Obituary of John Thompson
John Henry Thompson, 90, died on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 after a long illness. He was born November 2, 1927, the first of five children, in Brooklyn to John Stanley Thompson and Margaret Egbert Thompson. His parents moved to Hudson and then to Claverack, one of the oldest villages in the Hudson Valley. John went to Claverack Grade School and later to Hudson High School. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering in 1949. While at RPI, he was a member of the PSI Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, where he served as treasurer.
From 1949-1950 he was an engineer with Shepherd Wilson & Kruge, a large New York City general contractor, where he worked on the 59th Street power house for the IRT Division of the subway. In 1950 he was inducted in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War, achieving the rank of sergeant, at Fort Belvoir, VA.
In 1952, John worked as an engineer with The Thompson Construction Corp which was founded by his father in 1929. During WWII the firm was continually employed in military and defense work. John first worked approximately ten years in the Camden, NJ area from which considerable work was done in the Philadelphia area. The corporation performed work in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts upon schools, hospitals, water and sewage plants, bridges and industrial construction. When the branch office closed John returned to Albany where he became president of the firm in 1967. Local work has included the United States Army Arsenal at Watervliet and a joint venture to construct the current New York State Museum.
John held a New Jersey Professional Engineer license. He was President of New York State Building Chapter of AGC in 1974, President of Eastern Contractors Association 1976-1977, and President of General Contractors of Eastern New York 1987-1988.
John served on the Board of Directors of Albany YMCA for nine years and on the Board of Historic Albany Association for 10 years. He was an officer of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Steamship Society of America and an active member of the Civil War Round Table. He served on the architectal committee of the Episcopal Diocese. He was a member of the English Speaking Union, Normanside Country Club and the Fort Orange Club. He was also a past long time member of Rotary and the Scandinavian Forum. He completed a four year program in theological education, called EFM, administered by The University of the South School of Theology.
John was extremely proud of his Scottish heritage. He served as President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Schenectady and was a member of St. Andrew’s Society of Albany. He became president of the American Branch of Clan Hay Society Scotland. John and his wife, Valerie, spent many enjoyable hours as members of the Boston Branch of the Royal Scottish Dancing Society – the country dancing of Scotland. A local branch was very active in the area.
In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by his brother, Gustave Whyte (Hildegard) Thompson and sisters, Margaret (John) Meyer and Frances (Alfred) Wedd. He is survived by his wife of 29 years Valerie (Swirzcki) Thompson; his brother Frederick (Roberta) Thompson of Great Barrington, RI; and children, John Gordon (Kelly) Thompson of Oregon and Winifred (Stanley) Kmiecik of Texas. Also surviving are stepchildren, Mark (Sherill) Restifo of Ghent, Stephen (Edna) Van-Dyke Restifo of Voorheesville, Bernard (Michelle) Restifo of North Carolina, David (Nancy) Restifo of North Carolina, Therese (Walter) Hendricks of Hopewell Junction, Christopher (Terri) Restifo of Voorheesville and Karen (Thomas) Coleman of Walden and many grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Friday, June 15th from 4 to 7 pm at Applebee Funeral Home, 403 Kenwood Ave., Delmar. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 16th at 10 am at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 21 Hackett Blvd., Albany, NY 12208. Burial will follow in Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the American Cancer Society.