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Billy Joe Thompson Jr., 73, of Jackson passed away Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, after a brief hospitalization.
He was born March 2, 1950, in Cape Girardeau to Billy Joe Sr. and Alice Faye Mason Thompson. He and Robin Gross were married Dec. 18, 1981, at New McKendree United Methodist Church in Jackson.
Joe was a 1968 graduate of Jackson High School, where he played the clarinet in the marching band and excelled in auto mechanics. In 1970, he received a machinist certification from Ranken Technical School in St. Louis. He served in the Missouri National Guard from 1971 to 1975.
Joe started his career pumping fuel at Ladreiter Service Station and helping at Deal Nursing Home, a business owned by his father. After completing trade school, he worked 25 years as a machinist at Jackson Auto Parts. Thereafter, he became self-employed, first as a buyer for Brugger-McDowell Auto Sales, then as an independent car hauler for Brugger Auto Sales. Simultaneously, he established and operated Port-A-Wash, a commercial portable truck washing service. He took a few years of personal time to provide in-home care to his aging father and was currently on his 18th year as a sign maker, employed by his longtime best friend, Nancy Collier, at Sign Art Studio in Jackson. Joe was also the current president of the Thompson Family Enterprises, Inc., a family rental business.
Joe wasn’t good at sitting still, never shied away from challenges, was eager to help anyone who needed a hand and personified a spirit of dedication to the Jackson community, especially Jackson R-2 Schools. He was a devoted supporter of Jackson sports and was well known as a firetruck enthusiast, a collector of toys and anything to do with trucks.
His affiliations and community service included coaching Little League; Boy Scouts — Troop 311, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, selected for Order of the Arrow and Philmont Explorers; 25 years as a volunteer fireman in Jackson; former president of the Optimist Club of Jackson, spearheading the Christmas tree sales for many years; member of the reunion committee of his 1968 graduating class. He was passionate about the Tribal Council. In 2017, he received the R.A. Fulenwider Meritorious Service Award.
Joe and Robin were active members of Cape County Cowboy Church in Oak Ridge and former members of New McKendree United Methodist Church.
To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife of nearly 41 years, Robin Thompson of Jackson; a son and daughter-in-law, Billy Joe “B.J.” III and Chelsea Thompson, and their son, Maverick, of Richmond, Texas; four siblings and their spouses, John M. and Teresa Thompson and Susan J. and Dwain Hahs, all of Jackson; Jim N. and Trudy Thompson of Sugar Land, Texas; and Jack and Kim Thompson of Jackson; Robin’s siblings and their spouses, Patricia and John Palisch and Kevin and Donna Gross, all of Jackson; 14 nieces and nephews; 14 great-nieces and great-nephews; best friend and employer, Nancy (Clint) Collier of Jackson; and special lifelong family friends, the Mike and Roni Putz family of Jackson.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Alice Anne Ashmann; and Robin’s parents, Robert and LaVerne Gross.
To show respect to Joe, the family requests that all guests wear red to the visitation and funeral service.
Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at Cape County Cowboy Church near Oak Ridge.
Joe would not want his arrangements to conflict with the first 2023 Jackson home football game, so his funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, — NOT Friday — at the church, with the Rev. Jim Matthews officiating. Led by firetrucks, all guests are invited to join the procession via Highway E to Highway D in Oak Ridge; to Highway 61, through Jackson; and Highway 72 to Russell Heights Cemetery, where Joe will be laid to rest with his parents and sister.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may take the form of contributions to the Jackson Tribal Council or Cape County Cowboy Church.
Arrangements are by McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by clicking on the tribute wall tab above Joe’s obituary article at mccombsfuneralhome.com.