Gary Thompson Blacksburg, VA Gary Thompson, 80, former Abilene Christian University professor and Texas State Representative, passed April 13, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia after a brief illness. Gary graduated from high school in Tyler, TX and earned a B.A. degree from Abilene Christian University, an M.A. from the University of Arkansas, and Ph.D. from North Texas State University. He taught and coached junior high and high school in Lovington, New Mexico and Chinle, Arizona before moving to Abilene in 1967. Gary was Director of Governmental Relations for the Teacher's Retirement System of Texas during 1986-95; otherwise, he taught political science at ACU from 1967 until retirement in 2011. Elected to the Texas State Legislature in 1978, Gary represented the 79th and 62nd legislative districts until 1986. During his tenure in the legislature, he served on numerous committees, including the Sunset Advisory Committee and the House Committee on County Affairs, which he chaired. In 1958, Gary married Nancy Thomas, a fellow student at ACU. Nancy was his beloved companion throughout their 56 years of married life. Gary and Nancy were longtime members of University Church of Christ in Abilene, where he served as deacon and was active for many years in the prison outreach ministry. Gary was preceded in death by his parents Virgil and Floy Thompson and his wife Nancy Thompson. He is survived by brother James Thompson of Abilene, children Tom (Beth) of Christiansburg, VA and Jane (Chuck) Koble of Cedar Park, TX, granddaughters Amee, Sarah, Emily, Ava, and Alex, grandson Tate, and step-grandsons Beau and Austin. Visitation will be at 1:00PM to 3:00PM, Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin. Interment will follow at 4:00PM at the Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St., with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that friends contribute to Christian Homes and Family Services or the Nancy Thompson Memorial Library at Abilene Christian Schools, 2550 N. Judge Ely Blvd., Abilene, TX 79601.
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