William E. (Gene) Thompson, Sr

William E. (Gene) Thompson, Sr., passed away Friday morning, Nov. 19, 2010, after a courageous battle with cancer.  He was born Sept. 17, 1930, in New Edinburg, Ark. to the late Mr. & Mrs. John N. Thompson.

After high school graduation, he attended Henderson University and UALR.  He served four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and was stationed in San Diego, CA, and Japan, and attained the rank of 2nd Class Petty Officer.  

Thompson has lived in Conway for 45 years.  He retired after 31 years as a Supervisor with Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. (AT&T).  He was a 45-year member of Central Baptist Church where he served as Deacon and volunteered in the Food Pantry.  He was an avid golfer and loved to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers that he shared with many senior friends.  His life mission was to care for others.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Freda Hankins Thompson.  He is the father of one daughter, Dr. Sheri Thompson Gunter and husband Larry of Lake City, Fla.; two sons, William E. "Bill" Thompson II and wife Carolyn of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Guy Steven Thompson and wife Caroline of Santa Barbara, Calif.; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  He is survived by three sisters, Jean Dutton, Beth Childers, and Mildred Brown; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Griffin Leggett Funeral Home in Conway. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Central Baptist Church with Rev. Don Chandler officiating. Burial will follow at Crestlawn Memorial Park with a military service.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Central Baptist Church Food Pantry or Soaring Wings Ranch, to honor Mr. Thompson’s dedication to these causes. Arrangements by Griffin Leggett Funeral Home, 1751 Dave Ward Dr., Conway, AR 72034, 501-327-5000. Online guest registry is available at www.griffinleggettconway.com