Edwin Coleman Thompson, Sr.
Born March 17, 1931. Died April 27, 2019.
Resided in Menlo, GA
Edwin Coleman Thompson, Sr. passed away peacefully at his home in Menlo, GA on April 27, 2019. He is survived by his children: Susan (Dr. Don) McGukin of Tupelo, MS; Coleman Thompson of Menlo; and Ellen Thompson of Rome; granddaughter, Aurora Thompson (Kalle-Erik Vahakyla), great-grandson, Rowen, all of Caldogno, Italy; as well as nieces and nephews. He adored his two grandpuppies, Daisy and Sassy. Special thanks to his amazing caregivers-Cissy Hollingsworth, Opal Deering, Carolyn Hill, Vickie Darnell and Annette Hill Podschelne-who became his second family this past year.
Ed, the son of Tommie Lewis and Winnie Coleman Thompson, was born in Waycross, GA on March 17, 1931. The youngest of four children, he is preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Dorothy Williams, Tommy “Jack” Thompson and Bob Thompson.
Mr. Thompson grew up in Vidalia, GA often working in the family grocery store and delivering groceries around town. As a high schooler, he sold boiled peanuts at the tobacco houses.
After graduating from Vidalia High School, where he played football, Ed attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, then the University of Georgia receiving B.S. and master’s degrees in Food Technology. He later received his educational certification from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.
As a Sergeant, Ed served three years in the Army, with a 16-month stint in Korea as a message decoder.
After teaching typing at Menlo High School for a year, Ed worked for Walker County Health Department as an inspector for five years. In 1963, he agreed to serve a one-year term as principal of Menlo Elementary School until the Board of Trustees could find the right applicant…30 years later, he retired! He loved all the children who graced the halls of Menlo School and encouraged them to do their best in life and be good human beings.
Ed transferred church membership from Vidalia First Methodist to Menlo Presbyterian Church in 1958. He was elected an Elder in June of 1961 and has served in that capacity the remainder of his life. He also served as the Sunday School Superintendent and Trustee of the Alpine Cemetery for many years.
Even before retiring as principal, Ed worked part-time with one of his best friends J.P. Smith, at Smith Lumber Company. Over the years, he graded logs, served as plant manager of the pallet division, was safety manager and did various other jobs if anyone was absent. He loved beautiful wood and often worked in his woodworking shop building furniture.
As a charter member, Ed has been an active member of Menlo Lions Club for 50 years. He served as President and was their long-time Secretary. He enjoyed making Brunswick stew and cooking for the 4th of July town barbeques which were the club’s primary fund raisers. Ed travelled to Jamaica on a mission trip to assist with the visual needs of the islanders.
In 1970, Mr. Thompson served as the first Pack Master for Menlo Cub Scouts after organizing that group of boys. He worked in Scouting for years helping to instill good values in the lives of many boys.
Ed served two terms on the Board of Commissioners of the Menlo Housing Authority (1972-1982; 1995-2018) and served as chairman of the Board from 1995-2018.
As a participant of Reading Buddies as a retiree, Ed was paired up with a Menlo School 8th grader each year. He shared his appreciation of good literature with these youths. An avid reader his entire life, reading was one of his favorite past-times.
Mr. Thompson’s memorial service will be held on Friday, May 3 at 1 p.m. at Menlo Presbyterian Church. You may visit with the family from 11 a.m. until time of service. Join us for a celebration of a life well lived.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made in Mr. Thompson’s memory to a Special Account established. Mail to: United Community Bank, Attention: Anita Willingham-Smith, 9699 Rome Blvd., Summerville, GA 30747. This fund will be used to sponsor 8th grade students from Menlo School on the special spring trips to the coast of GA as well as other student needs that arise.
Menlo Presbyterian Church