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William E. Thompson

Apr 17, 2017

William E. (Will) Thompson, 96, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, left this life on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at Asbury Methodist Village.

Born in 1920 in Thomas, Will was the son of the late William W. and Patricia Thompson.

A member of the Martinsburg High School Class of 1938, Will completed two years at Shepherd College before Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. Volunteering for the Army Air Corps, he attended flight training in Montgomery, Alabama. After earning his commission and pilot’s wings, he was deployed to the South West Pacific Theater, where he flew C-47 transport aircraft out of Townsville, Australia and New Guinea. Following the end of the war, Will continued to serve in the newly-created United States Air Force, and was posted to numerous duty stations from Alaska to Europe. After logging thousands of flight hours as a command pilot. He retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1963, and returned to Martinsburg. Will then began his second career as a computer operator for the Internal Revenue Service National Computer Center, retiring in 1996.

An avid traveler, Will continued exploring the world after his adventures in the Air Force, visiting over a dozen destinations in Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia. He supported Habitat for Humanity, working on building projects in Martinsburg, Georgia, and even Siberian, Russia. Will also volunteered regularly with Meals on Wheels. Staying fit even in his later years, he was a fixture at the Wellness Center at Berkeley Medical Center.

Will was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Alice Rebecca (Becky) Thompson; his parents; his brother, Robert Thompson; sisters, Ruth Lee Bauserman and Virginia Cushwa; and niece, Mary Pat Steptoe.

He leaves behind three children, William Thompson, of North Potomac, Maryland, Deborah Thompson, of Bluemont, Virginia, and Andrew Thompson, of Fredericksburg, Virginia; three grandchildren, Rebecca McKenna, William Thompson, and Jonathan Thompson; two great-grandchildren, Charlotte and Claire McKenna; and his nieces and nephews, Sally Reid, John Cushwa, David Cushwa, Fred Bauserman, and Robert Bauserman.

The family would like to thank the staff of Kindley Assisted Living Center for all their care and support.

A memorial service and interment will be held in Martinsburg at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the National World War II Museum (www.nationalww2museum.org); Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Panhandle (www.habitatep.org); or Meals on Wheels of Berkeley County (www.berkeleycountymealsonwheels.com.)