Rutherford Boston Thompson Jr.

January 11, 1925November 15, 2022
Obituary of Rutherford Boston Thompson Jr.
Rutherford Boston Thompson, Jr. An Autobiography Rutherford Thompson, known as Ford to his friends, was born on 11 January 1925 in Martinsburg, WV to Elizabeth Butler Boswell Thompson and Rutherford Boston Thompson. His family moved to Newport News, VA shortly after his birth, and from there to Hampton, VA where his father bought and operated the Langley Hotel. Ford attended public school in Hampton, except for the Fifth Grade at Fork Union Military Academy. He graduated from Hampton High School in 1941and enrolled at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, majoring in chemistry. While there, he was a member of the Corp of Cadets and Phi Lambda Upsilon, honorary chemical society. In June of 1944, he completed his requirements for a B. S. degree in Chemistry. Ford joined the U. S. Navy in 1944 where he was trained to repair and maintain electronic equipment. He served aboard the USS Tortuga, LSD 26, in the Asiatic Theater, and was discharged in June of 1946 with grade of Electronic Technician’s Mate Second Class. After working for a short period in his father’s hotel, Ford returned to Virginia Tech to pursue graduate studies in Chemistry, obtaining his M. S. in 1950 and his Ph. D in 1953. He was inducted into Sigma Xi, honorary research society. While in graduate school he fell in love with and married (27 July 1948) Virginia Dare Britton, who was attending Madison College (now James Madison University). Only Ginny’s death (27 December 2012) after 64 years and 5 months of marriage has separated them. In 1952 Ford joined the Research Department of Chemstrand Corporation in Decatur, AL, moving to the Research Triangle Park in NC in 1960. His research work with Chemstrand (Monsanto) was in the field of polymer chemistry, primarily as related to fibers. He retired in 1981 from the Monsanto Company. He has been an active member of the Episcopal Church, both Saint Timothy’s Church, and The Church of the Nativity in Raleigh, NC. At various times he served as Vestry member, Junior Warden, Senior Warden, Acolyte Master, Lay Reader, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Stephen Minister, and delegate to the diocesan convention. He was also a member of the Board of Visitors of Kanuga Episcopal Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. Ford liked to play bridge, poker, chess, and other games. He enjoyed classical music, reading, traveling, and baking sourdough bread. After his retirement as a chemist, he learned to operate a computer; and expanded his interest in theology, and in ethics. He has a son: Rutherford Boyston Thompson III (Boyce), a daughter: Elizabeth Ann Thompson Ware, three Granddaughters: Virginia Lane Thompson Kane, Kathryn Elizabeth Phillips Roberts, and Carolyn Lee Thompson Meyer: six great grandchildren River Ann Roberts, Summit Warren Roberts, Benjamin Ethan Meyer, Oscar Thompson Kane, Owen Laurance Meyer, and Shirley Dare Kane. His younger brother is Thomas T. Thompson.

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