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24 Comments

  1. David Black
    December 15, 2022 @ 1:58 pm

    My condolences to the family. The Ozarks region has lost a civic champion and I have lost my best friend of 63 years. Be at peace my friend. Dave Black

    Reply

    • Tim Bean
      December 16, 2022 @ 10:10 pm

      Condolences to Mrs. Margaret and the entire family. I have had the pleasure to know Laurel my whole life. He was an inspiration to me. Prayers in the days and weeks ahead.

      Reply

  2. Terry and Sharon Stephens family
    December 15, 2022 @ 8:28 pm

    Our condolences to all the family.

    Reply

  3. Jean Adams
    December 15, 2022 @ 9:06 pm

    I am saddened to learn of Laurel’s passing. I think he was the last of the Thompson cousins in my mother’s generation with the exception of Dorothea Thompson Jones.
    Laurel and Margaret raised a beautiful family!
    My prayers for Margaret and family.
    Jean Lasater Adams

    Reply

  4. Eric Belander
    December 16, 2022 @ 11:04 am

    So sad to hear of Laurel’s passing. Fortunate to work for him when he was in his retail career. Always enjoyed his smile, stories, and hideously corny jokes. His greatest delight was you telling him an even cornier one. He did so much for the area. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to all his family members.

    Reply

  5. Travis Morrison
    December 16, 2022 @ 11:54 am

    It is with sadness that I post my admiration for Laurel. Laurel was special. His obituary speaks to his enormous contribution to West Plains. The growth in our community for 70 years reflects his engagement. The hours spent during his life/career working for the betterment of our community is very impressive. Laurel made a difference. Our community is better because of Laurel. Laurel had many friends. His joyful personality and big smile were magnetic. It is hard to accept that he is gone. Margaret and family, please know that all of you are important as well. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this sad moment. travis

    Reply

  6. Mallory Snodgras
    December 16, 2022 @ 12:08 pm

    Laurel was one of a kind. I am honored to have worked with him for a few years at the City. He was full of so many stories and always had a smile to share. He knew it all! We could always count on Laurel for West Plains history. A true champion of West Plains. Prayers for peace for your family during this difficult time.

    Reply

  7. Lou Wehmer
    December 16, 2022 @ 1:19 pm

    I have a hundred stories to share about this man. I got my First Class Radiotelephone license when I was 19 because of Laurel’s mentorship. I know of no one as well versed in electronic theory and practical knowledge as this man. I helped him install an FM transmitter at KALM, Thayer, all night one time about 50 years ago. We got it on the air by 4:00 a.m, and were headed home before daylight. Laurel was driving and I was drifting out of consciousness. All of a sudden Laurel grabbed my leg and let out a full throated cat like scream and I almost jumped out of my skin! He reminded of that about every time I saw him after that. I never went to sleep around him again! Laurel led me as an engineer over the years as live radio went to automation and satellite programming. As Chief Engineer at Troop G, I often called him for advice. Nothing technical stumped him. It is rare to find someone with his abilities with such a wonderful and caring personality. I was truly blessed to be a friend and in particular want to thank Margaret, Jimmy and the rest of the family for sharing him. I believe a crown of righteousness is his in the life to follow as I also know of his faith put into daily practice in the years I knew him.

    Reply

  8. Wanda Hunter
    December 16, 2022 @ 1:31 pm

    So sorry, My thoughts and prayers are with all the family!!! Wanda Hunter.

    Reply

  9. Tim Tipton
    December 16, 2022 @ 1:53 pm

    What a wonderful, nice nice gentleman. I will always have fond memories of him. Helped to make Zizzers real Zizzers.

    Reply

  10. Teresa eldringhoff romans
    December 16, 2022 @ 2:32 pm

    Mr. Thompson was a kind man. West Plains will not be the same without him. Godspeed Mr. Laurel.

    Reply

  11. Steve & Patty Cromer
    December 16, 2022 @ 2:51 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Laurel was a very nice and kind gentleman. Prayers for all the family.

    Reply

  12. Darrin Reed
    December 16, 2022 @ 7:49 pm

    What a wonderful man and an example of what we all should be. Rest In Peace friend and may God be with your family during this loss

    Reply

  13. Greg and Gina Grisham
    December 16, 2022 @ 7:51 pm

    I could not possibly begin to say how much Laurel meant to me. He was one of the most genuine humans that I’ve had the opportunity to meet. I still share his stories. I’m particularly fond of the train ride to the west coast. It comes across as a grand adventure with the soldier who took him under his wing and the train nearly leaving them at the station and the chicken and doughnuts from Uncle Othel and Aunt Mable.

    He told me of how Robert Neathery discovered the power of St. Louis Cardinal baseball one Sunday afternoon. He laughed telling how he applied a little too much torque on the wheel of his Uncle’s Grapette Soda truck. He talked of P.S. Cree and Paul Thornburgh and so many people of West Plains. It seemed like he knew the whole world.

    Laurel will be missed awfully, but West Plains and his family and the world are so much better off having him in it. He truly ran a good race.

    Reply

  14. Ron & Marcia Stouffer
    December 17, 2022 @ 9:21 am

    We were saddened to hear of the passing of such a sweet soul. Laurel was always such a joy to be around. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family. We didn’t know in time to attend the visitation or funeral, but know our prayers are that God would comfort the family and give them peace, knowing that he has lit up heaven. We love this family!

    Reply

  15. Amber(Cozort)Redburn
    December 17, 2022 @ 9:27 am

    Margaret, Jim/Sarah & Families, Russell/An & Family, Vickie & Family, Leon & Families,

    Our Deepest Sympathy to all of you on the loss of Laurel. He was such a Fine Christian Man who did so much and cared so much for all in our Community. His Smile, wonderful sense of humor, and caring for others will always be in our memories of him. Also, his comforting voice on KWPM is a treasure for me that will be close to my heart(Amber). He will be missed! At this time we will be keeping all of you in our daily prayers and thoughts. May God be with each of you daily giving comfort, peace, strength, and encouragement. May God bless all of you.
    Norris/Ivene Cozort
    Tim, Amber, and Corby Redburn

    Reply

  16. David R. DeSpain PE
    December 18, 2022 @ 12:43 pm

    Laurel hired me when I was seventeen to help build KFTW in Fredericktown, Missouri. In the letter of application, I stated that I was sixteen, but would be seventeen by the time the job started. He taught me and my brother Dennis to water ski on Lake Norfolk. He had great faith in me, and was a great mentor, but he also always had a smile and a funny story. He and Margaret once told me that they considered me family, and I don’t think anything else has touched me more than that.
    The early experience in broadcasting was the deciding element in getting a career at the Voice of America, the US’s international broadcaster.

    Reply

  17. Kathleen Trudeau
    December 18, 2022 @ 1:20 pm

    I was sorry to hear of the loss of such a nice man in our family. The obituary was a very thoughtful tribute to him. Praying for comfort for all of you.

    Reply

  18. Kay Garrett
    December 18, 2022 @ 9:32 pm

    Laurel was a community man. He belonged to all of us. He will always be the voice if KWPM to me. Laurel was extremely talented, and we are fortunate that he chose to stay here and let West Plains be the recipients of those talents. I know his family morns his loss and I trust good memories, and I am sure there are many, help you through this time. Kay Garrett

    Reply

  19. Debra Shannon Pettit
    December 19, 2022 @ 2:12 pm

    Laurel will always be “the voice of West Plains” in my mind. I grew up listening to him on KWPM (AM, of course… I don’t think we had FM radio at that time !) His contributions to our community were many. My deepest condolences to the Thompson family.

    Reply

  20. Karla Bean
    December 19, 2022 @ 7:30 pm

    Laurel was a good friend to my Aunt Ida Bean and me. When I moved here to West Plains, he would take me down to the Stuart Union Cemetery meetings and tell me good stories along the way. He loved going with 3 of his buddies all over the region to collect cars to sell here in West Plains. We were cousins through my great-great-grandfather John Stuart, and I welcomed having more family in the area – especially such a kind and thoughtful cousin. May the Peace of God be upon his family and friends as they grieve his leaving.

    Reply

  21. Greg and Renee Stephens
    December 19, 2022 @ 7:30 pm

    Greg and I are so sorry to hear of Laurel’s passing. Greg and I loved hearing his stories. He always had a smile.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of his family.
    Greg and Renee Stephens

    Reply

  22. Hassel and Alice Vandergriff
    December 20, 2022 @ 5:35 am

    We are so sorry to hear of Laurel’s passing. We are praying for you, his loved ones and wishing for you God’s special care and blessing.

    Reply

  23. Jim Clark
    December 26, 2022 @ 5:57 pm

    Margaret and family, so sorry to hear of this. My Mom and Dad were part of the KWPM family for many years. Many good memories there! ??Jim Clark

    Reply

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