Leonard F. Thompson, Jr.
Sept. 27, 1948 ~ May 20, 2018
Meeker resident Leonard Funston Thompson, Jr. died on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at Pioneers Medical Center in Meeker. He was 69. Leonard Funston Thompson, Jr. was the first-born son of Leonard F. Thompson, Sr. and Willie May Green Thompson on Sept. 27, 1948, in Houston, Texas. Leonard attended schools in the Houston area graduating from Spring Branch High School followed by four years at Texas A&M College in College Station, Texas earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marine transportation. During college summer breaks he traveled the world on the Texas Clipper with the United States Navy Merchant Marines. He formally enlisted in the Merchant Marines in 1971, and received his honorable discharge in 1983. In 1982 Leonard received his license from the United States Coast Guard to operate or navigate passenger carrying vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.
Leonard first married in 1973 to Rai Kelso and was blessed with two lovely daughters, Margaret and Martha. Living in Galveston, Texas, Leonard built on his Texas A&M education with experiences gained through career choices such as bridge construction and the ready mix concrete industry. Ultimately, he became an entrepreneur owning a variety of businesses including medical durable supplies, corporate janitorial service, machinist and metal fabrication and welding.
For 25 years Leonard came to Colorado to hunt at a ranch on the Williams Fork near Hamilton. His first marriage had ended and several years later he was introduced to his current wife, Betsie Fritzlan. In 1997/1998 Leonard moved his entire business to the White River near Meeker, Colo. Leonard and Betsie were united in their life partnership on July 24, 1998, and in typical Leonard fashion, he lovingly embraced his two stepchildren, Chad and Renee, as his own. Leonard and Betsie filled 20 years together with love, laughter, hard work and fun times with family and friends. Leonard loved to hunt, camp, fish, ride the trails, and operate anything with a motor. However, his true passion was milling, fabricating and welding metal. He had an excellent mind and marked each project with his brand of excellence.
Leonard was famous for his Texas style smoked brisket and, as many can attest, his colorful sayings. Leonard possessed a big, kind Texan heart that didn’t know a stranger and was always ready to lend a helping hand. He was considered a mentor to many. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Leonard was preceded in death by his parents, son-in-law Travis White, sister-in-law Beverly Fritzlan Bloch, and nephew Gene Scritchfield. He is survived by his wife, Betsie Fritzlan Thompson; daughters Margaret (Josh) Moerbe, Martha (Travis) White; stepson Chad (Jeannette) Shepherd; stepdaughter Renee (Brandon) Briscoe; sister Tina Thompson (Roger) Naumann; brother Barry (Leigh) Thompson; mother-in-law Arlene Fritzlan; sisters-in-law Mona Avey and Sandie Fritzlan; 12 grandchildren: Abby, Lucy, McKenna, Kinley, Calvin, Caitlyn, Peyton, Brooklyn, Porter, Mariah, Brianna and Amber; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Leonard greeted each day thanking God for granting him the gift of life and for the privilege to live and prosper in a country he loved, the United States of America.
A celebration of life gathering to honor Leonard will be hosted at the Thompson residence, 12896 County Road 8, Meeker, Colo., on Sunday, June 17, 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Leonard’s memory to the Leonard Thompson Technical Trade Scholarship Fund at Mountain Valley Bank in Meeker.