Robert Edward Thomson Sr.

Robert Edward Thomson Sr., 97

Robert Edward (Ed) Thomson Sr. of 2324 South Forty First Street, Wilmington, N.C. died peacefully on April 30, 2013, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

Mr. Thomson was born in Kentucky on May 11, 1915. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Electrical Engineering in June 1938 and married Mabel Campbell of Indiana in February 1940. As a reserve US Army officer, he was called to active duty in June 1941 and served on active duty until Feb 1946. He remained active in the Army Reserve until he was retired as a Colonel in 1975. His working career was primarily in the Electric Power Distribution business and he was a retired Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Aiken (S.C.) Electric Cooperative, having also managed electric cooperatives in Delphi and Greensburg.

He was a Registered Engineer in Indiana and in South Carolina and was proud to have had a significant part in bringing electricity to rural America. True to his electrical engineering background, he continued to use his smart phone and prepare excel spreadsheets, even at age 97.

Mr. Thomson served as a volunteer driver with the Red Cross, a volunteer at the Wilmington Airport Information Desk and in several volunteer positions for the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, serving one term as president of the Auxiliary. He volunteered several years with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in Wilmington. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Wilmington and served on the Board of Trustees and other committees. He was a recipient of the North Carolina Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service in 1998.

He enjoyed Amateur Radio operations, starting at age 15, with his Federal Communications Commission license W9IQK and enjoyed flying his Ercoupe in the 1950's. Mabel and Ed travelled to 48 of the 50 states, as well as to Canada and Mexico, with their Airstream travel trailer.

Survivors include his wife of 73 years, Mabel Campbell Thomson; son, Bob Thomson (wife Mary), all of Wilmington and son, Jim Thomson, (wife Jan O'Halloran) of Monterey, Calif.

As his father instilled in him, he always maintained the highest level of integrity in everything he did. His smile and wit were always present. He was an exemplary husband and father, and was a positive influence on everyone he met.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, Wilmington. The family will receive friends in the Church Fellowship Hall immediately following the service. Private interment will be in Grace United Methodist Church Memorial Gardens in Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests any donations be made to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation, SECU Family House Project, P.O. Box 9000, Wilmington, NC 28402-9000.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Published in the Journal & Courier from May 1 to May 2, 2013