Bobby Camp Thompson was born on September 23, 1931, with Dr. Eustace Sloop in attendance in the family home, which was located in the Gardens of the Blue Ridge Nursery, Pineola, North Carolina. Bobby Camp was the fourth child of Donald Mead and Nellie Phillips Thompson. He had three brothers and two sisters: Donald Maynard Thompson of Norfolk, VA, deceased; Everett Dale Thompson of Pineola, NC, deceased; Phillip D. Thompson of Kernersville, NC; Beatrice Nell Thompson Booth of Fruitland, NC, deceased; and Barbara Joann Thompson Lyons of Boone, NC. Bobby Camp was named for the family's minister and close family friend, The Reverend E. Frank Camp, minister of the Pineola Presbyterian Church. Bobby Camp attended Crossnore School and graduated from Crossnore High School in June 1950. During the summer months of his college years, he worked in The Gardens of the Blue Ridge Nursery, Carey Loven Sawmill, construction work, and in automotive work in General Motors in Detroit, Michigan. In the fall of 1950, he enrolled in Lincoln Memorial University, located at Harrogate, TN, was Business Manager of the university newspaper, served as Vice President of his class, and graduated with a B.A. degree in May 1954. On January 31, 1955, he entered the Navy Flight Training Program in Pensacola, Florida. After eighteen months of training, which included qualifying with landings and flights on the Aircraft Carrier Saipan at sea, he received his Navy Wings of Gold. After several months of advanced training in Pensacola, Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas, he was transferred to a new Fleet Squadron forming in Key West, Florida, Helicopter Squadron Five (HS-5), which was based on the Seaplane Base in Key West, Florida. While in HS-5, he served aboard seven different Aircraft Carriers operating in the Atlantic, North Atlantic above the Artic Circle, and in the South Atlantic below the Antarctic Circle.
In May of 1957, Bob's Squadron had a Dress Whites Inspection around 11:00 a.m. on a Friday. After the Inspection, around 12:30 noon, all personnel were on Liberty for the weekend. Bob and his two best friends Ken and William went downtown Key West for lunch. They were still in their Dress White Uniform and looking their best. Bob needed some stationary to write his friends in North Carolina, so after lunch they walked up Fleming Street one block to a Stationary-Greeting Card-Gift Shop called Betty Ann Stationers on the corner of Fleming and Simonton Streets. Bob asked the young woman at the counter for a specific brand and design stationary. The young lady at the counter informed Bob that she was out of that specific stationary but could order it and have it for him in one week, so Bob placed the order. Bob told his two friends Ken and William that he was going to ask the young lady if she would like to go out to dinner or to a movie. So, Bob introduced himself and met Betty Roberts, the owner and store operator. They had a nice meal at Sebastians and began a beautiful relationship.
After his service in the Navy, Bob entered graduate school and earned his master’s degree from Appalachian State University and his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He took additional graduate work at the University of Georgia, North Carolina State University, and Cal State in Los Angeles. On December 20, 1959, Bob and Betty Louise Roberts of Key West, Florida, were married in the Key West Presbyterian Church on White Street by the Pastor, the Reverend Russel D. Toms. Bob and Betty have two daughters, Phyllis Ann Thompson and Barbara Charlene Thompson England, and two grandsons, Robert Zebulon Wright of Asheville, NC, and Aaron Cole Wright of Wilkesboro, NC. Phyllis is married to David Wood from Baton Rouge, LA. David is a Professional Photographer, and Phyllis is Associate Professor and Director of Women's Studies and currently serving as Interim Chair of Counseling and Human Services at East Tennessee State University. They live in Johnson City. Barbara is married to Robin Anthony England of Charlotte, NC. Robin is an Undertaker and works for Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home. Barbara is a retired schoolteacher with the Wilkes County Schools. Barbara and Robin live in North Wilkesboro.
Bob was a member of the North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church and served as a Ruling Elder, Receiving Treasurer, and a member of the Chancel Choir. He was a teacher and Guidance Counselor at Kernersville High School, Guidance Director at East Forsyth High School, Dean of Student Services at Forsyth Technical Community College, and Counselor and Dean of Students at Wilkes Community College. He retired from the Naval Reserve at the rank Captain in 1982 and from Wilkes Community College as Vice President for Student Development in 1997. He was Past President of the North Wilkesboro Lions Club and Past President of the Wilkes Chapter of the North Carolina Symphony.
His hobbies were trout fishing, tent camping, hiking, water skiing, snow skiing, ice and roller skating, boating, and teaching his family to learn these skills and enjoy these activities.
Graveside services will be held 2:00 PM Friday, November 12, 2021 at Pineola Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Pineola.
Memorial services will be held 2:00 PM Saturday, November 13, 2021 at North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church with Rev. R.C. Griffin and Rev. Steve Snipes officiating. The family will receive friends from 12:00 until 1:30 PM prior to the service in the Fellowship Hall.
Memorials may be made to the North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church (804 E. Street, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659), the Wilkesboro Presbyterian Chapel (205 E. Main Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697), and the North Wilkesboro Lions Club Leader Dogs for the Blind (in care of Lion Antha Reid, 701 Link Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697).
Online condolences may be made at www.reinssturdivant.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Bob C. Thompson, please visit our floral store.