Dec. 7, 1909 Lovingston Nelson County Virginia, USA
Sep. 11, 2008 Lynchburg Lynchburg City Virginia, USA
Alice Gertrude Wheeler Early Thompson entered into The Church Triumphant Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008. She was born Dec. 7, 1909, in Lovingston, the second of three children born to the Rev. L. Hunter Early, a minister in the Virginia Methodist Conference, and Louise Wheeler Early. Her elder brother was Dr. William Ashby Early. Her sister is Louise Hunter Early Adkinson of Lynchburg. She was a relative of Jubal Anderson Early, General in the Army of the Confederate States of America.
Mrs. Thompson was the wife of her beloved Claude Astor Thompson of Lynchburg. Her father officiated at their wedding on Aug. 19, 1939, in Court Street Methodist Church, founded by her ancestor, Bishop John Early, in 1850. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were blessed to spend sixty years together as husband and wife.
Mrs. Thompson graduated from Blackstone College in Blackstone, where she was May Queen. She also graduated from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg. Mrs. Thompson was an educator who never tired of learning and teaching. As an educator, Mrs. Thompson shared her love of Virginia history with her students, as well as with her children and grandchildren. She led many informal field trips throughout Lynchburg and Virginia, telling fascinating stories of people, places, and events.
Mrs. Thompson had a love of sports and games and taught physical education in high school and in college. She was a member of the American Association of University Women, as well as the Delta Kappa Gamma Society. She participated with determination in many sports including basketball, field hockey, softball, swimming, horseback riding, and golf. She and Mr. Thompson shared a passion for tennis, playing until well into their eighties. Mrs. Thompson also loved board and card games and said that she knew that "Heaven will be filled with games!"
Through the Lynchburg Museum System, Mrs. Thompson was able to share the story of historic Lynchburg with the community. She was a member of the Lynchburg Women's Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She also served as a docent at the Point of Honor and at the Old Lynchburg Courthouse. On Election Days, Mrs. Thompson served at her voting precinct. Mrs. Thompson enjoyed decorating with flowers and plant materials and was a member of the Dogwood Garden Club. Both Mr. and Mrs. Thompson enjoyed painting. Their family has many of their paintings depicting their loves, travels, and interests.
Court Street Methodist Church was the center of Mrs. Thompson's life, and she was devoted to the services, activities, and celebrations of her church. Her children and grandchildren were baptized at Court Street, and both of her children were married there as well. The church was the heart of her family.
Mrs. Thompson is survived by her daughters Alice Brooking Thompson DuPriest of Athens, Ga. and Ann Early Thompson Miller and husband, Samuel, of Roanoke. She is loved by her six grandchildren, Read Thompson DuPriest and wife, Joanna, of Springdale, Ark., Bradford Early Miller and wife, Allison, of Alexandria, Elizabeth Hunter Huber and husband, Adam, of Atlanta, Ga., Sarah Alice Miller of Roanoke, Molly Ann DuPriest of Durham, N.C., and Alan Thompson Miller of Roanoke. She is survived by two great-granddaughters, Ava Garbush DuPriest and Brooke Elizabeth Huber.
Mrs. Thompson is also survived by her sister Louise Early Adkinson (Mrs. Neville Keith Adkinson) of Lynchburg, a nephew, Neville Keith Adkinson, Jr. of Lynchburg, and a niece Janet Ferrell Lawson and husband, Jim, of Clemmons, N.C.
The family is especially grateful for the loving, tender care given to their mother and grandmother by Lorraine Scott, Christabel Turner, Fatemeh Karimzadeh, and Renita Stone Garner.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Mrs. Thompson will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, at Court Street United Methodist Church, 621 Court Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution be made to Court Street United Methodist Church or to a charity of personal choice. Published in The News & Advance on September 14, 2008