Edgar Ross Thompson, 83, of Austin, died January 5, 2019. He was born on December 19, 1935 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Marie Beasley and John R. Thompson. Edgar was a 1953 graduate of Little Rock Central High School and then went on to the University of Arkansas where he was lucky enough to meet the love of his life, Shirley Ann Brock. Edgar, affectionately referred to as “Chunky”, and Shirley had 3 daughters: Paula, Pat, & Barbie.
Edgar is survived by three daughters, his grandchildren: Josephine, John, and Owyn Ross Hammersley; Beth Gunthardt and her husband Joey, Ian, and Kyle Gustafson; Jesse Crossland and her husband Kyle, Tim Merrick and his wife Amanda, and Carmen Hollis and her husband Dave, and many nieces and nephews, to include Amon, Jake, and Jocelyn Pendergist, Anita Smith and Brock Wicker. He was preceded in death by his parents and his granddaughter Jordan Merrick.
Professionally, Edgar was an attorney and judge. Later in life, he retired at 70 as Public Defender for Lonoke County. During retirement, he traveled extensively with Shirley and their close friends within the group of friends at church. Edgar was also a man that served his community in various roles including Sunday school teacher and deacon, founding member of the Rolling Hills Country Club, and president of the Cabot Jaycees for two terms and Cabot School Board. Furthermore, he served on the board for the following organizations: Southern Farmers Association, Central Arkansas Milk Producers Association, Roberts McNutt and the Visiting Nurses Association. He was a member at Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Cabot and enjoyed going to the deer woods with his buddies at the Grant County Sportsman’s Club. Edgar was a lifelong learner and seized the opportunities to learn new skills. He was a master electrician, a certified scuba diver, a photographer, and a 32nd degree mason. He also obtained a Remington Clay 500-in-a-row patch, hazard response training, and a commercial driver’s license.
One of his biggest passions was flying and aviation. Edgar began flying at the age of 18 right out of high school. During college, he was an active member of the Civil Air Patrol. He acquired his Airline Transport License and Certified Flight Instrument Instructor Rating. He went on to teach not only his father and daughter Pat to fly, but also many friends to include: Lawrence Burns, Bill Thompson, Richard Hayes, and Whit Hall. Two of his closest flying buddies were Dick and Emmy Hall. Edgar recently shared that breaking out on top of the clouds while flying was one of the most spectacular sights he had ever seen. He stated that the skies were so clear, blue, and calm, that he thought “this must be what Heaven looks like”.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. and a service to follow at 11:00 a.m. at Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Cabot, Arkansas. There will be a burial to follow at 16th Section Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grant County Sportsman’s Club ℅ David Fitzgerald P.O. Box 692 Sheridan, AR 72150. Arrangements by Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home. www.smithfamilycares.com