Lonnie Thompson Jr.
Lonnie A. Thompson Jr. was a man of few words, but his quiet and humble demeanor belied a life well-lived full of dedication to family, work and service.
“Junior,” as his siblings affectionately called him, was born in Blackshear, GA on November 13, 1932 to the late Lonnie and Susie (Washington) Thompson Sr., the eldest of 11 children. He was a proud husband to the late Pauline (Haynes) Thompson. They married on June 23, 1962 and remained together more than 50 years, until her passing on Nov. 5, 2013.
Growing up, Thompson was dedicated to working on the family farm harvesting cotton, tobacco, corn and pecans. He loved visiting family in Blackshear after he moved away. As children, his siblings remember gathering around the radio with him to listen to baseball games. As an adult, he loved listening to announcer Joe Garagiola and sometimes traveled to games out of state to enjoy his passion in person.
He attended Pierce County public schools graduating from Lee Street High School in Blackshear, where he played basketball and was known for his quickness on the court. He attended Fort Valley State and Norfolk State universities.
Thompson served honorably in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956 during the Korean Conflict. He began a long career with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in June 1961 and retired as a Distribution Clerk on New Year’s Day 1993. Even after his retirement from the USPS, Thompson continued to work serving as a bellhop at a hotel, throwing newspapers on a route that included his neighbors and picking up kids from school. He was beloved by the many people he served in those roles. His siblings chided him to stop working and enjoy his retirement!
Though Thompson was thrifty, he sent his siblings money to help with college and always remembered nieces and nephews on special occasions with U.S. savings bonds. Outside of work and home life, Thompson was active with American Legion Federal Post 60, where he served for several years as Finance Officer and oldtimers remember him fondly. He was a local and district officer in the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees (NAPFE), the oldest and largest independent African-American labor union. He served NAPFE Local 206 as Secretary and Treasurer. Thompson was a faithful member of St. Paul CME in Norfolk, where he sang in the choir and served as Trustee Board Chair.
In addition to his parents and his loving wife, he was preceded in death by his sisters Martha Thompson and Rebecca Bray and brothers Eddie Thompson and Abraham “Lee” Thompson.
He is survived by four children Reginald Mack (Gwen), Deborah Mack-Wilson (Vernon) and Ruby Brown, all of Norfolk and Lonnie A. Thompson III (Susan) of Winter Park, FL; grandchildren Reginald Judd, Latonya Mack, Lucretia Chapman, Reggie Mack and Deon Mack, all of Norfolk; four great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
In addition, he is survived by sisters Alberta Thompson of Patterson, GA., Mattie Daniels (Charles) of Blackshear, GA, Bobbie Wing (John) of East Point, GA and Dollie Clayton (James) of Fort Washington, MD; brothers Albert Thompson of Blackshear, GA and William Thompson of Detroit, MI; uncle Romeo Johnson of Philadelphia, PA; aunt Ida Cotton of Rochester, NY and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.