F.L. Thompson (known as Louie) was born October 15, 1922 in Leona, Texas to Foster Louie, Sr. and Ruby (Shepherd) Thompson. He was delivered by Dr. E.P. Powell, whose granddaughter, F.L. later married (Frances Marie Redwine).
After high school in Leona, he attended the University of Texas where in his second year, felt called to do his part in defending our country. He was also following in the footsteps of his brother, Ray, an Army Air Corps Pilot. Louie joined the Navy to take pilot training and was transferred to the Marine Corps. He became a land based Corsair pilot in the South Pacific where his claim to fame was shooting down the last Japanese Zero of WWII, saving two Navy ships in the harbor from being bombed.
In 1946, he married Frances Marie Redwine and they had a daughter, Frances, in 1947. In 1951, during the Korean Conflict, Louie was recalled to serve as a flight instructor in Olathe, Kansas and was then transferred to a radar squadron in Cherry Point, N.C. Later, they moved to Corpus Christi where he served as an instrument flight instructor. He was discharged in 1954 and retired in 1956 as Lieutenant Colonel.
After several years of ranching and farming, Louie was instrumental in the discovery of the Leona oil field. That led to him becoming a land man for many years. New land men continued to ask about leases, heirs, and locations for many years. He will be missed by all future land men. Louie was very active in his community. He and William Nash led Leona in acquiring city water. Louie served as Mayor for 42 years and in 1962, Louie and Marie welcomed a second daughter, Janel. Louie obtained state grants for a new county jail and District Courtroom built in Centerville.
Louie was a Master Mason for over 70 years, member of Centerville Masonic Lodge No. 1291 (serving during that time as District Deputy Grand Master), was a life long member of the Brazos Valley SoJourners Chapter 378, the Galveston Chapter of Scottish Rite and was appointed by the Commissioners Court in 1968 to the Brazos Valley Council of Governments (serving as the second Chairman of the Board 1975-1977). He was a member of American Legion No. 0335 and VFW No. 4692. Louie served as past Director and Board Member of the Trinity River Authority for 23 years.
He always enjoyed hunting, especially in South Texas with “all the guys.” He loved a good story, whether he heard one or told one! And for those that knew him, he had LOTS of tales to tell! He also enjoyed good times at Stanmire Lake where they had a house for many years.
Louie is pre-deceased by his wife of 60 years, Marie; sister, Joanne Dorman and brother, Ray. Survivors include daughter, Frances Thompson of Leona; daughter, Janel Richards (John) of Colorado Springs, CO; one grandson, Brad Whitworth (Veronica) of Leona; two great grandsons, Walker of Laredo and Austin of Leona; one brother, Bill (Dorothy) of Houston and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 10 A.M. at Walters Funeral Home in Centerville. A public visitation will be Friday evening, March 1st from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Leona Lord’s Pantry, P.O. Box 101, Leona, Texas 75850 or the Scholarship Fund for Brazos Valley SoJourners Chapter 378, c/o Henry Hill, P.O. Box 10356, College Station, Texas 77842.
Arrangements are under the direction of Walters Funeral Home in Centerville, Texas. www.waltersfuneralhome.com