Richard Earnest Thompson, of Orlando, Florida died in Atlanta, Georgia at age 77 on Monday, December 2, 2019.
A fourth-generation Floridian, Richard was born in Orlando on June 16, 1942 to Stephen Earnest and Helen Roberta Brooker Thompson. Raised in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, he attended Princeton Elementary and Edgewater High School and worked in his father’s orange groves (Clifton Groves) and packing house. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Florida in 1965, during which time he worked at NASA’s space center and was a brother in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He subsequently earned a Masters of Commercial Science at Rollins College. After college, Richard joined IBM for what would be a 37 year career that included adventurous family moves to work in Louisville (KY), Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and eventually back to his home town of Orlando. After retiring from IBM, Richard was recruited to join Level 3 Communications for several years before retiring again. In 2009 he left retirement once more to help his son Chip Thompson and his law partners successfully launch the law firm of Mercer Thompson LLC in Atlanta, where he served in various capacities for 10 years, including chief financial officer and “chief encourager.” Outside of his professional pursuits, Richard enjoyed traveling, spending time with family, and studying the art of golf as a member of The Country Club of Orlando.
Richard met the love of his life, Marylyn (“Lyn”) Elaine Brazell, when they were both 16. Their 1950’s courtship in Orlando included sailboat racing, water skiing, prom dances and fun at the Orlando Youth Center. Married at the First United Methodist Church in Orlando in 1964, they enjoyed a beautiful 55 year marriage that blessed them with four children and seven grandchildren.
Richard was a loving and devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, and a true friend to many. He was hardworking, kind and loyal, and had a great laugh that will be dearly missed. He will be remembered for being a positive thinker, a patient listener and a true gentleman. Above all, Richard was dedicated to his family, always modeling core values that have positively shaped their lives.
Richard is survived by his wife, Lyn, his son Richard Earnest Thompson II (Chip) and daughter-in-law Tracey Holmes Thompson of Atlanta, GA; his son Brantley William Thompson and daughter-in-law Anna Nordberg Thompson of San Francisco, CA; his daughter Mary Ellen Thompson Poindexter and son-in-law Joseph Lamar Poindexter of Atlanta, GA; his son Patrick Britt Thompson of Orlando, FL, as well as his grandchildren Madison Ingraham Thompson and Catherine Elaine Thompson; William Elliott Langdon Thompson and Olivia Rose Thompson; Elaine Robbins Poindexter and Parke Stratton Poindexter III; and Emma Leigh Thompson. Richard was preceded in death by his father, Stephen, his mother, Helen, and his sister, Catherine Patricia Thompson.
Funeral services will be held in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at the Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home (2811 East Curry Ford Rd, Orlando, FL 32806). Visitation will commence at 12:00pm followed by the service at 1:00pm. Interment will follow at the Greenwood Cemetery (1603 Greenwood St., Orlando). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Operation Smile at https://www.operationsmile.org/act-now. The family would also be grateful for your support in the form of prayers and notes of love and remembrance.
Arrangements entrusted to CAREY HAND COLONIAL FUNERAL HOME, 2811 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, FL 32806 407-898-2561 www.careyhandcolonialfh.com