(1932 – 2020)
Jack Alexander Thompson was born in Colbert County. He graduated from Colbert County High School. He married Ruth Hester from Red Rock, AL. Together they reared four children.
He earned a B.S. in agriculture from Auburn University (Alabama Polytechnic Institute) and obtained his Masters in animal science from the University of Tennessee. He retired from Alabama Cooperative Extension System in 1987 after 31 years, having worked with 4-H students, Cattlemen, and Agronomy farmers in Montgomery, Elmore, and Limestone counties.
After retirement he owned a cattle farm in Athens, AL. Then he served as the Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture. He had over 38 years of experience in agriculture. In his campaign he said, “I have the experience to know what to do and I’m young enough to get the job done.” In 1995, he was elected as Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries and served as Commissioner until 1999. He successfully lobbied for financing construction of the Ag and Industries Thompson Bishop Sparks Diagnostic Lab on the Auburn University campus.
Thompson was passionate about helping farmers grow agriculture throughout the State. His passions inspired him to volunteer and serve in a variety of capacities, including the president of the Athens-Limestone Chamber of Commerce, Campaign Chairman of the United Way, president of the Limestone County Cattlemen’s Association, a lifetime Director of the State Cattlemen’s Association, a lifetime member of the Athens Industrial Development Association, and a board member at the Salvation Army.
Thompson worked with 4-H youth in multiple rolls coordinating the state, district, and local 4-H steer shows. He managed the livestock show for the Alabama National Fair. He also volunteered as a coach for youth baseball and played a key role in organizing little league baseball at Catoma Elementary School.
He was the recipient of many awards and honors recognizing his devotion and contributions to the citizens of Alabama. He was an avid fan of Auburn football.
He is proceeded in death by his wife, Ruth, and parents, Wiley C. Thompson, and Margaret Alexander Thompson Damalas. He is survived by sons David Thompson (Karen), Keith Thompson (Heather), daughters Susan Woodham (Steve), Janice Thompson (Eric Brown)
In recognition of his years of service, the name Jack W. Thompson is inscribed on the dedicatory plaque of the Extension Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number 655