Kenneth Everett Thompson Jr. passed away on Dec. 27, 2013, in the home he shared with his wife of 60 years, Marian Martha Thompson, nee Kimmel. Ken was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and was renowned for his generosity of spirit, his philanthropic and civic activities and his quick, imaginative and clever sense of humor. Marian, their children and families, and their friends come together now to remember and celebrate with love, respect, pride and admiration, a life well lived.
Ken was born in Picher, Okla., on April 12, 1935, but was reared in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Albuquerque. At 16, Ken played the position of goalie for the Highland High School Ice Hockey Team, as well as for many of the men’s Ice Hockey teams in Albuquerque. Ken’s was a familiar face in the sports pages of the Albuquerque Journal and Tribune in the early 1950s.
In 1953, Ken married Marian Martha Kimmel, and they began their family the following year. Ken was a sales manager for The American Linen Supply Company and a popular coach in the youth ice hockey program. In 1975, Ken built, and was the general manager of, the new American Linen Supply facility in Roswell. During Ken’s tenure at American Linen, he and Marian became active, well-known and respected members of the community, participating in many social as well as civic events.
Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, Ken was an active member of the Roswell Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Sertoma Club, of which he was elected president. Ken participated in and raised substantial funds for a number of other charitable organizations, particularly groups that benefitted children. Over the years, Ken has donated his handmade wooden toys to various organizations such as Toys for Tots, to be distributed as Christmas gifts.
In the late 1980s, Ken was president of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce. Among many other activities that helped to breathe new life into Roswell’s economy, Ken drove the Main Street Roswell Project and initiated Roswell’s Annual Christmas Parades. Ken, Bobby Villegas and Eunice Dickey produced the Chamber’s Rise with Roswell breakfasts during Ken’s tenure as president. Ken was a true raconteur and during the time he was Master of Ceremonies for the Rise with Roswell breakfasts, the breakfast meetings were so entertaining, attendance rose to standing room only. In addition to Ken’s participation in many civic and professional organizations, he was an unflagging support to Marian, who throughout her banking career was involved in many philanthropic clubs and projects of her own.
After Ken retired, he devoted his time to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as his many and varied interests. Ken was a talented woodworker, photographer, gardener and a superb chef. He was actively involved in his great-grandchildren’s lives, frequently attending their sports, school and dancing activities. A great many family members were present when Ken and Marian commemorated their 60th wedding anniversary last summer at the home of their grandson and his wife, Andrew and Lisa Richards.
Ken is much loved and will be missed by many. He is survived by his wife, Marian Martha Thompson, his brother, Dennis Thompson, his four children and their spouses; Steven and Cathy Thompson, Rick and Laura Thompson, Kim and Rocky Dennis and Melissa and Russ Doss, Ken’s grandchildren; Shannon Michelle Thompson and Gary Griffin, Sara, Tyler and Rachel Thompson, Becca and Kellan Woods, Mary Elizabeth Flores, Joshua Baker and Joey Dennis, Andrew, Adam and AJ Richards and Aimee Mooney. In addition to his grandchildren, Ken is survived also by his nine great-grandchildren, all of whom adored their Boom-pa.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Grace Community Church’s Youth Ministries, 935 Mescalero Road, Roswell, NM, 88201.
Funeral services are scheduled at 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at Grace Community Church, 935 Mescalero Road, Roswell, NM, with Pastor Rick Hale officiating. Marian and her family hope that those who would like to will stop by the house after the services. Those who wish to may visit Ballard Funeral Home where members of the family will be with Ken on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, from 12 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.