Cover photo for Stephen Milton Thompson's Obituary
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1935 Stephen 2023

Stephen Milton Thompson

March 5, 1935 — October 12, 2023

Stephen Milton Thompson, “Milton”, 88, of Spartanburg, SC, passed away peacefully October 12, 2023 at Eden Terrace. Milton, affectionately known as “Papa T” to many, was born in Cedartown, Georgia on March 5, 1935 to Corona Johnson Thompson and Layton Stephen Thompson. As a young boy, Milton excelled in sports. He was offered scholarships in both basketball and track and field to Auburn University. However, he declined the scholarships in order to pursue his career of choice in Textile Management. He graduated from the School of Engineering at Auburn University, with a Bachelor of Science in Textile Management, in 1959. He also served in the Army that same year. Milliken and Company hired him as a junior in college and after graduation, he moved to Gaffney, SC to work at Gaffney Manufacturing Company. While living in Gaffney, he met his wife, Charlotte, on a blind date that did not go very well at first. However, they reconnected shortly after and were married on September 29,1962 in Rome, Georgia. Milton and Charlotte were an example of unconditional love and devotion to one another for 61 years of marriage. Milton and Charlotte moved to Spartanburg, SC where Milton worked for several Milliken and Company locations, including Drayton Mills. He retired early, due to medical reasons, from Cedar Hill plant in Union, SC in 1986. He served on the advisory board of ITT. After he retired from Milliken and Company, he started several antique businesses and enjoyed rental property management through Thompson Investments, LLC. Milton was a proud member of Fernwood Baptist Church. He served as a Sunday school teacher, deacon, and beloved coach of the church youth basketball teams. Milton was actively involved for twenty years and served on the South Carolina Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. He served many others in a cause that he was passionate about by speaking at various events and by volunteering as a sponsor for Al Anon. Most importantly, Milton’s proudest accomplishment was his role as Dad and “Papa T.” He was a devoted father to his son, daughter, and son-in-law, and the very proud grandfather of his grandson and granddaughters. He supported them in countless ways, by coaching their athletic teams, attending their scholastic and sporting events, and by sending them encouraging texts and phone calls. Milton passed along his love of sports and his service to others to his family. Milton is survived by his daughter Anne Thompson Ward, son-in-law Dr. Mark Edward Ward, and his cherished grandchildren Layton Mark Ward, Madison Anne Ward, and Charlotte Neal Ward. He is also survived by his brother Kelly Bruce Thompson. He is predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Charlotte Burns Thompson, son Stephen Milton Thompson, II, and his sister Janet Pope Wills. Milton adored his family, dear friends, brother and sister-in-law, nephews, nieces and their families. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, October 29 at 1:30pm at Fernwood Baptist Church, Spartanburg. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Spartanburg Regional Healthcare Hospice Home, 686 Jeff Davis Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29303 or Fernwood Baptist Church, PO Box 7058, Spartanburg, SC 29304. The family would like to offer a special thank you to the compassionate staff at Eden Terrace, Interim Hospice Care, and Milton’s devoted caregiver Susan.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration Of Life

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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