On Thursday, May 28, 2020, Leon Cecil Thompson, loving husband and father of three children passed away at home at the age of 92.
Leon was born on February 15, 1928, to Evelyn and Randall Thompson in Amarillo, Texas. He served in the United States Army with the 82nd Airborne during World War II. At the war’s end, Leon entered Texas Tech where he fast tracked a business degree, but Tech is also where he began dating Alyce Joyce Byrom. They married December 26th, 1950 in Hobbs, New Mexico, honeymooning in the old La Caverna Hotel in Carlsbad, NM. A favorite family story is that when Leon went down to the hotel lobby the next morning to buy Joyce lipstick because she had forgotten hers, he was greeted by his father-in-law, Bill Byrom, and all of Bill’s hunting buddies, as they had stopped in for coffee before heading out for a dove hunt. He is survived by three children, Dr. William Leon Thompson and his wife Christine, Mary Joyce Thompson Jones and her husband Russell and Dr. Robert Randall Thompson and his wife Tracy. Leon is also survived by five grandchildren, Dr. Jennifer Thompson-Burke and her husband Cedric Burke, Mary Thompson, William Jones, Emma Jones and Erin Thompson, and his nieces Beth Wasson McCall, Jean Wasson Garcia and nephews Rance Wasson, Russell Thompson and John David Thompson. He is preceded in death by his parents Evelyn and Randall, his sister Patsy Jean Thompson Wasson and brother Charles Randall Thompson. He was an Independent Oil Operator for most of his life being a partner in Byrom Oil.
Leon was a true pioneer of Hobbs. He attended Hobbs schools, joined the First United Methodist Church of Hobbs in 1944 and served the church faithfully his entire life. He and Joyce supported the construction of the current church building, honoring his father, Randall, who constructed the basement of the original building. Leon saw Hobbs grow from a town of dirt roads with fewer than a thousand people to a town of over 40,000. He supported Hobbs throughout his life, co-chairing the financial drive of the United Way, serving on the city planning committee, and serving on one of the planning committees for the establishment of New Mexico Junior College. Leon was a true Hobbs Eagle dating back to his own football days. As a running back, he played football throughout high school and was selected to participate in the All-Star North-South game in 1946, foregoing a football scholarship to the University of Kansas to join the war effort. Reading, particularly American history and Southwest history, gardening, and running were his passions throughout his life. In Leon’s later years, he loved to go to McDonald’s for coffee with his buddies.
Anyone who knew Leon, knew that Joyce and his family were his constellation. He and Joyce would have celebrated seventy years of marriage on Dec.26. Leon loved nothing more than to have his children, his grandchildren and his nieces and nephews sitting on the back porch telling stories. He devoted his life to his wife, his children, his church and his community.
Arrangements are under the direction of Chapel of Hope Funeral Home, Hobbs, NM.
Online condolences may be made to www.chapelofhopefunerals.com. Memorials may be made in Leon Thompson’s memory to the First United Methodist Church, 200 E. Snyder, Hobbs, NM. The family is grateful for the loving care given to Leon by Rosa Villegas and her family and Veronica Granados
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First United Methodist Church
200 E. Snyder, Hobbs NM 88240