Rev. James Leo Thompson
After preaching about heaven from the pulpit for over 65 years, Dad is now rejoicing with his Lord and experiencing it first-hand! Rev. James Leo Thompson, age 87, passed away on December 15, 2012.
Leo's life's focus was living for Jesus and sharing his faith with others. His passion for the Word of God was evident in all he did. He was a poet. Every special occasion merited a personal poem. He was also a talented doodler, always drawing pictures and illustrations.
He was born March 15, 1925 to Jack (AJ) and Zoah Thompson of Ash Grove, MO. After graduating from Springfield High School he met a beautiful young lady by the name of Venita Matthews while working alongside her at The Producers. They were married February 10, 1944 at High Street Baptist Church and began their lives together by moving to Selah, WA where they started the Selah Bible Baptist Church. He remained there for over 25 years and also served as pastor in Boise, ID., Sacramento, CA., and Aurora, MO. In 1976 they moved back to Springfield where Leo taught at Baptist Bible College for 24 years. His students knew that he could always be "influenced" by leaving a Dr. Pepper on his desk! In his mid-fifties, Leo completed his Masters Degree in Education from Drury University with a straight 4.0 GPA.
Leo is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Venita (of 67 years), one son, Rev. Stephen Neil Thompson and a sister. His life is celebrated by those who remain here to carry on his legacy. His son, Rev. James Lowell Thompson (Margie), six grandchildren; Wesley Crider, Chris, Andy, and Seth Thompson, Sarah Kelley and Stephany Hicks; 14 great grand children, a niece and two nephews.
Funeral services will be held at Greenlawn Funeral Home East on Thursday, December 20th at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will precede the service at 10:00 a.m.
The family would like to thank the staff of Springfield Rehab and Hospice Compassus for their care and concern for Leo, and for our family.
Online condolences may be made at www.greenlawnfuneralhome.com
Published in the News-Leader on Dec. 19, 2012