Thomas Thompson


Thomas Osborne “Tommy” Thompson, 86, was born May 28, 1931 to Hugh and Marjorie Thompson in Hartford City, Indiana.

Tommy departed his life on August 15, 2017. He was raised on his parents’ farm on Gray Road and farming always remained in his blood.

After graduating from Southport High School, he attended Michigan State University and Indiana Central College until entering the United States Army during the Korean War.

Upon discharge, he graduated from Purdue University, earning college money through raising pigs, sheering sheep and the G.I. Bill. He later received his Master of Science degree from Purdue University and additional administration course work was taken at Butler University.

His entire career was spent at Beech Grove High School, where he started and coached its first wrestling team for 10 years. He taught industrial arts for nine years, served as assistant principal for one year and went on to serve as principal for 24 years.

In addition to working as an educator, he was a part-time farmer his entire life.

Tommy married Shirley Lyons on September 8, 1956. They were married 44 years until her death in 2000.

He married Thelma Hunter Harkness on March 21, 2004. She survives.

Along with his wife, survivors include his daughters, Shelley (Milt) Grissom of Franklin and Paivi (Bill) Blanchard of Indianapolis; grandchildren, Stacie (Sean Wilson) Grissom, Natalie Grissom, Alex Grissom, Markus (Katie) Wilds and Laura (Cory) Walradth; and four great-grandchildren.

Additional survivors include sister, Sue (Andy) Zajac of Alaska; stepchildren Allan (Lisa) Harkness and Jay (Lisa) Harkness of Indianapolis, Cindy (Mark) McElroy from Georgia; step-grandchildren Brock Harkness, Helen Meyer and Duncan Meyer.

Tommy was a believer in hard work and contributing to the community. He was a 65-year member of the Masonic Lodge, 55-year member and past president of the Beech Grove Lions Club, and 30-year Marion County fair board director and past president.

He was a member of the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame and a past recipient of the Master Shepherd Award from the Indiana Sheep Breeders Association.

He raised purebred Dorset sheep from 1936 to 2015.

He attended Southport United Methodist Church and later became a member of Hopewell Presbyterian Church.

A celebration of Tommy’s life will held on Monday, August 21 at 10 a.m. at Singleton Community Mortuary and Memorial Center, 7602 Madison Avenue, Indianapolis. Friends may call on Sunday, August 20 from 2 to 7 p.m. at the mortuary. Interment with military honors will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Indiana 4-H Foundation, Agricultural Administration Building Room 101, 615 W. State St., West Lafayette, Indiana 47907; “The Hayes Fairchild Memorial Scholarship,” Beech Grove Education Foundation, Attn: Melody Stevens, 5330 Hornet Avenue, Beech Grove, IN 46107; or Beech Grove Lions Club, P.O. Box 213, Beech Grove, IN 46107.

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