Grace A. Thompson, 92, of Raleigh passed away on Palm Sunday surrounded by her loving family. Grace was born and raised on a small farm in Cumberland County, the third of seven children born to William Alfred and Beulah Tart Altman. Her Christian rearing was a formative influence on her life. She had many fond memories of growing up in a simpler time before electricity or indoor plumbing. She greatly loved her parents, five brothers, sister, and extended family in the farming community near Dunn. Grace was blessed with an amazing memory and could recall from early childhood her grandmother telling of Sherman's troops on the way to Bentonville raiding their farm and taking the livestock.
Grace attended school in Cumberland County and entered the Rex Hospital School of Nursing in Raleigh. As a practicing RN at Rex, she met her future husband, Hal A. Thompson, who was visiting his mother, a patient there. Their courtship was interrupted when Hal joined the Army Air Corps in the Second World War. During the polio epidemic Grace volunteered to work at hospitals in Hickory and Charlotte. Hal proposed via long-distance call, and Grace traveled five days by rail to Phoenix for their wedding. After the war they returned from Arizona to Raleigh, where Hal entered the family construction business, J. M. Thompson Co. In her second career as a homemaker Grace raised three sons and a daughter at her home on Chester Road and later on Rembert Drive. She was an active member and Sunday School teacher at Trinity United Methodist Church, a den mother to Cub Scout Troop 315, member of the Raleigh Christian Women's Club, Bible Study Fellowship, American Legion Women's Auxiliary, and Rex Nursing School Alumnae.
Grace was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-three years and their granddaughter Lauren Ashley Thompson. She is survived by children Suzanne Carmel Southard (Art) Southard of Bahama, John Thompson (Vicki) of Raleigh, Dickie Thompson (Angie) of Raleigh, and Marty Thompson (Cindy) of Cary; grandchildren Anna Rachael Carmel of Portland OR, Caroline Grace Thompson of Raleigh, Travis Alexander Thompson of Reston VA, Mark Cameron Thompson of Raleigh, Paul Michael Thompson of Raleigh, Madeline Page Thompson of Cary, Hal Martin Thompson II of Cary; great-grandchild Sydney Grace Thompson of Cary; brother and sister-in-law Bill and Doris Wall of Raleigh; sisters-in-law Kathleen Bogus of Myrtle Beach SC, Doris Altman of Fayetteville, Ruth Altman of Spivey's Corner; brother-in-law Glen Fincannon of Leland; and special niece Sylvia Young of Cary. The family would like to thank her caregivers and the staff of Woodland Terrace for their loving care.
A service in celebration of Grace's life will be held at 2:00 Wednesday, April 1, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 824 North Bloodworth Street, Raleigh. Burial will follow at Brier Creek Memorial Gardens, 7600 ACC Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27617. The family will receive friends 6:00 - 8:00 Tuesday evening at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, 831 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh. In lieu of flowers memorial offerings may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church.