By Laurie Stone: PNT Correspondent
Jimmy Lee Thompson was faced with numerous difficulties throughout his life, especially after returning from the Army National Guard in the early 60’s, but regardless of his circumstances, it was his attitude towards others that marked him as a man of valor.
He died on March 14, 2005, of liver and kidney failure.
Giving a hand to those in need when they were unable to help themselves was a natural occurrence in Thompson’s life, according to Leslie Ray Thompson, Jimmy’s brother.
“For him it was no big deal,” Leslie Thompson said. “He believed that if you gave to others in an area that you were gifted in, then it would eventually come back to you in a different manner.”
Jimmy Thompson was born Aug. 8, 1945, in Artesia to Katie and Oscar O. Thompson. He married Barbara Jean Ensign in September of 1997 in Marysville, California. He grew up in Artesia and Roswell. While living in Roswell, he served a short time in the National Guard and later moved to Portales in 1963.
According to family and friends, Jimmy was a kind and considerate man with a pleasant demeanor. They said he never complained but always had something to say that would put a smile on your face. He relished in working on cars — Chevrolets and sports cars were his favorites. He was a mechanic for various businesses. In Portales, he worked for Burt’s Garage for several years. In 1966, he moved to Calif. and returned to Portales in 2003 making his home with his brother, Leslie.
“He was a very strong-willed person,” said Sherline Lockhart, Jimmy’s sister. “He had a smile that would bring joy to anyone.”
Lockhart said that towards the end of Jimmy’s life, he became very thankful and positive about life and his future.
“He knew the kingdom of heaven was waiting for him,” Lockhart said.
She credits Jessica Robinson, Jimmy’s caregiver, for her strong part in Jimmy’s newfound peace.
“She took him to church with her, and read his favorite book to him — Ecclesiastes. He had a purpose on this earth,” Lockhart said. “He helped other people earn their wings by teaching them how to love which showed in his spirit.”