HONOR WHERE HONOR IS DUE … Jim Thompson, of Thompson Funeral Homes, was honored at the May 2, 2022 Rotary lunch meeting, for 50 years as a Rotarian. Seen here from left to right in the front are his son Nathan, daughter in law Tasha, wife Janice, Jim, son Seth and Montpelier Mayor Steve Yagelski. In the back are incoming Rotary District Governor Diana Savage and Montpelier Rotary President Zeb Lillard. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Montpelier has been so blessed over the years by incredibly involved citizens…Jim Thompson is one of those. Much to his surprise, he was honored for his 50 years as a Rotarian at the May 2, 2022 lunch meeting.
He may have been tipped off when President Zeb Lillard was welcoming the guests that day and named Thompsons family members who were seated at the back table.
He was genuinely surprised to see them all there and when the time came for him to be honored by his fellow Rotarians, he struggled to keep back the tears.
Jim Thompson and his wife Janice are fixtures in the village of Montpelier. They have been actively involved in many aspects of the village and are well loved and respected in the community.
Lillard commented on how his serious position as Funeral director, and kind ability to comfort, has been well balanced with a great sense of humor.
Lillard then welcomed Montpelier Mayor Steve Yagelski to come up and read a Proclamation making May 2, 2022 “Jim Thompson Day” in the Village of Montpelier.
The proclamation said it best…”Whereas the Village of Montpelier and the Montpelier Rotary wish to recognize Jim Thompson for being a dedicated and active member of the Montpelier Rotary for 50 years by becoming a member in 1971 and served as President from 1979-1980 which included the 75th Anniversary of the Rotary Club…Jim Thompson has been a long time resident of the Village of Montpelier, Ohio and a former business owner in Montpelier… and has been an active member of his community in many ways that represent what being a Rotarian is all about by being on the Williams county Board of Mental Retardation, participating for several years with the United Way Fund Drives, building of the concession stand at our park in 1977-78, member of the Montpelier Board of Education, leadership positions at the St. John’s Lutheran Church…and was instrumental as a founding member of the first Hospice Card organization in the early 1980’s, participating in the ground work for the helicopter pad at the hospital and a role model for all, especially his family and grandchildren, …I, Mayor Steven L. Yagelski, on behalf of the Montpelier Village Council, extend gratitude to Jim Thompson for his dedication and service to the Montpelier Rotary and his community. We recognize his commitment and hearby proclaim Monday, May 2, 2022 as “Jim Thompson Day” in the Village of Montpelier.”
Thompson thanked everyone in a soft voice, as he pointed out that his wife Janice should have her name on that as well.
Their son Nathan Thompson, who is also a Montpelier Village Council member, started the sharing of stories about his dad by laying out some items his mom has saved over the years and telling everyone to be sure to come look at them after the meeting.
Nathan shared some humorous comments on pictures taken when the Helicopter Pad was first put in at the hospital.
He teased a few of the older men who were involved in that effort. He commented how his dad has always served others, stepping into the leadership of the business in 1979, that his father had started in 1937.
In 2014 Jim passed the business on to Nathan, but he is still working there to this day. Tasha, Nathan’s wife, pointed out to him the night before, that one common theme in Jim’s life is that everything he has worked with have “either grown into better things or evolved into bigger things.”
Nathan encouraged everyone to be like his dad, stating that his dad has “spent his life serving others during a time when things have grown. Without people like my dad, small communities cannot grow.”
“Without growth these small towns would dwindle away and fail. We must make sure that we all contribute to the greater good of these communities and continue to not only help them grow, but flourish.”
“Thank you, Dad, for all that you do, not only for the community but for my family. Congratulations on fifty years of ‘Service above self’. You truly are a Rotarian.”
President Lillard opened the floor for others to share their thoughts on Jim Thompson and many did so, speaking highly of him as a friend and a co-worker in the community.
Another aspect of this weekly meeting included the presence of Diana Savage, from Bryan Rotary, who will be stepping into the position of Rotary District Governor for Rotary 6600, an area from here to Cleveland with 63 clubs in it.
Announcements she shared were – June will hold the Installation weekend for Savage, at The Barn in Archbold. There will be a Rotary Social that weekend, the “Girl Named Tom” concert and Fireworks for all to enjoy. She will begin her duties on July 1.
Marie Watkins will be her Event Planner for the year and Savage hopes to show the rest of the 6600 area how this area can make a memorable year.
Savage invited everyone to plan on attending the annual District conference with the theme “Are you ready to rock?”
All were reminded of June 18th Meal and truck or $12,000 raffle. Tickets are $120 each and an additional meal ticket can be purchased for $30.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com