Christopher Arthur Thompson, age 56, late of Three Oaks, Michigan, and formerly of Joliet, Illinois passed away suddenly, Friday, June 3, 2016 from natural causes.
Born January 27, 1960 in Joliet, he was the son of Arthur and Marilyn (Smith) Thompson. He married his beloved wife, Jennifer Sara Thompson, in 2015.
She survives along with two daughters, Alexandra and Margaret; his mother, Marilyn Thompson of Joliet; two brothers, Jeff (Nancy) Thompson of Joliet, and David (Carla) Thompson of Coal City; one sister, Marianne (Joe) Haake of Joliet; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded by his father, Arthur Thompson, in 1996.
Chris was employed as the Executive Director of the Chikaming Open Lands Conservancy in Sawyer, Michigan for the last five years.
For 18 years while living in the Chicago area, Chris owned Event Management. He offered many jobs to local youth who helped him with the Food and Beverage at the Taste of Chicago. Those were challenging, but very fun times.
He was a graduate of St. Paul the Apostle Grade School and was the center for the Green Giants. He attended Joliet Catholic High School where he was the starting tight end for the 1977 and 1978 state champion football teams. He later received his undergraduate degree in Art and Anthropology, and Masters of Fine Arts degree from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern as a freshman Chris played football. He met Bill Draznik from Joliet on the football field freshman year and Bill introduced him to the ATO fraternity. Chris eventually became President of ATO and developed many lifelong friends through the fraternity.
Chris was an accomplished artist and to this day has many paintings hung from Chicago to the east coast. He was the recipient of the Scholastic Gold Key Award, a Scholastic National Gold Medal for painting, the Rotary International Scholarship for Art, the Ford Foundation Arts Fellowship, the Quita Brodhead Memorial Award from the Wayne Art Center, and the Squirrel Gallery Award of Excellence.
Chris will be remembered for his dedication to preserving the natural beauty of Southwest Michigan and his appreciation for the arts. He was a wonderful husband, father, son, brother, athlete and most of all friend. His zest for life was unequalled. To him, a great restaurant, brew pub or backyard barbeque with friends was all he wanted. He loved to travel and he and his wife just recently returned from enjoying a safari honeymoon in Africa. He was in many ways a Renaissance Man. A brilliant thinker, he had a great head for business, and was a gifted artist. He was a loving and caring person who lit up every room he entered. His passion and enthusiasm for life and his chosen profession knew no bounds. He will long be remembered and sadly missed.
Visitation for Christopher Thompson was held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 4- 8 p.m. at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black at Essington Rds., Joliet. A private memorial service for family will follow. Cremation rites will be accorded following services. Memorials in his name may be directed to the Chikaming Open Lands Conservancy. For information please call (815) 741-5500 or visit his Book of Memories at www.fredcdames.com.