Harold Thompson was welcomed into this thing called life on April 3, 1934, by his loving parents Ralph and Flora Mae Cooley Thompson. He left this existence to enter his heavenly reward on March 18, 2023. His birthplace was in the small town of Coalburg in Jefferson County, Alabama.
He leaves behind his loving wife–Judy Thompson, his sister–Patricia Thompson Farris, his brothers–Donald Ray Thompson, Ralph (Skipper) Thompson, and Carl Smith; His children–Michael Thompson (Lisa), Paula Thompson Sanders (Bill), Perry Brown (Debra), and Terry Brown Mattox (Dean). His grandchildren include Devin Thompson Michael (Alan), Shea Thompson McMillan (Alex), Christopher Dover (Ashley), Tabatha Dover Veal (Justin), Jacob Dover, and Will Thompson. He also leaves behind nine great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Harold, from his early years, loved the outdoors and sports, participating in basketball, baseball, and roller skating. Yet, perhaps his most enjoyable sport was waterskiing. Paula relates how he taught her and Mike how to ski when they were little tykes, having them stand on his skis on top of his feet. He later cut down and modified full-size skis to fit them. He and his dear friend, Kelly Shuttlesworth, also raced cars back in the ’50s, calling themselves the Black Widows. Kelly drove the car and Harold worked on it keeping it running at the old Lassiter Mountain Speedway.
Later Harold gladly served his country in the U. S. Army, being stationed one time at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas. Harold’s younger brother, Don, recalls visiting him there and probably the only time he and Harold had a disagreement; that was when Harold tried to make him eat turnip greens!
Following his military experience, Harold put his natural mechanical abilities to work, being employed by U. S. Pipe in Birmingham for some twenty years. He later worked with heavy equipment for King Coal Company in North Alabama. He also used his carpentry and construction skills to work with his brother, Don, in Nashville, then in Cullman County around Smith Lake with his father-in-law, Glenn Scott.
After retirement, he and Judy traveled extensively. During the younger years of their blended family, they took their grandkids all over the country, visiting many exciting and educational sites. (His two, Devin and Shea, and Judy’s three, Chris, Tabitha and Jake still remember these happy times!) Harold and Judy went on many cruises, including the Caribbean, Alaska, and the British and Greek Isles, as well as visiting Israel.
Perhaps more rewarding was their many mission trips to all parts of the country with East Cullman Mission Builders, working on churches in places like: Kentucky, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, and Illinois–to name a few. They were also Alabama Disaster Relief volunteers, traveling to various states doing ministry work for those devastated by hurricanes and other natural disasters. Harold loved music and sang in several church choirs where he was a member.
However, probably Harold will be most remembered for his commitment to being a witness for Jesus Christ!! Seldom would you see him in public without a hat that said “I love Jesus,” or some such message. He always carried a pocket full of red and clear marbles. You wouldn’t be talking to him for over thirty seconds before he would hand you a red one and ask you if you knew what it represented.
He would then explain it represented your sins, then he would give you a clear one and tell you that one represented you after you had been washed in the blood of Jesus, then he would give you a small tract that explains the plan of salvation. It didn’t matter if you were a complete stranger, he was NOT ASHAMED! No telling how many people in heaven right now are coming up to him and thanking him for directing them there! WHAT A LEGACY!
Services will be conducted at Cullman Heritage Funeral Home in Cullman at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22 with visitation from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Interment in Flint Creek Cemetery. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, please make all donations to Gideon’s International.