Dateline: March 24, 2005
Donley County Sheriff Jimmy Thompson died Monday, March 21, in Amarillo.
He was 70 years old.
were held here Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Church of Christ with Rev. Bryan
Knowles, pastor of Community Fellowship Church, and Eddie Stegall,
minister, officiating. Burial with military honors was conducted in Dozier
Cemetery with arrangements by Robertson Funeral Directors, Inc.
James “Jimmy” Thompson was born October 15, 1934, in Clarendon, where
he lived most of his life. He attended Clarendon Schools and married Aleta
Ellen Coleman on December 21, 1959, at Dozier. He was the former owner of
the Dozier Country Store and had worked for various ranches in Donley and
Hutchinson counties and in Clayton, New Mexico. He served in the US Marine
Corps for four years during the Korean Conflict in the 3rd Marine Division
Medical Company Support Division. He was a member of the Clarendon Church
served as a Donley County Deputy for four years under Sheriff Truett
Berhens and was elected sheriff in 1980. He held that position for 20
his retirement in 2001, Thompson talked openly with the Enterprise about
his accomplishments in office.
I took office, we had only one deputy, no 24-hour services, no 24-hour
dispatch.” Thompson said.
late sheriff also listed Donley County’s modern jail as one of his
jail is one of the most easily operated jails in the state. It can be run
by just one person under normal circumstances.”
was also proud of holding the line on expenses, catching a lot of
“dopers” and a lot of burglars, and overseeing approximately 7,500
arrests over 20 years.
time in office drew him both praise and criticism, and one disgruntled
resident even plotted to have him assassinated. He later said he never got
too “stirred up about it” and considered it “just part of the
can’t suit everybody,” Thompson said, “but I got elected five
was preceded in death by his parents, Palmer Otto Thompson and Cordia May
Sowell Thompson, and by two sisters, Anna Lee Thompson and Nanna Ree
is survived by his wife, Aleta Thompson of Clarendon; two sons, William
Thompson and wife Lynn of Clarendon and Walt Thompson of Borger; a
brother, George Thompson of Hamilton; a sister, Katherine Lane of Carson
City, Nev.; two grandchildren, Todd and Emilie Thompson; and many nieces,
nephews, and cousins.
The family requests that memorials be to the Hollis Boys Town or the Lubbock Children’s Home.
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