May 13, 1921 ~ June 2, 2019
Amos Franklin Thompson, age 98, (known to some as “Famous Amos”) died peacefully June 2, 2019 while in hospice care at Caring House in Torrance.
Amos was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the third of three children to Franklin B. and Jennie K. Thompson. He was raised in Cedar Rapids where he graduated from Wilson High School where he emceed many high school events from 1936-1940. As a youth his favorite activities were wrestling and swimming. Amos swam one mile across the Mississippi River at 17 years old finishing 4 miles downstream which took him 4 hours.
Amos met his future wife Virginia at a high school dance and they were married in September 1941.
Their young marriage was put on hold when he joined the US Army from 1943 to 1946. Amos was a member of the 305th Regimental Combat Team, 77th Infantry Division. As a front-line soldier, Amos fought in the Pacific campaigns in the Philippines, Gulf of Leyte and the Battle of Okinawa, often described as the bloodiest battle in the Pacific.
After the war, Amos and Virginia moved to the Los Angeles area, settling in the South Bay. They first lived in Hawthorne and later moved to Rancho Palos Verdes where they have resided for the past 45 years.
Amos worked as a bricklayer and estimator before starting his own business as a Mason Contractor in 1957. He built a large stone cabin in Big Bear, CA called the Cornerstone. After 25 years of successful contracting, he retired, but continued to enjoy working with his hands in such creative outlets as woodworking, leatherwork, woodturning, welding and leaded glass work. He loved teaching woodturning on his lathe and helping others with general woodworking projects at El Camino College. He enjoyed golf and travel as well as volunteering with the Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts. Many have benefited from his generous sharing of time, talents and special story telling.
Amos is survived by Virginia, his wife of 77 years, his three children Gary, Curtis and Eric, and predeceased by his daughter Valerie. He leaves six grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
Amos was known for taking on challenges and not stopping until successful.
All of his family and friends are honored to have known Amos as a true mentor and role model.
A viewing is scheduled at Rice Mortuary in Torrance from 4pm to 8pm Tuesday, June 11th. The funeral will be at 11am on June 12th at Green Hills Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Caring House at www.http://yourcaringhouse.org.
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