Cover photo for Bobby Thompson's Obituary

Bobby Thompson

December 11, 1935 — March 23, 2024

Bobby Thompson

Bobby Joe Thompson peacefully went to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on March 23, 2024, at the age of 88 in Waco, Texas.  He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Nelda; lovingly remembered by his two daughters Karie and Dwayne DeFrees and Dorie and Jeff Linnstaedter; grandchildren Braeden and Hileana DeFrees, Brooke and Luke Schafer, Braylie DeFrees, Grant Linnstaedter and fiancé Amber Corcoran, and Jordyn Linnstaedter; great-grandchildren Locke Schafer, Leonardo and Christopher DeFrees.

Bobby Thompson was born on December 11, 1935 in Bosque County to Velma and Princeton Thompson. He also had a sister who preceded him in death, Lela Mae Arthur. After losing his mother at a young age, Bobby was lovingly raised by his dear aunts, Viola McCarty and Gracie Hanna White. He spent his early years in Walnut Springs, Texas and then later he moved to New Boston. He graduated from Waco High School in 1955. Bobby had a very strong work ethic. He worked hard to put himself through college by working  at A & P Grocery Store as a stocker and checker. He graduated from Baylor University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Later in life he earned his Master’s degree in Education. 

Bobby met the love of his life, Nelda Walker, while he was teaching PE at Mountainview Elementary and she was completing her student teaching. They married on July 15, 1961, at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. Together they raised a beautiful family and made many wonderful memories together.

Bobby was an educator at heart and worked in Waco ISD for over 29 years. In those many years he taught PE, Science, and spent summers teaching students about photography and geology. His many students called him Mr. T and knew him to be a caring and patient teacher. He moved on to become an assistant principal and then principal. He was named Waco ISD Teacher of the Year in 1985.

Family was so very important to Bobby. He was always there to support his two daughters in whatever they were involved in. He spent many years coaching Dorie in Midway Little League. That passion then extended to his grandchildren and each of their activities: baseball, gymnastics, basketball, golf, track, soccer, and dance. He made each grandchild feel special and they were the joy of his life.

Those who knew Bobby, knew that he was an avid Baylor supporter and knew and could quote any Baylor sporting statistic since 1955. He went to many Baylor football, baseball, and softball games, but most of all, his favorite Baylor sport was Lady Bear Basketball. Bobby and Nelda were named the 2017 Skip Gohring Fans of the Year by Baylor University.

The legacy that Bobby Thompson leaves his family and friends is one based on selfless sacrifice, a kind heart, and honest hard work. His absence is surely felt by all who loved him.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fuzzy Friends Rescue, 6321 Airport Rd, Waco, TX 76708.

Evening visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Grace Gardens Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 27th.

Graveside service will be held  at 11:00 at Stanford Chapel Cemetery, Lorena, Texas on Thursday, March 28th.

Registry for Bobby Thompson

Past Services


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Gardens Funeral Home & Crematorium

8220 Woodway Dr, Woodway, TX 76712

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Graveside Service

Thursday, March 28, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Stanford Chapel Cemetery

11002 Chapel Road, Lorena, TX 76655

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