with building needs, as well as several other capacities within the church.

Hugh served as Executive Director of the Johnson City Bowling Association for forty-seven years, where he is a member of the Hall of Fame, was a life member and Past-President of the Tennessee State Bowling Association, where he is a member of the Hall of Fame, Director, Past-President, and life member of the Southeast Bowling Association, where he will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in June of 2020.

He was a co-founder and charter member of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, which began in the living room of his home, former board member of the Appalachian Trail Conference, member of the Mid-Appalachian Hiking Club and Eastman Recreation Hiking Club.

Hugh had been a member of the National Autumn Leaf Collectors Club, where he hosted two national conventions here in Johnson City, in 2012 and 2017.

He was a member and Secretary of the former Johnson City Civitan Club.

Hugh was active with the Boy Scouts of America where he formerly served as Scout Master for twenty years with Troop 137, taking them on four trips to Philmont Scout Camp in New Mexico. He later served for many years as Committee Member.

Hugh was a member of the Tipton-Haynes Historical Association, where he spearheaded the Maple Syrup and Sorghum Festivals, as well as built and maintained the Bluebird Houses throughout the property.

Hugh loved the outdoors, especially working in his flower and vegetable gardens, doing yardwork, or collecting honey from his beehives and sap from his Maple trees, which he used to make homemade maple syrup. He, along with his wife Marilyn, made many 20-37 day camping trips to nearly all of the National Parks throughout the country following his retirement.

Another of Hugh’s many hobbies was photography, where all of his trips were remembered by an enormous amount of slides and pictures. He enjoyed serving as photographer for several organizations of which he was a member.

Hugh was lovingly known as the “Mayor of Scenic Dr.” and will be greatly missed by all.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Shelton Thompson.

Hugh is survived by his wife of forty-four years, Marilyn Ord Thompson; son, Robert Alan Thompson and wife Anna, Festus, MO; daughter, Terri Thompson Adams, Johnson City; step-sons, David Wayne Oler and wife Lisa, La Pueuta, CA, Wayne Michael Oler and wife Deb, Johnson City; step-daughter, Sharon Ledford and husband Chil, Johnson City; thirteen grandchildren, Dawn Bilicki-Roy, Rylee Thompson, Alison Ragland, Sarah Adams, Brandon Ferren, Jerrod Ferren, Dylan Oler, Ryan Oler, Zachary Oler, Carson Oler, Kaylee Oler, Jennifer Ledford and Chil Ledford; fourteen great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

The funeral service will be conducted Sunday, August 25, 2019, at 5:00 P.M., from the Sanctuary of Central Baptist Church, with Dr. Tommy Hood and Rev. Gene Elliot, officiating. Active pallbearers will be selected from family and friends, including Bobby Rhines, George Stidham and Tino Soffiotto. Honorary pallbearers are Dana Thompson, Mark Thompson, Bill Adams and members of the William Rigell Sunday School Class.

The family will receive friends Sunday prior to the service from 3:00-5:00 P.M. at the church.

The graveside committal service will be held Monday, at 1:00 P.M., in Mountain Home National Cemetery, with Rev. Tim Tapp officiating. Military honors will be accorded by the Carter County Honor Guard. Those planning to attend are to meet at the funeral home by 12:40 P.M. Monday to proceed to the cemetery.

The family requests that in-lieu-of flowers, donations in Hugh’s name be made to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, 372 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, NC 28801, or to Central Baptist Church, 300 N. Roan St., Johnson City, TN 37601.

Memories and condolences may be shared at www.appfh.net. 

Appalachian Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 800 E. Watauga Ave., Johnson City, is serving the Thompson family. (928-6111)

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