Paonia resident Neil Thompson died Nov. 20, 2015, at Paonia Care Center. He was 85.
Gerald Neil Thompson was born at home near Tokio, Texas, March 10, 1930, to John and Katie (DuBose) Thompson. When he was 5 years old the family moved to Brownfield, Texas. He graduated from Brownfield High School in 1947. He attended Texas A&M College in Bryan, Texas.
He married June Hodges on March 24, 1951, in Lovington, N.M. They moved to Paonia in 1967.
Mr. Thompson was a bookkeeper for Copeland Hardware and a partner in Cargill Tractor Company in Brownfield.
He was a 60-year member of the Masonic Lodge. He served two terms as grand master of the Paonia AF & AM Masonic Lodge, as well as treasurer and various positions. He served on the Farmers Home Administration board and the board of the Minnesota Canal and Reservoir Company for over 40 years. He was president of the Beaver Reservoir board for 35 years. He was a motor sergeant in the National Guard Howitzer Company, 112th Armored Cavalry Regiment of Texas for 14 years.
Mr. Thompson enjoyed farming, especially growing apples, pears and peaches, football, the Denver Broncos, his granddaughter Julia Thompson singing his favorite hymns and country music, and singing in the choir at First Christian Church where he was the song leader for 17 years. He also sang at many funerals over the years.
He is survived by his wife, June; son, Jerry (Deborah); daughter, Pamela (Steve); four grandchildren, Aubrey Harris, Jennifer Clark, Julia Thompson and Wyatt Thompson; three great-grandchildren; a sister, Janell Pharr of Lubbock, Texas; a sister-in-law, Janet Thompson of Arlington, Texas; and extended family.
He was preceded in death by four brothers, C.B., Mansel, John and David; and a brother-in-law, Harold Pharr.
Memorial services will be held at a later date.
Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory is handling the arrangements.
View the Internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at taylorfuneralservice.com.
The property is owned by Bowie Resources, LLC, and was formerly used as a coal load-out site.