CANFIELD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Lawrence J. Thompson, 72, of West Liberty, formerly of Canfield, Ohio, passed away Friday afternoon, August 6, 2021, at Springfield Regional Medical Center.
Lawrence, known by his family and friends as Larry, was born November 18, 1948, in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of the late Albert Thompson and Marjorie Cleckner Thompson.
He graduated from Canfield High School in 1967 and Youngstown State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
Larry’s first teaching assignment was in Canfield, Ohio and then he and his wife both taught in St. Henry, Ohio and Aurora, Ohio, before settling in Bellefontaine, Ohio, where he taught high school Spanish from 1981-2007, retiring after a total of 32 years in teaching. A highlight for him came in 1992 when he was acknowledged as a teacher who “made a difference” in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. He continued to work in Bellefontaine, though, as a court interpreter for Spanish-speaking individuals.
Larry was a car enthusiast and his interest in cars likely began in 1960 when, at the age of 12, he raced in the Soap Box Derby in Canfield, Ohio. Restoring antique and classic cars also became an enjoyable pastime for him and he got back to racing when he purchased a 1937 Ford dirt-track racer and raced regularly in Indiana. He was also a member of the Penn-Ohio Model A Ford Club and participated in many events with his 1931 Model A Ford. His other hobbies included bowling, woodworking and walking local fields collecting Indian artifacts and arrowheads. Larry, along with his wife, also enjoyed taking groups of students to Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain and other European countries where they could experience the language and culture firsthand. He was a fan of 60s music, swap meets, flea markets and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Larry is survived by his wife of 46 years, the former Karen L. Kimpan, whom he married on November 22, 1975, in Nashville, Tennessee, where the ceremony was performed by his uncle, Dr. Paul Cleckner. He is survived by two brothers, Ronald (Donna) Thompson of Austintown, Ohio and Gary (Jeri) Thompson of Florida and a sister, Judy Carlson of South Dakota.
Besides his parents, Larry was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Virgil Carlson.
Family and friends may call on Thursday, August 12, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. at the Davis-Becker Funeral Home, 8536 Market Street in Boardman. There will be a funeral service at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home with Reverend Michael Byus officiating.
Interment will follow in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
Larry was a caring individual who was always willing to assist anyone in need. He enjoyed being with family and friends and all the rescue pets he and his wife took in over the years. He will be greatly missed. Larry had been dealing with the effects of Lyme Disease for the past several years.
The family would like to thank Springfield Nursing and Independent Living for the love, care and support that they gave to Larry and his family during his stay.
Condolences for Larry’s family may be sent to www.beckerobits.com.
To send flowers to Lawrence’s family, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, August 11 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.