Industry loses one of their own

By rwagner20

American Retirement Systems


John A. Thompson, 91, of Rhode Island, died Monday, February 10, 2014 at RI Hospital. He was the husband of Suzanne Ziegelmayer Thompson.

Mr. Thompson was born in Elmwood, Illinois, the fourth son of George S. Thompson and Bertha Luella (Graham) Thompson. He grew up on his father’s farm with his three brothers Paul D., Sidney F. and Gordon E. Thompson. John attended Lehigh District #27 elementary school, a one-room school house that his father helped establish. Later, he attended Elmwood Community High School and then University of Illinois at Urbana.

John married Jean Buckner in 1945. He served in WWII as a forward observer for the field artillery under General Patton. When he returned home they started a family and had four children, John Jr. (Drew), Annice, Lisa and Mary. After the war he attended Harvard Business School under the GI bill.

The family lived in Warwick. In 1965 John embarked on his career as a financial planner, something he continued with great success until he passed away. He won many Top Salesman awards over the years.

John was a true gentleman and had a great appreciation for our business of helping others. He wrote more business at the age of 91 than most producers half his age. John was constantly prospecting and talking to people in his community.

He had no computer, no printer, no cell phone, and a very strong work ethic. It was not uncommon to run 5-10 quotes a week for John. He would kindly ask that they be printed and mailed to him at his address. Once he received them he would sit face-to-face with the prospect, explain the value of their decision and write the business.

John considered our profession to be a profession of honor, integrity and trust. It was about helping people, not making commissions. He felt that if he did the right thing by the client, success for him would follow, and it did.

For John, our business was a way of life. God bless you, John.