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FAISON -- Deacon Julius "Duke" Thompson Sr., 97, of 209 Prospect Road, Suffolk, Va., formerly of Faison, died Sunday in Virginia.

The funeral will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at Burning Bush Holy Church. The Rev. Arto Pickett will officiate. Burial will be in Faison Community Cemetery.

Mr. Thompson was born in Faison and was the son of the late Julius E. and Maggie D. Thompson. He graduated from Duplin County Public Schools and enrolled in the architectural engineering program at A&T College in Greensboro in 1927.

He was a member of Burning Bush Holy Church for over 80 years, serving as chairman of the deacon board, superintendent of the Sunday school, and past president of the Senior Choir. He was a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Clinton District Union and Faison Community Club. He served as chairman of the Duplin County Advisory Committee on Aging and was a former member of the Goshen Medical Center Advisory Board.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Scottie R. Bowden Thompson, and is survived by five children, Vermelle Byrd of Suffolk, Va., Juliette Cooper of Durham, Irene White of Fayetteville, Fuller Thompson of Highland, Calif., and Julius Thompson of Hampton, Va.; and 15 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

The viewing hours will be from 3 until 8 p.m. today at Rhodes Funeral Home Chapel in Warsaw.

Published in Obituaries on August 26, 2004 1:27 PM