Obituary of Robert Thompson, Sr.
Obituary of Robert L. Thompson Sr., Ed.D.
Robert Luther Thompson Sr., 88, formerly of Plainsboro NJ and most recently a resident at Stonebridge of Montgomery, Skillman NJ passed peacefully in his home on Friday, November 27, 2015.
Born July 16, 1927 in Delaware, Ohio Robert grew up in Middletown OH. He was predeceased by his parents Victor and Winifred Thompson. Upon graduating from high school in 1945 he began his service in the military by enlisting in the Navy as a corpsman from 1945-1947; in 1949 he enlisted back in the Navy as an aviation cadet. But due to lack of acuity in depth perception this prevented his from fulfilling his ambition to become a fighter pilot. So instead he studied air and sea navigation at a private school founded by Capt. P.V.H. Weems. Robert's most exciting project was computing data for Capt. Charles Blair, which was essential for the first flight over the North Pole. In 1951 he joined the Marine Corps as a student and instructor in the aerial navigational school.
Robert received a bachelor of arts degree in 1954 from Florence State Teachers College in Alabama. In 1958 he earned his masters in European history from Duke University and later received his doctorate in education from Duke in 1968. He did his research and study for his doctorate in the application of the computer in the field of education, with the emphasis on computerized record keeping systems of students in medical colleges.
In 1957 Robert began serving Duke's staff first as an assistant director and later as director of financial aid. He transferred to Duke's medical Center in 1966 as executive secretary of the Committee of Admissions, which was followed by his position as director of the Office of Analytical Studies. In in 1972 Robert left Duke and took on the directorship of the Division of Academic Information at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, DC.
In 1977 Robert was persuaded to join the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine. He said "I couldn't pass up the opportunity to teach." Robert became the first dean of Student Services, serving in that capacity from the school's founding in 1977 until 1991. In addition, Robert served as adjunct associate professor of Osteopathic Sciences teaching a required course in the History of Medicine. His dedication to the students at the School of Osteopathic Medicine won him their admiration and respect. The alumni from the classes of 1981 – 1991 honored Dr. Thompson with the creation of an endowed scholarship at the medical school in his name. This was a first in the school's history created by alumni to honor a faculty member.
Robert is survived by his wonderful wife of 64 years, Betty S. Thompson, their five children, Robert Thompson Jr. and his wife Mary Beth, Sandra Pollock, Susan Kurtain and her husband Bill, Steven Thompson, Laurie Randow, adopted daughter Kathy Cook and her husband Tom, and his sister Ellen Sheehan of Greensburg,PA.
He is also survived by 16 loving grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Robert was a remarkable man. He mentored and influenced many students during his career. His love for teaching was always evident in the lessons he taught. Robert was a renaissance man with an instilled love of music which he received from his mother a concert pianist and music teacher. Most importantly Robert was a loving dedicated husband and father. His love was always unconditional and supportive. His cheerful smile and kindness will be missed by all.
A memorial service will be held in his memory on December 19, 2015 at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
Nassau Presbyterian Church
61 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests donations to be made to the endowed scholarship fund in his name which reflects his dedication to his students and education.
Dr. Robert L. Thompson Endowed Scholarship Fund at Rowan University of Osteopathic Medicine
Donations can be made payable to and mailed to:
Rowan University Foundation
201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.
Star of David Memorial Chapel of South Brunswick
616 Ridge Rd | Monmouth Junction | South Brunswick Township NJ, 08852
John A. Oliveti - Manager, N.J. License # 4012
Star of David Memorial Chapel of Princeton
40 Vandeventer Ave. | Princeton, NJ 08542
Albert Correnti Jr. - Manager, N.J. License # 3538