Kenneth Gerald Thompson (1935 - 2015)

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NEW HAVEN — Kenneth Gerald Thompson went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 11, 2015.

He was born Nov. 11, 1935, to Dallas (Jack) and Marie (Pratt) Thompson. He was one of six children and grew up in a tight-knit, happy and hard-working family in Cabin Creek, W.Va.

As a young man, he worked at the Shoe Factory in Huntington. That is when he met Donna Mae Dawkins, and on June 29, 1956, they were married. Donna and Kenneth had six sons — Joe, Tim, Tom, Mark, Matt and Gabe.

The Thompson family moved to the New Haven area in 1964 when Kenneth went to work at Kaiser Aluminum. They raised their children in the Big Bend area and the two of them were very active in the community. Kenneth coached Pee-Wee, Little League and Pony League baseball when his boys were young, and he was always helping them practice in their back yard while he used Pete Rose as the role model of how baseball should be played.

Kenneth was well known in the area for being someone you could count on to be there if you needed anything at all. He drove friends to doctor appointments, he cooked meals for those who were sick, he canned all his garden produce and shared it with friends and family, and he was always good for a joke or a good story. He was a good father, brother, son, husband, grandfather, uncle and friend, always having time for any family member or anyone in need.

Kenneth served his country for four years in the Navy and was aboard the ship USS Iowa. He loved to reminisce about those days and talk of his experiences. He proudly wore ball caps or shirts with U.S. Navy emblazoned on them.

He was a hard worker, even up to a couple years ago, and would always jump in and help out where he was needed. He helped his sons build things, plant gardens, care for animals, move furniture, work on cars, mend fences or whatever else was needed. When his boys were young, he would work the garden with a horse and plow while he had his boys picked up the potatoes or planted the seeds. He always preferred a horse to a tractor anytime.

While in the Navy and even after he got out, he was a boxer and boxed in the Golden Gloves in Huntington. He loved "sparring" and even as late as a few weeks ago, he loved "putting up his dukes" and pretending to box with his sons.

Kenneth retired from Century (Kaiser) Aluminum several years ago. He spent his time with family and friends and usually could be seen with at least one of the grandchildren in tow. He loved to play cards, garden, hunt, fish, listen to Bluegrass and old-time country music, and he could cook the best fried potatoes and cornbread you ever tasted.

Kenneth was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Haven, W.Va., and Nov. 14, 2010, he was baptized at the church with his family all looking on. He continued to attend church at St. Paul until 2014 when he was no longer able to physically attend. He was cared for in Tim and Sherrie's home for a year before moving to Pleasant Valley Rehab Center, where he lived for a few months prior to his death. He liked attending church services there and you could always hear him singing the old time hymns that he had grown up with and he recited the Lord's Prayer whenever he got the chance.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his wife, Donna, who passed away in 2006; his sons Gabe and Joe; his parents; his brother Philip; and his sister Margaret. We are sure they are having a joyous reunion now.

Survivors are sons and daughters-in-law Tim and Sherrie, of New Haven, Tom and Kathy, of Point Pleasant, Mark and Mendy, of Letart, Matt and Kendra, of Granville, Ohio, and Mona Thompson, of Point Pleasant; grandchildren Amy Shabdue, Kelly Riggs, Amanda and Miranda Thompson, Josh, Jonathan and Tara Thompson, Emily, Olivia and Layne Thompson, Caroline, Kennedy and Keaton Thompson, Lorie Rodgers and Lacie Neal; and 11 great-grandchildren, Chasey, Trenton and Lincoln Shabdue, Zachary Shaw, McKenzie and Jermaine Jordan, Damon Thompson, Caden and Aria Buttrick, Parker Thompson and Hampton Thompson.

Papa Thompson loved his grandkids and always could be seen at family gatherings with one or more on his lap.

Also surviving are his brother David; his sisters Ruth (Pat) Hatfield, and Nila Jean Beckett; and many nieces and nephews.

Kenneth will be sadly missed, but his family is grateful that he is now in God's hands. The following is something that our pastor, Neil Cadle shared with our family:

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? As the Scriptures say, 'For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.' No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." — Romans 8:35-39

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 14, 2015, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Haven. Visiting hours will be Friday, March 13, 2015, from 5-6 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home in New Haven. A registry is available at

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mr. Thompson may be made to the Camp Luther Fund, c/o St. Paul Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 428, New Haven, WV 25265.

Funeral Home
Anderson Funeral Home
174 Layne St
New Haven, WV 25265
(304) 882-8200
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Published in Point Pleasant Register from Mar. 12 to Mar. 13, 2015
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