Sunday, May 19, 2024

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
Ph: 336.228.7851

William Dean Thompson


William Dean Thompson passed into glory on April 26th, 2024 at 10:25 AM. His legacy is greater than any title he held or success he achieved. He was a dad. He was a husband. He was a brother and a friend. The love he shared with others, and which they cocooned around him during his final fight with cancer – that is the true measure of a man.

Dean, as his friends and family knew him, was born on April 20th, 1954 to P.N. and Pauline Thompson of Burlington, North Carolina, who have just welcomed their son home to heaven.  He grew up as one of three brothers collectively known as “Tommy Donny Dean,” since that’s how their mother forgetfully shouted their names to call even one of them. Tommy is taking Dean to a baseball game right now (the Angels are playing, against I don’t know who).  Donny, his older brother, survives him.

He attended Eastern High School and was a champion football, basketball, and tennis player. In later life he would resurrect his tennis career, winning the USTA Seniors Championship in his league. At Eastern, on the sidelines of a basketball game (as he would always tell it), he was introduced to his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Janet Lynch Thompson, whom he married on the 22nd of June 1975.

Janet and Dean supported each other through college, where Dean worked as a gas station attendant, a little league umpire, an award-winning radio Sportscaster/DJ and did shifts at “the shop”, otherwise known as P.N. Thompson printing – the business their father had founded with a linotype machine he bought from the Times News in Burlington. Dean finished his degree in Economics at Elon University, eventually joining his brother Tommy and cousin Paul Thompson in taking over the future of the family printing business, serving as its President.

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Then, in 1986 and 1991, Dean had two children (Will and Elizabeth Thompson) who survive him. He sacrificed everything for them and they wanted for nothing.

In 1997 Dean was elected the potentate of Amran Shrine, where he was instrumental in a program to build the new temple facility. He was also a member of Bingham Masonic Lodge.

Eventually, Dean and family expanded P.N. Thompson Printing to the point that it was sold to the printing conglomerate Henry Wurst, where Dean was a senior sales executive after the acquisition. From there, he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the insurance company Aflac’s in house printing and marketing business, Communicorp. Never one to retire, Dean reinvented himself as a data scientist in his later years, working for the Nashville-based healthcare technology company, EMIDS.

Dean also received his M.B.A. from Regis University, one of his proudest accomplishments, at 50. He was never too old to learn something new if he thought it would improve the life of his family. But to his children and his friends, Dean was always a fount of knowledge, wisdom, and experience. He couldn’t help but help everyone he came across, even if he could only give a smile, laugh, or listening ear. The impact of his generosity, kindness, and spirit is expansive and everlasting.

Memorials can be made to the Bingham Masonic Lodge in his name. Visitation will be held on Wednesday May 1st at 6:00 PM at Rich and Thompson Funeral Home in Burlington N.C. Memorial services will be held at Union Ridge Christian Church at 11:00 AM on Thursday May 2nd with a graveside service and refreshments to follow at Mount Zion Christian Church.

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