In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Jean Ward Thompson, 90

Jean Ward Thompson, 1930-2020

Jean Ward Thompson, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among American Affinity Peoples in Argentina and through the El Paso, Texas, Baptist Spanish Publishing House, died Nov. 23, 2020, at her assisted living residence in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was 90.

Thompson was born July 5, 1930, in Bulls Gap, Tennessee, to the late Connie and Nettie Ward. She moved to Knoxville five years later. She received the Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

Thompson wrote when seeking missionary appointment that she came to the conviction that God was leading her to foreign mission service during a conference at the Southern Baptist conference center in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, while a college student. That commitment led her to Southwestern seminary, where she met and married Cecil Thompson.

She and Cecil served as career missionaries for 20 years in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they both taught in the Baptist seminary.

They then served at the Baptist Spanish Publishing House in El Paso, Texas, another 15 years. They retired at 62 and moved to Knoxville. She and Cecil, as members of Central Bearden Baptist Church, established and led a weekly ministry to Spanish-speaking people.

Jean began taking violin lessons as an elementary student and became an avid violin player.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Cecil. She is survived by her daughter, Becky, and son, Andy.

A private memorial service was held.

Read an obituary here.