Joe W. Thompson, 91, of Hillsboro, passed away, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, Ky.

Joe Wayne was born Dec. 21, 1928, in Ironton, the son of Joe and Edna Mae Thompson.

Joe was a 1947 graduate of Dawson-Bryant High School (Coal Grove) in Lawrence County, where he excelled in many sports. After completing his bachelor’s degree at Rio Grande College, Joe returned to his alma mater to teach history and to coach football, basketball and baseball. After earning his master’s degree at Marshall University, he continued his work in the field of public education for many years, having served as a guidance counselor for the Hillsboro City Schools and Paint Valley Schools.

During his lifetime, Joe was also very active in the church, serving at various times as the Sunday School Superintendent and Sunday School teacher. After his retirement, Joe was a volunteer for Samaritan Outreach in Hillsboro but also enjoyed his time camping with his family, fishing with friends, playing volleyball at church, woodworking in his shop and following his favorite sports teams.

As a Tech Sergeant in the Korean War, Joe served as a Combat Medic in his Infantry Division. He earned the Korea Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star and the United Nations Service Medal. Locally, Mr. Thompson recently served in a variety of leadership roles with the Highland County Veterans Commission, having attended well over 200 board meetings, mandated state conferences and special events for American Legion Post #129, where he had served as Post Commander.

He is survived by his loving wife, Faye, whom he married Sept. 12, 1953 at the Ice Creek Baptist Church in Lawrence County. He is also survived by his daughters, Becky Jo (Don) Storer of Hillsboro and Gayla Thompson of Georgetown, Ky.; and his son, Gilbert Thompson (Annette), of Juneau, Wis. In addition, he is survived by his grandchildren, Heather Jo (Nate) Steiner, Rachel (Patrick) Tarmann, Sarah Thompson, Mallory and Callie Thompson; and one great-grandson, Timothy Tarmann.

A celebration of his life will be held 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Northview Baptist Church in Hillsboro. Visitation will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the church. Burial, with military honors presented by the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard, will follow at the convenience of the family in the Hillsboro Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations can be made to either the Northview Baptist Church in Hillsboro (children/youth programs “In Memory of Joe W. Thompson”) or Thomson-Hood Veterans Center (THVC – Program Fund: library/crafts; line item “In Memory of Joe W. Thompson”) in Wilmore, Ky.

The Turner & Son Funeral Home is serving the family. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting