The Obituary for Mrs. Ann E. Thompson

Ann Elizabeth Thompson died peacefully at Bethany House in Auburn, Alabama on March 2, 2019.

Ann Thompson was born in Daviston, Alabama to Joe Bunyan and Elizabeth (Graves) Thompson on February 22, 1932, a few minutes after her twin brother Joe B. Thompson, Jr. She earned a B.S. with honors in Home Economics at Auburn University, a Masters of Adult Education at the University of Maryland, and a Doctorate of Education at Oklahoma State University.

Ann’s career began with her experiences in 4-H when she showed her calf without a lead or halter at the 1947 State Fair in Birmingham and was named State Showmanship Champion. Ann joined the Alabama Extension Service in 1953 as an Assistant Home Demonstration Agent in Enterprise and Dothan before she moved on to the Florida Extension 4-H Staff in 1957 where she served in various Florida State Extension Home Economics positions. In 1966, Dr. Thompson was appointed State Leader, Home Economics, of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and served there as Professor and Director of Family Resources. In 1973, Ann became the Associate Dean of the Extension Division in Virginia and later received the Distinguished Ruby Award of Epsilon Sigma Phi.

In 1984, after sixteen years in Virginia, Ann Thompson returned to Auburn University to become the first-ever female head of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service and only the second female director in the nation. In 1988, she was named Vice-President for Extension, and in 1993, Ann was named Associate Provost before she retired from service in 1994.

Major accomplishments under Thompson’s administration included the AU Hotel and Conference Center, the AU Satellite Uplink System, and the Alabama 4-H Youth Development Center in Shelby County, a project of which she was “particularly proud.” She was also responsible for the largest number of extra-mural grants in the history of Alabama Extension.

Ann believed that everyone should “Use what you can” and “Be Brief.” When asked what 4-H has meant to her life and career, Ann replied, “Everything. I could not have journeyed to where I am today without the concept of life-long learning and without all the co-workers and friends who have brought me such joy.”

Ann is survived by her sister Mary Catrett (Dennis) and sister-in-law, Ruth Thompson along with many nieces and nephews: Lee Walton Thompson (Libby), Julie Hightower (Justin), Davis Thompson (Emily), Bruce Thompson (Terri Lynne), and Star Ann-Elizabeth Catrett. She is also survived by many trusted friends: Shirley Smith, Mae laro, Candy Smith, Michelle Walls, Evie West, Faye Abrams, Angie Abrams, Candance Stoffergan and Tabitha Harris. Ann is predeceased by her brother Joe B. Thompson and her parents Joe and Elizabeth Thompson.

A Memorial Service for Ann E. Thompson will be held at Daviston Baptist Church on Saturday, March 9, 2019 with Visitation at 1:00 pm, followed by a Graveside Ceremony at 2:00 pm, with Reverend Ray Dunn officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Daviston Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, In Care of Ted Cotney, 1535 Motley Rd, Daviston, AL 36256 or to the Alabama 4-H foundation, 244 Duncan Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849.


Radney Funeral Home of Alexander City, Al. is directing.