Billy Sparks Thompson, age 89, of Springfield, passed away at 8:30 p.m., Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Spring View Hospital in Lebanon.
A native of Washington County, he was born in Mackville on May 6, 1932 to the late Dudley James and Lorna Lee Sparks Thompson.
He was a member of the Springfield Presbyterian Church where he served as a deacon for eight years.
Preceding him in death were two brothers, James D. Thompson on May 29, 2018 and Chester L. Thompson on February 9, 2019.
Bill lived in Mackville attending Mackville Grade School and graduating from Mackville High School in 1950.
After graduating from high school Bill attended Cumberland College graduating with a two year degree. In 1954 Bill entered the United States Army and served at the Royal Japanese Naval Academy in Eta Jima Japan until 1956. Bill’s military career in Japan was a transportation section chief. After serving in the U.S. Army, Bill served one year in the active reserves as a staff sergeant with the Harrodsburg Army Reserve. After his army career Bill attended Eastern Kentucky University, earning a bachelor’s degree in commerce.
Bill lived and worked in Louisville, KY most of his adult life. Early in his career he was involved in the food service industry. Bill served as the executive vice president of the Restaurant Association and was editor of the Kentucky Restaurant Food Industry magazine. During his career in the food industry Bill developed and organized the “Taste of Louisville” which has been a great success in securing funds used for Louisville charity organizations.
Bill is credited with starting 18 of the first food service industry schools across Kentucky. On the college level he developed the Hotel and Restaurant management program at Jefferson Community College and served as the first program instructor.
After several years in the food industry Bill went to work with the Kentucky State Park System Department as executive assistant to the Commissioner of Kentucky State Parks. While with the park system Bill developed the first sales and marketing program.
After leaving the Kentucky State Park System Bill served as executive vice president of the Kentucky Lumber and Building Association. During that time he served as editor of a nationwide newsletter for the lumber industry. While working for the Lumber and Building Association he served as president of the Southern Lumber Executive Board.
Bill has worked as a lobbyist for four state wide associations; the Kentucky Restaurant Association, the Kentucky Lumber and Building Association, the Kentucky Meat Packers Association and the Kentucky Laundry Association.
Serving on numerous civic boards, Bill also served as a national secretary for the Lincoln Heritage Trail Commission. While living in Louisville, Bill volunteered countless hours with the Fern Creek Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, serving on both boards. Bill is credited with working with the University of Kentucky to establish the first Kentucky State Fair ham breakfast. Bill traveled to Canada and England representing Kentucky helping to secure the first three day horse event in the United States.
After retiring Bill has enjoyed spending time with his family.
Survivors include, Thelma Thompson; two daughters, Jeannie Hatchett (Marty) of Mackville and Jackie Maupin (Joey) of Springfield; two sons, Billy Thompson (Jean) of Willisburg and Doug Thompson (DeRhonda) of Springfield; eleven grandchildren; eight great grandchildren and one brother, Dudley Reid Thompson (Jeannette) of Louisville.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 12 at the Springfield Presbyterian Church with Rev. Clay Stevens, the church pastor officiating.
Burial will be in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery where military rites will be conducted by the Marion County Veterans Honor Guard.
Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Jessica Bodenhamer, Natalie Maupin and Kailey Thompson.
Serving as casket bearers will be Justin Hatchett, Spencer Maupin, Josh Thompson, Seth Thompson, Eain Thompson and Paul Bodenhamer.
Visitation will be from 5 until 8, Tuesday at the Springfield Presbyterian Church.
Carey & Son Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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