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Anthony Mark Thompson
Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother,Uncle
Anthony (Tony) Mark Thompson, of Johnston RI, son of the Ruth Grissom and Doward Thompson both deceased, and the stepson of WilbyMundy also deceased, was born on March 12, 1949, in Hartford CT. He went home to be with our Lord on February 8, 2024.
Tony grew up in Providence, Rhode Island living not too far from his future wife. After high school, he joined the Coast Guard rather than be drafted, and even though this was during the Vietnam War, duty took him to many exotic ports of call making him very well traveled by the end of his service.
Upon returning home Tony started working at Providence Metallizing Company in Pawtucket. He trained and worked his way through all the departments and eventually becoming their third shift Forman.
During those hard-working early days, Tony met his wife, his best friend, his soulmate Betty Nickerson. They met in the break room one fateful evening. She was sitting at a table with her mother fretting about what they were going to eat. Along comes Mr. Thompson, “Good evening,Ladies”, is how it began and after a few words he gave them $5 and bid them a very gentlemanly good evening. Jane Alice said to her daughter,” I bet that was that boy’s last $5”, which was true. Betty-Jean caught his eye and Tony won her heart. They courted and talked for hours and immediately spoke of marriage. Tony said, “we’ll move in together and if we make it a year, we’ll get married”. Tony and Betty celebrated their 50thwedding anniversary July 1st, 2023.
Tony worked for Providence Metallizing for 25 years until the company consolidated their shifts and no longer needed a 3rd shift or a 3rd shift Forman. Even as he laid off over 75 dedicated hardworking people, so very many of them still held him in high regard. “Mr. Tony was a good Boss”.
He transitioned to Color World Book printers for a time when books stillhad pages and hard covers, and even worked at a car dealership selling cars, where being a nice guy and gentlemen were not the desired traits.
Tony eventually got his CDL license and started his career at Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. He was known to many riders across the state as the Singing Bus Driver, the endearing moniker being acknowledged by the local news. He kept a small radio next to his seat playing on low and Tony would sing Golden Oldies and Motown favorites in his deep baritone voice while he drove.
Tony received a commendation from the Governor in 2003 for his service making extra runs to shuttle survivors away from the Station Nightclub fire.
When he announced his upcoming retirement in 2019, he received letters of appreciation from many of his passengers. Of his time with RIPTA, Tony did not think of it as only a career, but as a ministry. He would share a supportive word with those who needed it and invite them to watch his church on TV, saying that they could see his camera work in action and also hear a powerful message. He was so proud of his time working the camera in the Media Ministry for his church. It reminded him of his early days as a professional videographer and photographer specializing in weddings.
Tony and Betty’s spiritual journey lead them to Faith Christian Center in 2005, where they not only joined the congregation, but also found where they could be of service in the Body of Christ. Along with his time in the Media Ministry, Tony and his wife graduated from the FCC School of Ministry, they were in the New Converts/New Connections Ministry, they led a Marriage Builders Life Group and were Connect Group leaders for over 10 years. Tony Thompson led a life of service.
To his family and close friends, he will also be remembered for being a competitive bowler. A sport he enjoyed so much that he got his wife started bowling and taught his children how to bowl. He bowled on Men’s Leagues and Mixed Leagues in almost every bowling center in the state. He even became a coach for the Junior program at Cranston Lanes. Tony and Betty met their closest friends through bowling, then found out that they had more in common… playing cards, primarily Bid Whist and Double Deck Pinochle. This tight knit group of friends spent the better part of two decades watching their children bowl on Saturday mornings, to then return in the afternoon to bowl in the mixed league, then in the evening gather at one of their homes with their families, to play cardswhile the children played board games or cards til they fell asleep.
Fun fact, Tony was a Jazz musician along with his brother Ronnie. Tonyplayed the flute, and his brother, the saxophone, the brothers sat in with Jazz bands on Sundays letting the improv music flow, and though he eventually wanted to make a more stable living, he continued his lifelongappreciation for Jazz music.
Tony Thompson had many titles: Veteran, Forman, Boss, Photographer, Musician, Car salesman and Bus driver, but he was so much more; a loving husband, devoted father, proud grandfather, a caring brother and uncle. He will always be remembered by the people who met him or knew him as being a kind and gentle man.
To cherish his memory, Tony leaves his wife Betty J (Nickerson)Thompson, his daughter, Sondra Thompson-Arnold, his son Mark D Thompson and wife Deloris Thompson, his grandchildren, Janie-Alice Thompson and Mark-Anthony Thompson, brother, Dr. Felix Grissom and wife Dr. Myra Grissom of Maryland, sister, Zehra Barros of Ithaca, NY, brother Ronald C. Thompson (deceased), stepsister Michelle Cunningham and husband John Wesley Cunningham, Jr. of Georgia,stepsister Wilmette Santos and husband Frank Santos, Jr, nieces, nephewsand a host of cousins.
Although he is home with the Lord, the suddenness of his loss still reverberates throughout the family, and he will be dearly missed… Always.