On December 13, 2016, Johnny Valyer Thompson, 84, of Coal City entered into eternal life. Johnny was of the Primitive Baptist faith and died at home as he wished, surrounded by his family. Johnny had battled a very aggressive cancer in the last year of his life.
Johnny was born in Coal City on July 14, 1932 to the late Alley Brown and Ella Mae Turner Thompson. He was also preceded in death by his father and mother -in-law, Prince O. And Lemma M. Lilly; sisters-in law Zettie Jones, Rita Booth and Linda Lilly; brothers-in-law George T. Jones, Fred C. Booth and Paul F. Cole.
Those survivors left to cherish his memory include his wife of 62 years, Mary Lilly Thompson; daughters Diana D. Thompson of Coal City, WV and Rene' Thompson Shiflett of Beckley, WV; grandchildren Samantha Shiflett (Brandon) of Beckley, WV, Kristen Mills (David) of Knoxville, TN, Rylee Shiflett (Jake) of Lewisburg, WV and Kameron Mills of Coal City, WV; brother Charles 'Lane' Thompson (Doris) of Coal City, WV and sister Leoda Ann Cole of Swannanoa, NC; brothers-in-law Darrell Lilly (Melissa) of Anchorage, AK, Eldridge Lilly (Sandra) of Virginia and Florida; and sister-in-law Wanda Lilly of Yorktown VA. Johnny's family also includes his step-granddaughter Heather Walker (Bobby) of Beckley, WV and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Also surviving are the fathers of his grandchildren, David Mills and Sam Shiflett, and his childhood friend Dan Gunnoe.
Johnny graduated from Stoco High School in 1950, served in the US Air Force during the Korean Conflict and graduated from Beckley College in 1958. As a USAF veteran in 1956, he came home to work with his father and later his brother, Lane, as part of the family business, Thompson Transfer. Johnny and Lane later partnered with Clyde and Danny Bell to form Coal City Construction and owned/operated the Coal City Mobile Home Park for many years. Johnny was very involved in several civic organizations, including the Coal City Lion's Club, Coal City Volunteer Fire Department, Stoco Communities Reunion and Raleigh County Veterans Memorial. He was also a board member of the Gulf Area Health Association and Crab Orchard/MacArthur PSD.
Funeral services will be conducted in the Calfee Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, December 16, 2016 at 12pm with Elder Tom Pack officiating. Burial will follow in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Friday from 6pm to 8pm at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Friends and family will serve as pallbearers.
The family suggests memorial contributions to be made to Hospice of Southern WV, PO Box 1472, Beckley, WV 25802.
Arrangements by Calfee Funeral Home, Beckley.