James Thompson, 87, 20-year Marine vet, retired as a gunnery sergeant

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James Thompson, 87, passed away peacefully at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice on Aug. 1, 2016.

Jim was born Sept. 14, 1928, on his grandparents’ farm, close to Tina, Mo. His parents, James and Daisy (Servene) Thompson, moved to Springfield, Ill., when he was an infant.

Mr. Thompson always was proud to have been raised in the Midwest, “in the Land of Lincoln.” Growing up, he enjoyed listening to the family radio or phonograph, drawing and taking photographs and building his own darkroom to develop his negatives. He was an industrious teenager, holding down several jobs after school. His love of the cinema, especially Westerns, was fostered while working as an usher at two theaters.

He graduated from Springfield High School in 1946 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served for 20 years, working on assignments in China, California, Japan, Washington, D.C., and Camp Lejeune, N.C. He retired as a gunnery sergeant.

James Thompson
               James Thompson

His later worked as a postal carrier for Babcock and Wilcox and later at UNC-Wilmington. After he retired, he worked in the Star News distribution department. His mornings always began by reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee.

Mr. Thompson was an acolyte and sang in the church choir as a youngster. Until the last few years, he was an active member of Grace United Methodist Church, serving as an usher for more than 40 years. He was a member of the Wesleyan Class, the United Methodist Men and was a former of the Tidewater Camellia Club.

He is survived by his wife, Louise; daughter, Claudia (John) Burnette; sister, Joyce Dickinson; two grandsons, Ian (Kelsey) Burnette and Nathan Burnette; nephews, Steve (Carol), Mark (Susan) and Lance (Linda) Dickinson; brothers-in-law, James Davis, Claude (Bobbie) Davis; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life service, officiated by Pastor Patricia Cox DiGiuseppe, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Grace United Methodist Church. After the reception in the Welcome Center, family members and close friends are invited to Oakdale Cemetery for the burial with military honors.

Memorials may be sent to the Grace United Methodist Church Music Ministry or Building Fund and to Lower Cape Fear Hospice of Wilmington, N.C.