Maj. Jay Forrest Thompson, USAF (Ret.), age 73, of Gulf Breeze, passed away peacefully with his family at his side Tuesday, December 31, 2019. He was born March 14, 1946 and was from Leawood, Kansas. He attended Flint Elementary School, Shawnee Mission East, and ultimately graduated from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas with a B.S. in Zoology. Jay was a proud member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was a loyal “K” State fan throughout his life, a true “Wildcat,” attending many football games over the years. Jay received his M.A. at Ball State University.
After graduation in 1968, his ROTC training earned him a commission in the U.S. Air Force from which he retired after 20 years of service in 1988. During his time in the Air Force he first flew as navigator, flying the C-141A at of McGuire AFB, NJ (’70), and then ultimately to the RF-4C at Shaw AFB, transferring to the Reconnaissance and Navigation Wing at Udorn RTAFB and then to Saigon, Vietnam HQ MACV (1972). Later to NKP AB, Thailand. Assigned later to RAF Alconbury, England (’73 and ’77) also Soesterberg AB, Holland (1975). Jay, now a Major, transferred to Langley AFB, VA in ’79. In 1983 he volunteered for HQ PACAF in Hawaii. Working as a senior system analyst of a top-secret computer network with remote sites in Korea, Japan, and Alaska. Before his retirement, in 1988, he was at the Standard Systems Center at Gunter AFB, in Montgomery, AL. During his service Jay received many medals and decorations.
From 1988 he worked with Science Applications International Company (SAIC), on projects for the heathcare sector in Montgomery, AL and then in Northern Virginia; the U.S. Postal Service, (Y2K) the U.S. Finger Identification System (F.B.I.) and later Manager of a project for the Pennsylvania State Police in Harrisburg, (2003) before retiring a second time to Niceville, Florida.
He was an avid golfer and a member of Emerald Bay Golf Club, Destin, FL, the Mid-South Golf Club, in Southern Pines, NC, before moving to Tiger Point East, Gulf Breeze, FL in 2017, still chasing his ‘hole-in-one’ dream! He also volunteered for many years with H&R Block and local libraries with book sales. Jay was a member of Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church.
He is preceded in death by his Parents, Geraldine P. Thompson and John F. Thompson. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 30 years, Heather Ford Thompson; Step-Sons David Allen Toellner, of Pensacola, FL and Robert Stafford Toellner (Laura), of Milton, FL: grandchildren, Natalie Toellner, of Tampa, FL, Sean Toellner at MSU in Starkville, MS, Tori Toellner at Berry College in Rome, GA and Eric Toellner at PCHS in Milton, FL; and a large extended family in the U.S.A. and New Zealand.
Visitation will be from 11:30am, until the celebration of life service begins at 12:30pm, on Friday, January 10, 2020 at Rose Lawn Funeral Home and Cemetery, 2942 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563. Pastor Dan Morris will officiate. Interment will follow with full military honors at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, FL. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the National Kidney Foundation at kidney.org or to your city library.