Dr. Johnn Lee Thompson, PHD, of rural Gower, MO, formerly of Maryville, MO, 77, died August 26, 2012, at Northland Hospice in Kansas City, MO, due to a cerebral hemorrhage.
Johnn was born November 17, 1934 in Maryville, MO to John and Marian (Catterson) Thompson. He graduated from Maryville High School in 1952 and Northwest Missouri State University in 1956. He obtained his PHD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At Maryville High School and Northwest Missouri State University, he excelled in dramatic productions.
He proudly served as a teacher at the high school, college and university levels and began his career as a high school teacher of English and speech at Red Oak High School (Iowa). He then moved on to Nebraska City High School for several years, where he directed many outstanding high school plays.
After receiving his PHD, he taught English composition and literature at the University of Nebraska-Omaha for some time, before leaving to teach at Missouri Western State University and Conception College. Johnn then returned to Northwest Missouri University, his alma mater, to teach for several years in the Department of English. He later accepted an English teaching position at Highland Community College (Kansas), where he remained until his retirement.
Johnn was an accomplished teacher who maintained an excellent student-teacher relationship and was also well liked by his colleagues.
He was not only well known for his academic pursuits, but his name was readily recognized in horticultural circles. Horticulture, along with teaching, was another one of his passions, and he was especially nationally known for his skill and adeptness in growing day lilies which brought him many prizes and trophies. Opal Eckert, Johnn's former mentor and high school English and journalism teacher, once said that "he would be planting his colorful and beautiful day lilies in heaven." He was closely associated with many garden groups for many years as a speaker, chairman, director, and exhibits coordinator.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by long-time companion, Leo Wade, sister, Sue Hagee, brothers, Jim and Joe Hal, friend, Helen Weber, nieces and nephews, numerous friends, and many loving dogs and cats.
The family wants to thank the staff at St. Luke's Hospital and Northland Hospice for their loving care and support.
Known as a gentleman and for his teaching and artistic abilities, John was much admired by those who knew him professionally and personally.
Funeral Service: 2:00 p.m. Thursday, August 30th at the Gower Christian Church in Gower.
Burial: Number Six Cemetery
Visitation: 6:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Hixson-Klein Funeral Home, Edgerton, MO.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the New Nodaway Humane Society, P.O. Box 185, Maryville, MO 64468 or the charity of the donor's choice.
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
Updated Aug. 29, 2012 @ 7:08 am
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