Harry L. Thompson

Published 12:17 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2013

WINDSOR – Harry Lewis Thompson of 611 Greens Cross Road, Windsor, NC died Sunday, August 4 at Vidant Medica lCenter in Greenville.  He was born in Bertie County on April 28, 1934 to the late Roy V. and Hazel Speer Thompson and was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Loretta Baker Thompson.

Harry was owner of a local sawmill and building supply and in later years served as curator of Port O’Plymouth Museum in Plymouth as well as a history professor at Lawrence Academy and Martin Community College. He recently founded Windsor Craftsman and Farmer’s Museum in Windsor.

Survivors include daughters, Pat Taylor (husband Frank) and JeNell Dilday (husband Kelly); and sons, Stanley Thompson (wife Sharon) and Vic Thompson (wife Nancy) of Windsor. Surviving grandchildren are Chase, Lars, and Colby Riggins, Mary Taylor, Sarah, Clint, Robert and Lewis Thompson.

Harry was a member of Historic Hope Foundation, Historical Murfreesboro Commission, NC Maritime Council, Roanoke River Partnership, Washington County Waterways Commission, CS Ram Albemarle Chapter of Military Order of Stars and Bars, Fort Branch Sons of Confederate Veterans, North Carolina Tourism Board, and Murfreesboro Historical Commission. He contributed to several History Channel and UNC-TV documentaries, East Carolina University historical research efforts, Roanoke-Cashie River Center, and Living History Weekend in Plymouth. He authored several books of local historical interest, collected local and regional artifacts from Native American Indians to present, and was well known for his extensive genealogical research. Of particular interest to Harry was restoration and preservation of historical structures and artifacts. He was frequently heard saying “it’s all about the children” and “you need to tell the stories”.

Recognitions include Legion of Merit Award by Lt. Charles W. Read of the Military Order of the Stars & Bars, Outstanding Achievement Award in the Field of Historic Preservation by the Historic Preservation of North Carolina, Gertrude S. Carraway Awards of Merit, Dedicated Service Award for the Preservation of History by the Historic Hope Foundation, Dr. J.P. Jacocks Award, Historic Insight Award by the Vail Historical Foundation, North Carolina Community Service Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Certificate of Appreciation from the Tuscarora Tribe of North Carolina, The Old North State Award in 2007 by Governor Mike Easley, North Carolina Maritime History Council recognition of service.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on August 6 at Walker Funeral Home in Windsor and at other times from the home of Stanley and Sharon Thompson at 639 Greens Cross Road, Windsor. Graveside services will be at Edgewood Cemetery, Windsor, at 10:00 a.m. on August 7.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Windsor Craftsmen and Farmers Museum, P. O. Box 328, Windsor, NC 27983 or charity of your choice.