Jeffrey “Jeff” J. Thompson, 68, of Hinckley, Ill., passed away on May 3, 2020 surrounded by the love and prayers of his family following a brief but fierce battle with cancer.

He was born Nov. 24, 1951 in Sheridan to proud parents, Larue and Waneta (Walker) Thompson.

He grew up in Sheridan and attended local schools. He graduated from Sheridan High School with the class of 1970 and continued his education at Indiana University, graduating in 1974. He met Kathy Piper while working in Peoria. A friendship bloomed into something more and on April 7, 1979 they were united in marriage. They were blessed with two children, Suzanne and Scott.

Mr. Thompson worked 19 years for Lucent Technologies in Naperville. Later he would work as a flight dispatcher for various airlines. He and Mrs. Thompson were members of the Elburn Community Congregational Church, and Mr. Thompson was a member of the E.A.A., the Experimental Aircraft Association.

His passion for aviation soared after earning his private pilot’s license, and he enjoyed flying the friendly skies with family and friends. He dedicated time both on land and in the air to the Young Eagles Program, which encouraged the love of flying to youths aged 8-17 years.  He also participated in the “Angel Flight” program where private pilots gave free rides to those needing medical care a great distance from their homes. When he wasn’t pursuing the horizon, Mr. Thompson indulged in his love of basketball. He played recreationally with a group of friends and alumni at North Central College, in Naperville, who called themselves the “Noon Ballers.” He also was very proud of his Hoosier background and cheered loudly and often for his Indiana University alma mater. In addition, he was a supporter of North Central College Cardinals and the St. Louis Cardinals.

However, what he loved most was his family. When cancer came to call, he fought it with his mind, body and soul, fighting for every second, including to be there for the private but much celebrated wedding of his daughter. He may not have been able to physically dance with Suzanne, but nothing could keep him from looking on proudly. His loss only a day later capped a life well lived, a heart well loved, and a legacy of memories that will stand the test of time.

Survivors include his loving wife Kathy Thompson; two children, Suzanne (Don Griffin) Thompson and Scott (Kayla) Thompson; their two children, Owen and Evan; two brothers, Butch (Gloria) Thompson and Randy (Liz) Thompson; nieces, nephews; and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Larue and Waneta Thompson, as well as his brother Don Thompson.

He will be laid to rest at Crown View Cemetery in Sheridan. 

Memorial donations may be made directly to: Elburn Community Congregational Church: www.elburn-ucc.org; North Central College Athletic Department: www.northcentralcardinals.com; Young Eagles: www.eaa.org/eea/youth/free-ye-flights; or The American Cancer Society: www.donate3.cancer.org.