Clive Thompson

Summit, New Jersey


Summit, New Jersey


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Many Worlds, No Colliding
As an international currency broker, Clive Thompson, who was known to almost everyone as Ian, did not fit the stodgy profile of high finance. Among fellow volunteers on the first-aid squad in his hometown, Summit, N.J., he was one of guys, just more fun than most.

"He would make himself the fall guy, " said Daniel MacMahon, a friend and fellow volunteer, who recalled Mr. Thompson's being thrown into a swimming pool, and stepping up to be the target of water balloons, at Fourth of July picnics.

"He was a magical person," said Mr. Thompson's wife, Lucy, with whom he immigrated to New York in 1992 from southern England, bringing a zest for work, friends, food and good wine. "He was living in the fast lane, and always thinking of other people, not himself."

Mr. Thompson, 43, worked pressure-laden hours at Euro Brokers, but by starting at 5 a.m., he managed to retain afternoons for other interests. There were the carpet-cleaning company that he founded, his volunteer work as an emergency medical technician and the meals he prepared for his wife and children, Ella, 13, and Rachel, 10.

He had "so many worlds that did not collide," his wife said. Mr. MacMahon put it differently: "Ian was a Renaissance man."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 19, 2001.

Clive Thompson, 43, loved the Apple With a wife and two young daughters, Clive "Ian" Thompson left his native England nine years ago for the United States and the American dream.

He had jumped at the chance to arrange international bank loans for his company, Euro Brokers Inc.

He and his family adjusted well to their new home. He joined the Summit First Aid Squad while his wife worked in real estate. He opened up a cleaning business on the side, Albright Carpet Care.

The children made friends.

Then Sept. 11 came. The 43-year-old was in his office on the 84th floor of Two World Trade Center Tower. Mr. Thompson called his wife, Lucy, and told her he was okay, since the airliner had hit the North Tower.

"I know he was totally calm and confident that he would get out," his wife said. He was in Tower One in 1993 on the 31st floor and he got out.

"He probably stayed behind to help people. He was one of those individuals who was so giving he always put others before himself," she said.

Mr. Thompson's absence has left a gaping hole in the family's life, his wife said.

"The children are devastated," Lucy Thompson said. "They don't sleep. They are at the age when they need a father and their father was basically murdered. It is a nightmare. We are living from day to day wondering what's going to happen."

At a time when she should be planning a party or family affair, Lucy Thompson is preparing to eulogize her husband.

It will be difficult, she said. She has had to plan carefully because he did not like mournful affairs. There was a lot of sadness in his family, she said, noting Mr. Thompson had a brother who died at 10 months old and a sister who died as a newborn.

Well-wishers must wear brightly colored clothing to the service on Friday. An instrumental version of "New York, New York" will be played. "He absolutely loved New York."

Family and friends will swap stories about the man who was so reliable he would inconvenience himself for others. He was not a handyman, but he was a master at cleaning carpet. He played recreational golf but was not good at it. He loved playing cards and watching movies. He loved the movie "Life is Beautiful."

In addition to his wife, Mr. Thompson is survived by his daughters, Ella and Rachel, and a brother, Keith.

Donations may be made to the American Red Cross, the Summit Volunteer First Aid Squad, the Euro Brokers Fund at or St. John's Lutheran Church for the Thompson family, 587 Springfield Ave., Summit.

Guest Book

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Always remembered Ian with affection. From your friend from our village Peaslake and school memories. God bless you Julie (Parsons)

Watching the memorial services yesterday on the 20th anniversary, I thought of Ian and remember his huge bear hugs, wide smile, his warmth and generosity. Thinking of him and all his family on what must be a tough day.

Happy birthday today Ian. We all miss you, love, all the Thompsons.

A time when we all remember our loved ones. Rest in peace dear friend

Our thoughts of deep sympathy we send to your family. Each new day may God give the help needed. Clive is still sadly missed by others and will be remembered with fondness.

Hi Ian. Another year has gone by and we all still miss you terribly. Not a day goes by without you popping up in my thoughts. I cant any more at the moment. Miss you , love you , from all of the Thompson family.

So sad how Clive lost his life on Sept. 11th.

Thinking of you and your family on this day. Never forgotten. We were friends when we lived in the same village and caught the coach to school. I remember that you were a kind and gentle person. God bless you all.
From Julie Szokalski (parsons)

Still think of you Ian, you were and remain a giant of a man with such thought for others before yourself.
I remember when at 23.00 on a Sunday night I was still fitting my flatpack kitchen etc which was not going well, and as we were neighbours with yourself and Lucy, you came round with a can of beer to lighten my mood! That just shows you what a man you were. The world is a much sadder place without you.
Both Penny and I offer our deepest condolences to Lucy and your Daughters...