JAMES EDWARD THOMPSON

Died: Sat., May 18, 2019


Visitation

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Sat., May 25, 2019
Location: Puritan Missionary Baptist Church


Celebration of Life

12:00 PM Sat., May 25, 2019
Location: Puritan Missionary Baptist Church


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James Edward “Eddie” Thompson was born on February 4, 1955 in Joliet, IL. Born to the late LaSalle Sr. and Williease Bowen Thompson. He was the fifth of eight children.

 

The family moved to Indianapolis, IN in 1958 where Eddie attended North Central High School. A popular and involved student, one of his many accomplishments was helping to found the school’s Black Student Union.

 

After attending North Central, Eddie joined the U.S. Air Force in 1973 and was honorably discharged in 1976. While in the Air Force, he worked at shipping and crating for the Transportation Squadron. Surprisingly, he also took up horseback riding while serving in the military. Upon his return home, he worked for his father and uncle O.C. Thompson for the business they owned, Unit Step Co. Always a dapper, well-dressed man, he was instrumental in styling some of Indianapolis’ finest gentlemen while working at Harry Levinson and Bachrach.

 

Indianapolis’ car industry was forever changed when Eddie stepped onto the lot to sell his first car! He was commonly known around the city as the ultimate car salesman and the closer of all closers. If you had money to spend and found Eddie on the car lot, you were likely going to drive off in a new car. He started his career in the mid-1980s and handed out car keys until his passing. A sought after salesman in the Midwest, he worked for almost every car lot in Indianapolis. He got his start at the black-owned Kennedy Chrysler and worked at Paul Harvey Ford, Dan Young Chevrolet and Jerry Alderman Ford among others. He was employed at Tom Wood Toyota since 2016 until his passing.

 

Many of Eddie’s customers were repeat customers and not only because of his smile, but he had the characteristics of highly successful salespeople: assertiveness, empathy, problem solving and optimism. His go to line, “Coffee is for closers” was instilled into every car salesman he mentored, including his younger brother Timmy. While he loved to teach, you had to be a quick learner or you would miss the lesson. Eddie was passionate about his salesmanship and knew there was no one better; and he made it known, especially to Timmy. He blazed a trail training and teaching his technique that will continue to live on for many years to come. One piece of car buying advice he would want everyone to know, is to never buy a car without looking at the Carfax report!

 

Eddie gave his life to Christ at Community Baptist Church. As the son of a Deacon, he was actively involved at church along with his siblings. He was a member of the young adult choir. His good looks, style and demeanor is the reason his mother often volunteered him to model for church fashion shows for several years. He even became popular on the Indianapolis modeling circuit and he has his mother to thank for that because he would do anything to please her.

 

Eddie adored, admired and loved his parents and they adored, admired and loved him back just as fiercely. Even though he wasn’t the baby of the family, his mother always kept him close to her, physically, mentally and especially emotionally. Eddie would often cook and serve his mother breakfast as if she were in a restaurant and she enjoyed being served. While he was his mother’s cook, he was his father’s Joliet chauffer taking him back to his hometown too many times to count. Eddie’s father always said he was “Sharper than a hounds tooth” when he dressed up. Eddie loved to style his father on Sunday’s for church and any occasion that called for him to be impeccably styled. Thanks to Eddie, he was always the best dressed man in the room. Eddie’s father was his first salesman teacher and taught him to be the best. He loved his parents with all of his heart.

 

Eddie was a great son, brother, uncle, nephew and cousin to his family. He was the Yin to his brother Orland’s Yang. So close and identical in looks, they were rarely called Eddie or Orland by family, it was always Eddie Orland, as if they each had one name. It was a fondness Eddie shared with each of his siblings. His brother Robert Louis loved joking and laughing with him whenever they were together. Barbara and Beverly were his other Mother’s. Very Williease-like in their ways, he loved their attention and affection, and they happily provided it for him. LaSalle Jr. was his rock and his go to brother. Eddie would often reach out to him for big brother advice and LaSalle Jr. would always advise him with truth and honesty. Even though Timmy was the baby brother he often encouraged Eddie, letting him know that things would always turn out OK. Tammi and Lori, the babies of the family, were always Eddie’s cheerleaders, rooting for him on every single step of his journey. Eddie was the brother/uncle who loved to have a good time and could relate to anyone regardless of age. His love for his siblings will always be in their hearts.

 

Eddie was known to almost everyone in Indianapolis and many considered him family, especially Derrick Johnson. Friends for over 30 years, Derrick and Eddie were as close as brothers. It was a rare occasion if you saw one without the        other. They were compatible in every way and could finish each other’s sentences. They would often be seen together with members of The Cartel, a sacred social club that got together often to have a good time. They enjoyed going to local clubs together including Faces and Cosmo’s. They also attended jazz concerts, swimming parties, card parties and cook outs. The Cartel were a group of friends who always got along and wanted to simply enjoy life together.

 

Eddie was the father to three children, Ronnita, Ahmad and Ericka (Chris). He had nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Eddie, always the salesman, taught Ronnita to never take no for an answer. Her best friend, Ronnita loved watching him love on her children and grandchildren. If she called Eddie and couldn’t find him, she knew to call her grandmother, who always told her which car lot he could be found on. Ahmad, didn’t fall too far from the tree. Eddie’s twin in looks and salesmanship, Ahmad can also sale anything to anyone. Oh how LaSalle Sr. would be proud! Although Ahmad lived far away in California, he never felt far away. Eddie often told him he was lucky to live in a state that never saw snow. They often spoke on the phone and never ended a call without saying “I love you.” Ericka will cherish fond memories and the moments they spent together. She knew he was proud of her and often heard from others of how he bragged on her accomplishments. He will be missed immensely by his children, especially his hugs and kisses.

 

Eddie departed this life on Saturday, May 18, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents, LaSalle Sr. and Wiliease Bowen Thompson. He leaves to cherish his memory his siblings, Robert Frazier, Sr., Barbara King, LaSalle Thompson Jr. (Traci), Beverly Thompson, Orland Thompson, Minister Timothy Thompson (Lucretia), Tammi Thompson, Lori Kincy (Derik), Marolyn Holmes. Also, two Aunts Bobbie Nell Easley (Joliet, IL) and Walter Rean Mitchell (Blytheville, AK) and a host of cousins, nephews, nieces and other relatives, loved ones and many friends.

 

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Condolence Booklet

Steve and Ina Campbell
   Posted Wed May 22, 2019
Mr. Thompson was such a wonderful, kind and funny man. We met through Toyota when buying a car and became friends after that. He touched our lives in a very special way. Please accept our heartfelt condolences, words cannot begin to express the sadness you are feeling right now, but we are praying for you to get through this. God bless you and may the soul of your Mr. Thompson rest in the everlasting peace of Christ Almighty. May God comfort the family during this dark time.

The Campbell's

Jill Moorer
   Posted Wed May 22, 2019
Beverly and family; we are sorry for your loss, we know your heart is broken right now. We are praying for you and the family, may the Lord keep you in palm of his hands. With much Love, Bettye and Paul.

Tiffany Ervin
   Posted Thu May 23, 2019
Barbara & Family,
Our thoughts are with you and your family at this
hard time caused by the painful loss of your dear brother.
Our condolences and prayers go out to you and your family.
-Sincerely, St. Vincent HR Operations

Tiffany Ervin
   Posted Thu May 23, 2019

Garnet was sent by St. Vincent HR.

Barbara & Family, Our thoughts are with you and your family at this hard time caused by the painful loss of your dear brother. Our condolences and prayers go out to you and your family. Sincerely, St. Vincent HR


Kelvin Baltimore
   Posted Sat May 25, 2019
My Condolence goes out the James Thompson Family, I didn't know James personally but heard many good things about him. Our path crossed on a few occasions. If you been in the Auto Industry for 10 or more years, then you have heard of the James and Tim Thompson. My God continues to strengthen his family during this difficult period.

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