NORMAN — Edwin Arthur Thompson died Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in Norman. He was born Aug. 23, 1927, outside of Okemah on the family farm.
He was the next to the youngest of nine children of Simon J. Thompson and Verona Adline Thompson, formerly Beddoe, a family line that he was particularly proud of. He had many fond memories of his life on the family farm, and he frequently returned to the site to relive some of those memories and share those memories with friends and family members, especially his great-nieces and nephews.
Unfortunately, as hard times hit when he was a child, the family lost that farm. By this time, his older brothers and one older sister had left the family and started their adult lives, with several of his brothers joining the military. With his mother and one sister, Louise, Edwin moved to Oklahoma City, where he attended and later graduated from Central High School in 1947. During this time, he worked various jobs, but he was most proud of his work at a movie theater where, as a young man, he advanced to assistant manager.
World War II saw several of his brothers drawn into the war effort, and as often happened, one of his brothers, Pete, who was in the Navy in the South Pacific, had his ship sunk by the Japanese while he was on board, injuring his foot severely and sending him into shark-infested waters for hours. Pete survived but required extensive time in a military hospital in San Francisco. As Pete was allowed visitors, his mother took Ed and his younger sister, Louise, to California to live during that time. While they were there, Ed — never one to be idle — took a job delivering telegraphs on a bicycle he had purchased.
After their return to Oklahoma City and his graduation from high school, Ed could not wait to follow in his older brothers’ footsteps, who he tremendously admired, by joining the Army. This was just after the end of World War II, as soon as he became old enough to enlist. He was trained and sent to Japan in the Army of the occupation. He had found his home for the next 30 years of his life.