Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy 80th Birthday, Dad!!!

It was celebration time for Dad Thompson with an after church dinner on Sunday, with some special family members and friends gathering in. We were celebrating Dad T's 80th birthday!

Even though I've been in this family for more years than I want to acknowledge, I'm not quite as up to date on all of the family history on this side, as my own. Therefore, this will not be so detailed.

Dad grew up in Washington, Indiana. He was middle child out of seven children, having 3 brothers & 3 sisters. Two brothers and two sisters are still living.
The Thompson Siblings-Brayton, Freida & Robert (Dad)

I've heard him tell of going to spend summers with his grandmother along the Wabash River near Merom, Indiana. And it wasn't always just for a fun summer vacation, but they would have to work, digging for mussels in the mud of the river bank. It was hard work for young boys.

By not being truthful about his age, he was able to enlist in the Army/Air Force at the way too young age of 16! There he learned more about hard work and earned his "wings" to be a parachute jumper. He has told that on his first jump from a tower he sprained his ankle badly & never had to actually jump for an airplane.

He married the red-headed girl of his dreams just one week after her 18th birthday. This June they will celebrate their 62nd anniversary! Out of that marriage came 5 children, two daughters and three sons...(me ending up with their oldest son), six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren--so far!

Dad worked on the B & O Railroad after he was married where he learned to be an electrician. Later he was able to use that skill in his construction business. For many years he has been a builder & developer in new home construction.

But more importantly, he became a Christian when he was 21 years old and answered "the Call to Preach". His first pastorate was at Wisebaugh, Indiana. Then he moved his family to Beckley, West Virginia where he pastored the church there for 8 1/2 years. Feeling they should get their children into a Christian school, they made the move to Kansas in 1962. From there he pastored a church in Mexico, Missouri for 3 years, then served at Butler, & Callieo, Missouri for a while. And he also went to work for Rock Island Railroad while living in Kansas, and in his "spare time" built a few houses!

In September, 1968, Dad moved his wife and two of his children to Columbus, Indiana, thinking he might be at this church for just a few years. This September will be the 40th anniversary of that move and he is still pastoring the same church. During this time he has started a radio ministry, built a new church building, started a Christian Day school, and had a mission work in Belize for several years.

During the years in Columbus, he has either traveled or hosted trips to The Holy Land on 12 different trips. He has taken mission trips to Alaska, England, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Korea, and probably other places I have forgotten. Needless to say, he has been a man of energy & strength with a love for the work of the Church on his heart.

He has been a family man also. And now in his later years, when Mom's health is failing, he has taken on the duty of doing all of the work around the home that she had always done, plus care for her. He has led a very busy life and it is now time to celebrate the many good years, slow down, and enjoy the years ahead.

Happy 80th Birthday Day!!!

We love you very much!


Karen Walden said...

Happy Birthday Grandpa Thompson! We love you very much! Enjoy your meal out tonight with the family!

Sherry Gates said...

A very Happy Birthday to Bro. Thompson! You should get your yearly card from my "teenangel" any day now!

Denise said...

Happy (very) late birthday to Uncle Bob! :)

BTW - the pictures of him as a young man..........look like Kyle to me!?!!!!