THOMPSON (VETERAN WWII) (FAMOU, LURTIS PRYOR "TOMMY" - Baxter County, Arkansas | LURTIS PRYOR "TOMMY" THOMPSON (VETERAN WWII) (FAMOU - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

Lurtis Pryor "Tommy" THOMPSON (VETERAN WWII) (FAMOU

Galatia Cemetery
Baxter County,
Arkansas

US Army
World War II
August 15, 1918--April 21, 1989

White River Current
May 11, 1989
Tommy Thompson, 71, of Calico Rock died April 21, 1989. He was a former Philadelphia quarterback and coached at the University of Arkansas. He was a member of the N.F.L. Alumni and a Baptist.
Survivors include; wife, Dora C. Thompson, of Calico Rock. One sister, Kathryn Howell, Fort Worth, Texas; 3 brothers, H.J. Haynes and Elmer Crittenden, of California, Rev. George Crittenden, of Texas.
Pallbearers were; Charles Mayfield, Jr., Richard Cook, Tommie Washington, Eddie Cook, Patrick Thompson, Jr., and Johnnie Mayfield. Honorary pallbearers were, Charles Mayfield, Sr. and Patrick Thompson, Sr.
Services were held in Old Joe at the Galatia Cemetery at 2:00PM. The Howard Funeral Home was in charge.
(From the files of Max Parnell.)

The Baxter Bulletin
December 3, 2012
LOOKING BACK
(This is paraphrased from an article researched and written by Max Parnell of Memphis, TN, with special input from James 'Jim' Murphy of El Reno, OK, and Ken Avallon of Philadelphia.)
Few area residents are aware that one of the great all-time National Football League players lived out his retirement years in Baxter and Izard Counties, and was laid to rest in the Galatia Cemetery south of Norfork.
On Nov 8, 2012, Tommy Thompson was posthumously inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. It was through the preparation for his induction that I became involved in the search for information about Thompson and where I learned about his outstanding career. Ken Avallon with the Philadelphia Sport Hall of Fame was trying to locate a relative of Thompson to invite to the induction ceremony and through an Internet search, he had found the memorial listings that I had made for him on two gravestone websites.
We knew from the obituary that he and his wife of 47 years, Dora C. 'Doddie' Smart Thompson, did not have any children. Eventually we made contact with James 'Jim' Murphy of El Reno, OK. Mr. Murphy is a nephew of Doddie Thompson and had many years of close contact and business associations with the Thompsons. As such, he was able to supply background information and pictures of Tommy Thompson.
Lurtis Pryor 'Tommy' Thompson was born in Hutcheson, Ks, but grew up in Fort Worth TX. He had a strong arm that enabled him to excel in discus, shot-put, and javelin in high school. He played his college football as a single wing tailback at the University of Tulsa. He started his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (Steelers) in 1940, but was seldom used in their single wing.
Pittsburgh and Philadelphia traded franchises before the 1941 season and Thompson went to the Eagles. It was with the Philadelphia team that his talents became evident. Under Coach Greasy Neale, Philadelphia install the T-Formation and made Thompson the quarterback.
Thompson's football career was interrupted for two years when he entered the Army after the 1942 season. He received the Purple Heart when he was wounded while landing with the second wave at Normandy. After being discharged from the Army, he played briefly at the end of the 1945 season.
His professional career began to reach its peak with the 1947 season, when the Eagles made it to the NFL Championship game, but lost to the Chicago Cardinals 28-21. In the 1948 season he threw a league-leading 25 touch down passes at a time when the league played only 12, not 16, games a season. The Thompson-quarterbacked teams came back and won the 1948 NFL Championship game 7-0 over the Cardinals, then won the 1949 NFL Championship game 14-0 over the Los Angeles Rams. That year he led the team to a 12-1 season. Tommy Thompson was named the outstanding player in both the 1948 and the 1949 NFL Championship games.
One of the amazing things about Tommy Thompson was that he was blind in his left eye. Several biographies indicated that he lost the vision in a childhood rock throwing incident. His nephew, Jim Murphy, indicated that it was his understanding that he lost the sight in the eye in a javelin accident.
As was indicated, not only did he play all those years in high school, college and the NFL, but he served two years in the Army with vision in only his right eye. As an aside, it was reported the his left end at Philadelphia complained that he always gave the ball to the right end. In fact, he couldn't see the left end.
Thompson retired from the NFL after the 1950 season and he and his wife built a home on Mallard Point on Norfork Lake. Even though he had several coaching stints with the Canadian Football League, the Chicago Cardinals and at the University of Arkansas, the Thompsons maintained the Mallard Point home as their primary residence for a number of years.
Dale Tipton recalls working at the Lucky Bee Station and Grocery at the junction of Cranfield Road and US Highway 62 in the 1950s and delivering groceries to the Thompsons' home on Mallard Point. They eventually moved to a retreat near Calico Rock where they both lived out their years.
Thompson served as the backfield coach at the University of Arkansas beginning with the 1951 season under head coach Otis Douglas.
Tommy Thompson was confined to a wheelchair after 1970 because of arthritis. He succumbed to brain cancer on April 29, 1989, and as he had requested, a graveside service was held at the Galatia Cemetery south of Norfork. Dora Thompson died Sep 6, 2001, and was laid to rest beside her husband.

Contributed on 10/26/08 by maxparnell
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Record #: 86987

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Submitted: 10/26/08 • Approved: 12/12/12 • Last Updated: 12/15/12 • R86987-G0-S3

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