William L. Thomson, age 88, of Erie passed away on Friday, August 16, 2013. He was born in Pittsburgh on May 16, 1925, a son of the late William and Virginia (Hemingray) Thomson.
As a young man, William was a national merit scholarship recipient and a nationally award-winning poet. These talents set the stage for this great Irish storyteller. School children and adults from the 1960s through the 2000s fondly remember the sight of Mr. T in a Civil War uniform or carrying a staff, as he enthralled them with personal and historical narratives.
A classic, old-school gentleman, with a strong sense of justice, William served in the U.S. Navy
during World War II
, on a subchaser in the Pacific. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology in Engineering. Among other places, he worked as a mechanical engineer at J & L Steel Corporation in Pittsburgh, Titanium Metals Corporation in Toronto, Ohio and National Forge in Erie.
He was a civil war historian and reenactor and a member of the North/South Skirmish Association. A founder of the Ft. Steuben Kennel Club, Bill spent many happy years breeding and showing Great Pyrenees and Bernese Mountain Dogs with his beloved wife. He was a member of Our Lady of Peace Church and People for Life. He was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus, and a past Grand Knight. He took great delight in making his Cursillo #185 in June of 2004.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Jo (Nemeth) Thomson, in 1993, and a son James Thomson, a Marine Corp veteran, in 1992.
William is survived by his children, Mary Virginia Wendell, husband James, of Fleming Island, Fla., Robert Thomson, wife Wendy, of Bradford, Pa., Marie Therese "Que" Mailliard, husband Randy, of Townville, Pa. and Mary Beth Hoag, husband Joseph, of Erie; 11 grandchildren, Kim, Cathy, Paul, Sarah, Nate, Meghan, Andy, Maggie, Katie, Bridget and Rachel; and five great-grandchildren, Claire, Caitlin, Cohen, Brianne, Alexa, and many "splendid friends."
Friends are invited to call on Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1595 West 38th Street, at Greengarden Blvd. A funeral mass will be held on Monday at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Peace Church, 2401 West 38th Street. Burial will be in the West Virginia National Cemetery on Tuesday, the 20th, the 64th anniversary of his wedding to his beloved Mary Jo.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to People for Life, P.O. Box 1126, Erie, PA 16512 or the Erie Cursillo Movement, P.O. Box 10397, Erie, PA 16514. Condolences and photos may be sent at www.brugger funeralhomes.com
Published in the Erie Times-News on Aug. 18, 2013