The world lost a true gentleman on August 8, 2021. Robert Paul Thompson passed away after bravely battling the cruel effects of a stroke that had stolen so much of his final years. Bob will be greatly missed by his adoring wife of 35 years, Donna Thompson, who lovingly took care of him in his last seven years.
His two stepchildren, Stephen Trego (Courtney) of Conway, South Carolina, and Jane Trego (Michael Pfister) of Zionsville, Indiana, looked upon Bob as a father. They loved and admired him greatly. Bob is survived by his former wife Deanna Mott of Terre Haute, Indiana, and their two sons, Bobby Thompson (Robin) of Brazil, Indiana, and Jay Thompson (Dove) of Vancouver, Washington. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Kalee Thompson of Terre Haute, and his brother Al (Marylou) of Georgetown, Texas. He leaves behind his nephews and a niece, Brad, Michael and Jeff Thompson, and Brenda Lister. His grandchildren that will miss him dearly are Jack and Will Pfister, Murphy and Tatum Trego, and Alex and Micheala Thompson. He is also mourned by his favorite in-law and fellow golf fanatic, Paul Schumpert of Terre Haute, Indiana.
Robert Thompson was born on July 30, 1938, in Terre Haute, Indiana. He graduated from Garfield High School in 1956 before he attended Indiana University. While at Indiana University, he was a member of the I-Men's Club and earned a varsity letter in track. After earning his Bachelor of Science Degree, Bob taught and coached for 15 years in high schools in California, Illinois, and Indiana. Bob moved to the collegiate level in 1977 at Rose Hulman Polytechnic College where he mentored many athletes to All American honors, and his track and field teams earned eight consecutive conference titles under his leadership. He was subsequently named 1985 Indiana Track Coach of the year, while at Rose Hulman, and became a member of the university's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
Bob was the Assistant Football Coach for six years before being selected as the team's Head Coach and the college's Athletic Director. In 1986, Bob was selected by the United States Military Academy to coach West Point's Lightweight Football Tema, becoming one of the most successful coaches in the league's history. Over the course of his 12 seasons, his team achieved an impressive winning percentage of over 80%. In addition to his head coaching duties, Bob was an Associate Athletic Director at West Point. Coach Thompson was beloved by his Cadets who admired him for his indelible work ethic, integrity, and empathy. Throughout many years after his retirement, those he led and coached at Army frequently reached out to him with calls and letters of love, support, and gratitude, not to mention the many requests for his advice and valued opinion years after his tenure ended.
Bob's passion for golf called his name so loudly that he retired to Pinehurst, North Carolina. Bob was content to have a "good walk spoiled" seven days of the week. He never met a course he didn't like. While here, he enjoyed working for two years in admissions at Sandhills Community College. Robert Thompson was one of the most honorable, successful, kind, and classy men that ever was. Everyone who had a relationship with Bob instantly became a better person. He cherished life and family, but also loved a good burger, old movies, ice cream, and endless Coca Colas.
The family will receive quests to celebrate Bob's life from 4-7p.m., Wednesday, August 25th, at 404 E Love Forty Drive, Pinehurst.
Donna Thompson would like to express her sincere gratitude to the wonderful team at First Health Hospice and Palliative Care. They made this difficult time so much easier with their kindness and care. If desired, friends and relatives may send contributions to this lovely group at 251 Campground Road, West End, NC 27376.
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