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Billy "Bill" Thompson '59 February 20, 2024 2:31 PM updated: February 20, 2024 2:40 PM

Billy Hope "Bill" Thompson 

April 17, 1931 - February 4, 2024 

This young farm boy from East Texas was born April 17, 1931 in Gilmer Texas to Martin Henry and Lillian Carroll Thompson. He grew up working hard on the family farm. After graduating from Harmony High School, he watched as some of his friends and relatives went off to fight in the Korean War. So one day while in Tyler selling a load of cows, he went in to talk with an Air Force recruiter. The recruiter looked him over, and told him to come on in that the Air Force could really make something good out of him. He served in the 483rd Motor Vehicle Squadron in Ashiya, Japan 1951-54. And after the war, he took his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

In 1956 he married Faye Slocum and together they traveled to different parts of the USA as he worked in the oil and gas industry designing drill bits with Hughes Tool Company and worked with several different drilling contractors across the Rocky Mountains. While working in East Texas their first son, Billy Jr. was born in Gilmer TX, Marty was born in Houston, Marcus was born in Great Bend KS and then Matt was born in Littleton CO. In the 70’s Bill came back to East Texas and went to work for Texas Oil and Gas drilling and completing wells.

He was a proud 7th generation Texan and a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. He grew up attending Little Mound Missionary Baptist Church and served as an ordained deacon for 45 years, as church Treasurer and taught Sunday School for many years.

Following the death of his wife Faye, he married Gayle Bass and they celebrated their 25th anniversary last May.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, wife Faye, sister Hughlene Stokes and son Billy Thompson, Jr.

Those left to cherish his memories, are wife, Gayle; sons Marty (Martha), Marcus, Matt (Amy) and Mike Bass. Bill’s legacy lives on through the generations as he leaves behind his grandchildren: Martie Leigh Thompson, Danica Hammarsten (Will), Rachael Thompson, Ashley Thompson, Will Thompson, Ben Thompson, Jacob Thompson, Mandee Tyner, Jake Atchley (April), and Levi Thompson; great grandchildren: Danyelle Thompson, Ian and Layla Atchley, Raylee Faye and Saydee Mae Meuir, Seth Ray, Gunner and Sawyer Tyner; and great great grandchild Lucy Cook.

His celebration of life service is under the direction of Croley Funeral Home. Visitation for friends and family will take place on Friday, February 9, 2024 from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm at Croley’s, 305 W. Harrison, Gilmer Texas.

The funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 10th at 2:00 pm at Little Mound Missionary Baptist Church, 11746 FM 49, Big Sandy Texas with Bro. Charles Johnson and Bro. Mike Phillips officiating.

If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of East Texas, 4111 University Blvd, Tyler TX 75701, Little Mound Cemetery Association, or the charity of your choice.  


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