Obituary for John C. Thompson
John C. Thompson, 91
EAST LIVERPOOL – Well-known civic and business leader John Cincinnatus Thompson passed away Thursday, January 4, 2018 at the East Liverpool City Hospital. He was 91. Longtime Chairman of the Board of the Hall China Company, he was respected by his friends and competitors alike; his contributions to the betterment of the community cannot be measured.
Mr. Thompson was born in East Liverpool on June 23, 1926 to Malcolm W. “Mac” Thompson and Mildred Taylor Thompson. His family roots in the pottery industry can be traced to several of the area’s founding potteries, such as Knowles, Taylor & Knowles, producers of the world-famous Lotus Ware in East Liverpool. His maternal grandfather was William L. Taylor, and his maternal grandmother was Mary “Mamie” McDonald Taylor, whose family manufactured Meredith whiskey jugs.
He was a member of the East Liverpool High School Class of 1943 and was graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1944. He was then admitted to Yale University, but enlisted in the Navy V-12 Officer Training Program before entering Yale, where he was graduated with honors in 1948.
Mr. Thompson continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance and served in the Naval Reserves when he was called to active duty in Japan during the Korean Conflict. After serving his country, he returned to East Liverpool, where he embarked on his career in the pottery industry by joining the Hall China Company, at the urging of then-company chairman John T. Hall. He would eventually succeed Mr. Hall as President and Chief Executive Officer for over sixteen years, at which time Hall China was the largest industrial employer in the city. On a national level, he served as a member of an Industry Sector Advisory Committee for the Office of U.S. Trade Representatives and Department of Commerce.
Forever loyal to his hometown, he was a lifelong booster and board member of Thompson Park, which was given to the city by his ancestor and composer, Will L. Thompson. He served as a director and Chairman of the Board of the East Liverpool City Hospital, and served on the boards of three local community banks, along with the Riverview Cemetery Association. He was heavily involved in the Buckeye Council of the Boy Scouts of America where he was awarded the prestigious Silver Beaver Award, the United Way, and the County Republican Party. He was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by the East Liverpool Rotary Club and was a 2004 inductee into the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame. As a lifelong member of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, he served as an Elder and Clerk of Session, and was honored as a Heritage Member in 2002. Throughout his life, he constantly encouraged others to make East Liverpool a better place in which to live.
He was an avid skier and golfer and was a longtime member of the East Liverpool Country Club. A world traveler for both business and pleasure, there were no trips that he enjoyed more than those taken with his family. He had a particular affinity for the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, which he frequented since his childhood. A member of the Lake Placid Club and subsequent homeowner, he relished in all that the area had to offer and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta.
He is survived at home by his wife, Margaret “Peggy” Penn Thompson, whom he married on May 31, 1963. Also surviving are their children: Wm. Penn Plummer of Waynesboro, Virginia; Thomas E. Plummer of Nyack, New York; Julia T. Gorman and her husband, Robert, of Redding, Connecticut; and Douglas M. Thompson and his wife, Meredith, of Danbury, Connecticut. John also leaves behind his grandchildren: Ian Gorman, Abigail Merrill and her husband, Tyler; Lucia Gorman, Madeline Thompson, and Malcolm Thompson. He was Uncle John to Mitsie, Mary Martha, Becky, Mac, and Fred Koos, and David and Scott Wykoff.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Millicent “Millie” Mayers and Carol Wykoff.
A private family service was conducted at the Dawson Funeral Home. A memorial service will be planned in the spring.
Mr. Thompson will be laid to rest at Riverview Cemetery.
Memorial tributes may take the form of contributions to either Thompson Park, in care of East Liverpool Fawcett Community Foundation, P.O. Box 60, East Liverpool, Ohio 43920, or to Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, 767 Park Boulevard, East Liverpool, Ohio 43920.