More than 300 friends crowded the Harry White Chapel on March 6 for a final farewell to Lillian White Thompson and to pay tribute to an engaging spirit who had always encouraged and uplifted them. After a four-year battle with various cancers, Mrs. Thompson, 67, suffered a massive subdural hematoma resulting from a malignant brain tumor.
Her trademark upbeat demeanor armed Thompson and her family during life’s challenges, even cancer. "Her spirits were always wonderful because she knew God was in control. She said He had a purpose in the whole thing often referring to 1 Thessalonians 5:18," said Jack Thompson, her husband of 46 years.
"She was a rock, my best friend. She always reached out to other people to make them feel better…Everybody went to mama for advice," said her daughter, Mandy Cooper. That quality served her well during a 15-year tenure as secretary at Smyrna Presbyterian Church. "She was just a joy to work with because she always had a happy expression and was always laughing…she never got uptight about anything that went on," said Carl Smith, a former pastor. If a need came up, rather than talk about it or pass it along to someone else, Thompson would just do it. While she was "efficient and effective," she would laugh off typos in the church program, a running joke between them.
Life-long friend Helen Livsey admired her independent nature. "If she thought it, she said it, but was never unkind and called everyone ‘cuite pie,’" said Livsey. Referring to Thompson’s occasional solo weekend trips, Livsey said she was "unique for our generation and that was very refreshing."
Thompson relished her role as "Mimi." Cooper said that while she loved to get out and play with her boys, she would "spank them in a heartbeat if they needed it." She delighted in finding ways to make them all smile, composing silly tunes if necessary. Thompson was also an accomplished cook, and Cooper enjoyed even the simple moments with her mother watching Saturday afternoon cooking shows together.
Thompson was active in the American Cancer Society and in Relay for Life at the Horse Park when able. She is survived by her husband Jack Thompson, Conyers; daughter Mandy and Jimmy Cooper, Carrollton; son, Matthew and Heather (Beck) Thompson, Covington; grandchildren Joshua and Jaxon Cooper and Charlotte Lillian Thompson. Contributions may be made to the Smyrna Presbyterian Church General Fund. Condolences may be submitted on-line at www.scotward.com.