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John Thompson

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John Thompson Obituary
John R. Thompson

1920 - 2014 LENOX John, always known as Jack, was born Sept. 16, 1920, son of John R Thompson Sr. and Mary Keller Thompson, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He died October 2, with his family beside him, at Sunset Nursing Center, Lenox. Jack graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., in 1951 with a degree in Architecture. His met his wife, Agnes Moore, also a graduate of RPI, while both were attending that college. They were married Feb. 3, 1951. Jack and Agnes recently established The Agnes M. Thompson '51 and John R. Thompson, Jr. '51 Fellowship with RPI. The fellowship will be awarded to outstanding graduate students enrolled in biomedical engineering. Jack enjoyed 63 happy years with Agnes and his three daughters and their husbands, Amy Thompson West and Nils Westerlund, Rutland, Mass., Maureen and Tom Phillips, Ashland, Ore., and Lesliejohn and Jim Roche, Lenox. His descendants include grandchildren Magda Phillips Paz, Trevin Phillips, Gretchen Loucka, Jacob Loucka (deceased), and Tucker Roche; and great-grandchildren Lupin Paz, Escher Paz, and Aymeric Loucka. This spring his family will welcome his great-granddaughter, Baby Phillips. Jack practiced architecture for 36 years. He began his career in New York working for Wilcox and Erickson, Eggers and Higgins, and Port of New York Authority, all in N.Y., N.Y.; and Perkins and Will in White Plains, N.Y. He was a partner in the practice of Kesnow and Thompson, Architects, Towanda, Pa. for a number of years. In the years preceding his retirement in 1987 he was a Senior Architect with the State of New York Department of Education, Facilities Planning for Elementary and Secondary Schools. His areas of practice included schools, hospitals and private residences. Jack was a lifelong member of the American Institute Architects and maintained his license to practice in several states until a few years ago. Music was one of Jack's greatest pleasures. It enriched his life and brought him great joy even in his last moments here on earth. He played the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and the b-flat and bass clarinets professionally until his late 80's. His band, the John Thompson Orchestra, played venues in New York City and the Catskills until he entered the service during World War II. After his retirement he played with several upstate New York town bands including the Colonie Memorial Band, Colonie Town Band, Guilderland Town Band, Johnstown Town Band and Schoharie Band and later, in Lenox, the Eagles Band. He played private engagements with Greg Nazarian's Dance Band and Joe Klope's High Society Dance Band. He was a member of the Association of Concert Bands and Windjammers. He believed that everyone should learn to play an instrument because "you can play music long after you can no longer play soccer." Jack owned well over 700 CDs representing the greats in jazz and classical music. Music was Jack's entre to foreign travel during his retirement. As a member of the American Winds Concert Band he toured most of Western and Eastern Europe over the course of several summer concert seasons. He also played aboard cruise ships in the Mediterranean Sea and Alaska's Inside Channel. He enjoyed other travel too. He and his wife bicycled through the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S., Hawaii, and England; Jack well into his 70s at the time. The couple also took several multi-week camping and RV-ing trips across the United States and Canada. In addition to being an avid bicyclist, Jack enjoyed boating. He owned and meticulously maintained a cabin cruiser, Sheer Hope, on Lake Seneca and later the Mohawk River for many years. He helmed family adventures throughout the Great Lakes and as far north as Montreal, Canada, through the St. Lawrence Seaway. He was a member of the United States Power Squadron. Jack loved dogs. He and his wife pampered a Collie, Puli and seven Bouviers des Flanders over the course of their life together. Jack was a veteran of World War II. He served as a Technical Sergeant in the 614th Air Engineering Squadron, 363rd Air Service Group with the Army of the United States. He was stationed in the Western Pacific, primarily on Iwo Jima. Over the course of his 94 years, Jack lived in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Queens, N.Y.; Greenville, N.Y.; Ossining, N.Y.; Towanda, Pa; and Troy, N.Y. His address at the time of his death was Kimball Farms, 235 Walker Street, Lenox. Jack's family is celebrating his life over the weekend of October 3. Services will be private and are being arranged through the Roche Funeral Home, Lenox, MA. If you wish, condolences can be expressed through a donation to the Lenox High School Art and Music Programs in care of the Roche Funeral Home, 120 Main St., Lenox, MA 01240


Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Oct. 4, 2014
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