John Thompson, astronomy professor, deceased

 

John Thompson, July 24, 1944 – September 20, 2014

John Thompson, adjunct professor, passed away on Sept. 20.

Thompson taught at Malone for 25 years. He taught many classes, including intermediate algebra, physical science survey, astronomy, earth science and environmental geology. He was most well-known for his astronomy class.

He was an animal lover and had an extra affection for his cats. He often brought one of his cats to class to do a demonstration, and the cat would sit on a table, not moving for the entire class, according to Donghai Chen, professor of chemistry.

John Thompson taught at Malone for 25 years. He taught many classes, including intermediate algebra, physical science survey, astronomy, earth science and environmental geology. (Photo courtesy of Reed Funeral Home)

Outside of his work at Malone, he enjoyed music, woodworking and photography.

In 1962, Thompson became the bassist for Cuca Records recording artists Bobby Price and the New Dynamics. The band played backup for several famous national artists, such as Roy Orbison and the Supremes.

He served as a photographer for the Air Force from 1966 until his honorable discharge in 1970.

Thompson was also known for being a kind man with an incredible sense of humor.

According to his obituary, he is survived by his children, Barbara and Warren Thompson; their mother/his former wife, Judy Johnson (nee Beetcher); his brother, Roderick (Donelda) Thompson; his cats, Bob and Sue, and the generations of students that he loved to teach.

Faculty, staff and student reflections

“John Thompson was such a delight to have for a teacher. His warm presence and sense of humor is sorely missed by all who had him.”

-Casey Stevens, senior communication arts major

“John was a super nice guy and always ready to help others. He liked to tell jokes, but started out so serious you didn’t realize he was joking until he got to the end of his story. He will be missed.”

-Sherry Lautzenhiser, administrative assistant for Natural Science Department, Math and Computer Science Department

“You never knew what you were going to get with John Thompson. He was an entertaining man that loved to tell a joke with the most serious face possible.”

-Michelle Hollinger, senior business administration major

“I will always remember John for his dry humor. On many occasions it was difficult to tell if John was telling you a true story or a fabricated one. . .until the punchline. I would get a chuckle out of his stories every time I thought of them throughout the day; I retold several!”

-Jeff Goff, associate professor of chemistry

“John was such a precious man and had a wonderful sense of humor! I feel so grateful I had the opportunity to have him as a professor for the time I did.”

-Erin Montgomery, senior communication arts major

Kaylee Riley is the managing editor and news editor for The Aviso AVW.

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