Russell Douglas Thompson, noted civic leader, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on October 3, 2020 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Born in Jackson, MS on May 16, 1937, Mr. Thompson was raised in Jackson, graduated from Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, TN in 1955, from Millsaps College in 1959, and from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1964. Mr. Thompson was commissioned as a Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force in 1966, serving in Vietnam, and on Air Force bases in Myrtle Beach, SC, Charleston, SC, and Biloxi, MS until leaving active duty in 1976. He continued his military duty in the Reserves of the Judge Advocate General's Department until his honorable retirement from the Air Force in June 1990. While on duty at Charleston Air Force Base, SC, Mr. Thompson was selected to attend Air Command and Staff College at the Air University at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery AL, in 1973-1974. During that period of duty, Mr. Thompson also attained and received a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery, AL. While on duty in Vietnam, Mr. Thompson received the Bronze Star medal with valor. In 1970, Mr. Thompson was named as the Outstanding Young Judge Advocate in the Air Force and received the Kuhfeld Award for this honor by the Secretary of the Air Force.
After leaving active duty in 1976, Mr. Thompson began a general law practice in Ocean Springs, MS where he was very active in the community, especially his church, the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs. He was elected an Elder in 1976 and served the church in many capacities over the years prior to his death. While retired from his law practice, Mr. Thompson was commissioned as a Certified Lay Pastor and was called to serve the First Presbyterian Church of Lucedale, MS as Pastor from 2009 to 2020. Mr. Thompson was a long-standing member of the Ocean Springs Rotary Club, for which he served as President in two different terms. He participated for many years with the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, on its Board of Directors and as President, and with the Ocean Springs YMCA as a Board Member and as President for two years. He also served with the Jackson County Board of Directors for the United Way and as its President for a two-year term. Mr. Thompson was a life member of the Air Force Association, serving as President. Mr. Thompson served the Jackson County Bar Association over a number of years as Secretary, and later as its President. From his arrival in Ocean Springs in 1974, Mr. Thompson has been a member of Ocean Springs Yacht Club, and over the years, served on its Board of Governors in many different positions, including Commodore in 1977. He was an avid boater, and for many years enjoyed sailing and racing his own and the club boat, as well as motoring in the Gulf, especially to any of the barrier islands.
Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lucy Mobley Thompson, his children, Melissa Thompson Webb (Mark) and Douglas Russell Thompson (Ashley), and his grandchildren Sam and Anne Russell Webb and Jack and Cate Thompson. He is preceded in death by his parents, James Grant and Elizabeth Russell Thompson, and a brother, James Grant Thompson, III.
Interment will take place in a private graveside service at the ancestral church in Edinburg, MS. A memorial service to celebrate Russell’s life will be held at a later date.
Honorary Pallbearers are Elders of the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs, and of the First Presbyterian Church of Lucedale, Commissioned Ruling Elders of the Presbytery of Mississippi, and members of the Jackson County Bar Association.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dr. James Grant Thompson textbook endowment at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine by contacting Natalie Hutto at (601) 984-2306 or email@example.com, the Millsaps College Scholarship Fund at 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39202, or to the First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs, MS.
Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve this family.