Ronnie Thompson Sr. 75, died at home in Okeechobee, FL on October 26, 2023. He was the first son, born on January 31, 1948 to Irvin and Sudia Thompson in Manchester, KY.
Ronnie is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Joy Bowling Thompson of Manchester, Ky. He is also survived by his brother Lonnie Gene Thompson and wife Gail of Manchester, KY. Ronnie has often said that his greatest blessing was being a dad to his children Darlene ‘Sis’ Thompson Abner and husband Terry Lynn of Manchester, KY, Ronnie Thompson, Jr of Okeechobee, FL, and Donnie Irvin Thompson and wife Marilyn of Lexington, KY. He also found his greatest pleasure in being a papaw to his grandchildren Donnie Ryan and wife Brittany, Joshua Lynn and wife Teresa, Tristen Gage, Camyle Grace, Cadance Glorie, Jadon Gabrielle, and Blake Aaron and his great grandchildren Weston Ryan, Wyatt Cooper, and Matthew Lucas. He was loved by many sister and brother in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends that became family who surely all have a story to tell of his shenanigans. He was preceded in death by his parents and best canine companions Koby and Kirby.
Ronnie was a veteran and honorably served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War conflict. After the Army Ronnie attended college at the University of Cumberlands and Eastern Kentucky University where he pursued a Teaching and Art degree. Ronnie discovered after two days of student teaching that teaching kids was not in the cards. He would often joke that “he would not teach without a weapon”. Ronnie worked for several years as a sign designer for Kentucky State Highway and also worked for the Clay County Emergency Service along with Manchester Fire Department for several years. Ronnie eventually did find his calling and expertise with business. He started out slow with basic yards sales. This increased when he started Thompson Auction House located in several counties in Southeastern Kentucky. Ronnie would spend three days a week collecting items for the Auction and four days running the auctions. Ronnie loved that this was a family affair with his sons helping with auctioneering and his father helping with logistics for the auction. His mother would run the kitchen. His favorite part was that his wife was always working with him. This part of his life was everything he dreamt about. Ronnie discovered his place on earth was not with teaching but selling. When he sold the auction he started a ceramic shop and made ceramic vases and angels that he sold in Southern Kentucky and quickly became known as the “Flower Guy”. He did this for several years until his ambitions made him throw his hat back into business. With his son, Donnie, they started several businesses together. This had always been a dream of theirs. Ronnie's favorite job he had was doing a firework tent where he would talk and talk with the customers. Ronnie did this for 10 years with help from Donnie and family friend Paul Hughes who he considered as a son. He took pride that a small firework tent in Manchester, Ky sold the most fireworks in Kentucky. Those that worked with the tent thought Ronnie just loved talking to the customers. Ronnie was known for having the gift of gab. Ronnie always had a story and could carry a conversation on for hours. Ronnie simply loved working at jobs that allowed him to talk with people. Ronnie was well known for his jokes and laughing so hard that he would lose his breath. Ronnie never met a stranger or had any enemies. Ronnie retired in 2008 and started his best job ever, being a full-time partner and camper with the love of his life Joy Thompson. Ronnie and Joy loved traveling and spending time together. Ronnie, in his spare time, enjoyed painting and talking to his grandchildren. Ronnie's love was so strong for his grandchildren that he always talked to them over the phone or in person in a soft baby voice, even though the grandchildren were in their twenties. To him they were babies. All the grandchildren enjoyed it. Ronnie and Joy moved to Okeechobee, Florida with their four legged friends. Ronnie would still call and give advice to his many family members and friends. Ronnie said he had a good life and always provided for his family. Ronnie was larger than life, his shoes cannot be filled. May he rest in peace.
In lieu of a traditional memorial service, the family has requested to have a “Forget-Me-Not” Celebration of Life Party which will take place on November 4, 2023 at Rominger Funeral Home.
Ceremony from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Reception following at Crow’s Nest restaurant.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests spending some quality time in the great outdoors with your loved ones in his memory.