Gerald Arthur Thompson
Thompson, Gerald Arthur 81 of Sun City, passed away on January 15, 2010. Gerald was born on June 9, 1928 in Lansing, Michigan to Arthur and Beatrice Thompson. He was preceded in death by his elder sister Martha and is survived by his younger sister Greta. Gerald was the beloved husband of Jeanette for 59 years; and the adored father of four children: Gayle and Jay, with whom he is reunited, David and Kathleen, by whom he is survived. Donny and Jeffrey are Gerald’s sons by marriage; Brandon and Kayla, his grandchildren by marriage. Gerald’s grandchildren are Carrie, Christina, Skyler, Brittany, Shane and Chelsea; his great grandchildren are Ashley, Kelsie, Makayla, Bryce, Jada, Tayler, Ashton and Tyler. Gerald was an All-State running back and his senior-class president at Scottsdale High School. He was a Korean War veteran who served his country as an aircraft mechanic for fours in the Army Air Corp/Air Force, achieving the rank of Sergeant. He was a member of the Air Force boxing team with a career record of 12-1-0. He rejoined the Air Force after college, this time as a civilian aircraft technician and computer systems specialist at Luke Air Force base. He was a crew chief, a position rarely entrusted to a civil servant. He was deemed the civilian technician of the month/quarter numerous times and the civilian technician of the year in 1986. Not a pilot, he was awarded honorary wings by his squadron commander after successfully flying a C-23 for approximately 200 meters and bringing it to a safe landing after the pilot was rendered unconscious during an after-service test flight. He retired in 1987 after 40 years of service, the longest serving civilian technician in the Air Force’s history. He was a devout Christian, a devoted husband and father, a patriot, a jack-of-all-trades, a proud, decades-long member of the American Legion and the Masonic Lodge. Gerald was known for his kind and generous heart and his love of animals. Funeral service will be at 10 am Saturday, January 23, 2010 at Hansen Chapel, 8314 N. 7th St. with visitation Friday from 5 - 8 pm. Burial will be at Phoenix Memorial Park, 200 W. Beardsley Road.
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