Colonel (Retired) Vernon D. Thompson of Hendersonville, TN was called home to our Lord on September 6, 2023.
Vern is survived by his wife, Letha Marie (nee Keck), and children Scott Vernon Thompson and his wife Janie Lou (Gallatin, TN), and their children Danny Vernon Thompson and Amy Nichole Filizetti; and Mark Allen Thompson and his wife Laurie (Ashburn, VA) and their children Nicholas Allen Thompson and Sean Miles Thompson. Vern was predeceased by his parents Robert Allen and Wilma Bowman Thompson, stepmother Violet Marie Thompson, and brothers Bobby Thompson and David Thompson.
Born in St. Joseph, Missouri in April 1936 to Robert and Wilma Thompson, Vern graduated from The Citadel in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He was quarterback of the Citadel’s football team, a collegiate boxer, and an All-American rifleman. Following graduation, Vern was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, with a Regular Army commission. On December 22, 1959, following completion of US Army Ranger training, he married Letha during a snowstorm in Kansas City, Missouri.
While attending the US Army Engineer Officer Basic Course, Vern became a registered professional engineer (PE). Following completion of training in 1960, Vern and Letha were stationed in West Germany until 1963, and then were stationed at Cape Canaveral, FL where Vern led Corps of Engineers construction projects for NASA. In 1965, Vern served the first of two tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded in action. In 1967, Vern was an engineer company commander at Ft. Stewart, Georgia and in 1968 returned to Vietnam for a second tour of duty. From 1969-1970, Vern was a civil engineering graduate student at the University of Missouri, Rolla, graduating with a master’s degree in civil engineering.
Vern and family were stationed in Frankfurt, West Germany from 1970 to 1975 where he served as the Director of Facilities Engineering and then as an engineer staff officer for V Corps. From 1975-1979, Vern was the Professor of Military Science at Michigan Technological University, earning a Master of Business Administration in 1979. Vern’s final military assignment was at Ft. Devens, MA where he served as the Director of Facilities Engineering and was a readiness staff officer in the US Army Forces Command. He retired from active military service in January 1983.
From 1984 to 1989, Vern worked for Metcalf & Eddy and led overflow abatement water treatment projects, first in Alexandria, Egypt and then in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1990, he joined Consoer Townsend and Associates (later Consoer Townsend Environdyne and then AECOM), serving as the program director responsible for the design for the City of Nashville’s overflow abatement mitigation strategies that were used to meet EPA clean water guidelines. He served in the role until his retirement in 2008.
A viewing is scheduled from 5:00 – 7:00 pm on September 13th and on September 14th from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Hendersonville Memory Gardens. Funeral service will be held on September 14th at 12:00 pm at Hendersonville Memory Gardens followed by a grave-side service with military honors at the Pegram Middle Tennessee State Veteran’s Cemetery. Flowers and condolences may be offered at the Hendersonville Memorial Gardens, 353 E. Main Street, Hendersonville.