Obituary: Col. Ray G. Thompson (USAF, Ret.)

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BOSSIER CITY – Col. Ray G. Thompson (USAF, Ret.) passed away February 18, 2017, surrounded by his three loving children. Visitation will be at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Dr., Bossier City, LA from 5 to 7 pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Celebration of his life will be held at Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, LA at 11 am on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, officiating will be Rev. John Fream. Burial will follow at Rose-Neath Cemetery, 5185 Swan Lake Road, Bossier City, LA 71111 with full military honors.

Col. Thompson, 84, was born in Rayville, LA, to Rowe and Gladys Thompson. Ray played football at Tulane University and upon his graduation began his service to our nation in the United States Air Force. A Vietnam veteran he was a decorated F-100 pilot and career military officer, among other accomplishments having served as an instructor at the United States Air Force Academy, being stationed at the Pentagon and the State Department, and concluded his career as Commandant of the USAF ROTC at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. After his military career he returned to Jena, Louisiana and enjoyed his second career as an executive at Justiss Oil Company before retiring to Bossier City in 1999. While in Bossier he was an active member of Cypress Baptist Church and was an accomplished genealogist, fisherman, and lifelong patriot.

Ray inspired all who knew him throughout his military and civilian life, as a coach, flight instructor, professor, mentor, speaker, role model, friend and parent.

Ray eloped with the love of his life, Rita Doughty and they were married for 63 years before her passing in 2016. They have three children; seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren and counting. In addition to his loving wife and parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Bobbie Wynn and his brother Neal Thompson. He is survived by his daughter, Starla and her husband Dr. Scott Lawrence of Tyler, TX; and his sons Ray G. Thompson, Jr., and his wife Jenna of Houston, TX; and Judge Jeff Thompson and his wife, Toni of Benton, LA.

He also leaves to cherish his memory his grandchildren, Alicia Finley and her husband, Aaron and their children, Ben, Hazel and Evy; Heather Looney and her husband Robert and their children Hattie, Tatum, and Abigail; Hannah Hofweber and her husband Jay; Madi Lawrence; R. Chase Thompson and his wife Shannon; Lillie Thompson, and Rowe Thompson; sisters-in-law, Mona Thompson and Lorraine Doughty.

Honoring Ray as pallbearers will be Jack Breithaupt, Justin Brown, Todd Doughty, John Mark Garrison, Mike Kling, and Todd Thompson. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be the BYKOTA Sunday School Class.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to Cypress Baptist Church, 4701 Palmetto Rd., Benton, LA, 71006.