William Donald "Don" Thompson

(Don is the foreground Marine on the left.  Right photo taken 2002)

Barbara and Don, 2002 Reunion Pensacola, Fl.

Bob Steinberg sent the following relative to Don Thompson:

"About a half-hour ago I got a call from Barbara Thompson, wife of Don Thompson, one of our tin benders, with the sad news of Don's passing on Monday, 12 JAN 04, at 1630.

He had developed cancer last spring, and had been getting treatment for it, and seemed to be making good progress. Then, several days ago, he began experiencing back pains.  At Barbara's insistence, he saw his doctor.  The cancer had surrounded his kidneys and was exerting pressure on them, creating the pain in his back.  He went right into the hospital, where they determined his kidneys were not working at all.  They performed some procedures to alleviate the problems caused by his kidneys, but within a day or so he succumbed.  It was very sudden, and Barbara assured me that he didn't suffer a lingering death.

Don and I were in the same series at Parris Island in January '66, the same company at ITR; the same classes at Memphis; the same squadrons after Memphis.  We were separated only when I extended my tour, and Don rotated with the remaining original contingent on 20 NOV 68.  Although we hadn't seen each other again until the '02 reunion in Pensacola, we shared a bond that's difficult to articulate.  I know I don't have to explain that relationship to other Marines.


Thompson, William Donald "Don", age 55, of Locust Fork, AL,  died January 12, 2004. He served in the United States Marine Corps for four years where he earned the rank of Sergeant.  He served in Vietnam in HMM-364 "Purple Fox" from 1967-1968.  He worked for 34 years at Pemco Aeroplex in Birmingham where he was the current Director of Labor Relations.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur Thompson and Dorothy Oakes Thompson; and son, Matthew Brett Thompson.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Thompson of Locust Fork; son, Zac Thompson of Locust Fork; daughters, DoniBeth Thompson of Locust Fork, Cathey Junk of Locust Fork; sister Carolyn Strong of New Port Richey, FL.

Graveside Services will be held Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. in Crestview Memorial Gardens. Bro. Johnny Allred officiating. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Crestview Memorial Funeral Home directing.

(Click on the above for larger images if desired)

The flag and floral arrangement were from Don's fellow workers at Pemco Aeroplex in
Birmingham.  The Staff Sergeant pictured was senior NCO of the Funeral Detail.  In
the lower two photos, to the left of the SSgt. are Don's daughter DoniBeth, his wife
Barbara and his son Zac.  The entire graveside presentation by the Marines was an emo-
tional experience.  Zac said, "The SSgt. had tears in his eyes as he presented the flag."
The funeral detail was provided by 4th Battalion, 14th Marines, 4th Marine Division.

(Barbara took this live plant from the Purple Foxes home)

Your memories of Don and condolences will be delivered to Barbara  by Zac.

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