Joseph Franklin (Chick) Thompson

March 29, 2017

Joseph Franklin (Chick) Thompson

Joseph F. Thompson, 85, passed away at his home March 29, 2017 from natural causes. He was born May 3, 1931 in Lynchburg, Virginia to Helen Layne Thompson and C. Sydnor Thompson. He was preceded in death by his brother, C. Sydnor Thompson Jr. of Charlotte, NC, sister Barbara Thompson Inge of Richmond, VA and half-brother, Phillip Grose of Columbia, SC.

Joe graduated from E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg in 1948 and went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Arts from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV in 1952. While at Shepherd, he served as President of the Junior Class, President of the Student Council and was chosen as a member of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. In 1952 he married Barbara Hughes of Charles Town, WV.

He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed at Washington National Airport in Washington DC where he worked in Special Services as an artist and writer and was named Airmen of The Year in 1955. After serving in the Air Force, Joe attended the Philadelphia College of Art where he continued his education in Fine Arts.

In 1958 Joe moved to Charlotte where he began his long career in the Advertising business first working as Creative Group Supervisor at Cargil, Wilson and Acree Advertising and then forming his own ad agency, Thompson, Torchia & Dymond Advertising, in 1976. In 1984, Joe bought out his two partners to form The Thompson Agency where he served as President and CEO until his retirement in 2010. During his career, Joe served as President of the Charlotte Society of Communicating Arts and Chairman of the Carolinas Council of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Joe was well known for his wry wit and unique sense of humor. Always the movie buff, he possessed an amazing knowledge for movie trivia. He was an avid reader and tennis player and a long-time member of Old Providence Racquet Club where he made many life-long friends. A member of Myers Park United Methodist Church for over 60 years, he taught the Ownbey adult Sunday School class and was a Stephen Minister. After his retirement, Joe remained active in the arts as an accomplished painter, photographer, writer and book designer. He has taught Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Charlotte, Queens University and most recently Art History at Belmont Abbey College.

Joe is survived by his daughter Elizabeth Layne Thompson Garner of Charlotte; son Stuart Landrum Thompson and wife Diane of Charlotte, NC; granddaughters Elizabeth (Ellie) Layne Garner of Greenville, NC, and Catherine Cooper (CeCe) Garner of Boone, NC.

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held Saturday April 1, 2017 at 11:00 AM in the sanctuary at Myers Park United Methodist Church with the Reverend Dr. James C. Howell and the Reverend Sydnor Thompson Jr. officiating. The family will receive friends in Jubilee Hall following the service.

Memorials may be sent to Myers Park United Methodist Church, 1501 Queens Rd, Charlotte, NC.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at


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