Former councilman and lifelong resident Lyman Thompson Sr. passed away at the age of 85 on Sunday, July 5th.
Born on the last day of 1929, Mr. Thompson, also known as Sandy, was one of the few people to have Roselle Park listed as their birthplace, having been delivered by his father – who was a doctor – at home.
Mr. Thompson was an all-star athlete in high school and graduated from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He later received his Master’s degree in Business & Finance from New York University (NYU). Moving back to Roselle Park after college, he married Delores C. Fisher, another lifelong Roselle Park resident. They both raised their two children Lyman Thompson, Jr. and April Gilroy. Delores Thompson passed away in 1991.
April said of her father, “He loved to tell me of what a good athlete he was. He was proud of being from Roselle Park.”
Mr. Thompson worked for AT&T for 38 years, first in New York City then in Newark. After retiring from AT&T, Mr. Thompson worked for Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical for 14 years before leaving the workplace to enjoy his retirement. Mr. Thompson enjoyed dancing and playing Bridge.
His son, Lyman Thompson Jr, commented, “He really liked to help the town [because] he loved the town.”
In November of 1972, Mr. Thompson was elected as Roselle Park First Ward Councilman and served until December 31, 1975. He was instrumental in the Borough’s beautification efforts, including the addition of the Gazebo at Michael Mauri Park. He also started Roselle Park’s ‘Tree Of Life’ plaque which is still adorns Borough Hall. Along with Eugene Carmody, they negotiated contracts in a volunteer post-council capacity for the various public unions in Roselle Park in the days before attorneys were hired to assume those duties.
Roselle Park Mayor Carl Hokanson stated, “I knew Mr. Thompson since I was a kid. He was a good man who helped bring out the best of Roselle Park.”
Nephew Hank Kurz said of Mr. Thompson, “Uncle Sandy was a gentleman and the kind of relative everyone should hope to have. He always found a way to be entertaining, or enlightening, and was a Roselle Park guy to the core. He lived there his whole life, served the town in multiple ways and did it not for political gain, but because he loved the town and had expertise to offer.”
In addition to his two children April Gilroy and Lyman Thompson Jr., he is survived by his three grandchildren Christopher, Matthew, and Tyler as well as his brother, Harold Nelson.
Visitation for Mr. Thompson is tonight, July 8th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mastapeter Funeral Home, located at 400 Faitoute Avenue. At the request of the family, the funeral will be private.
Lyman L. Thompson Sr.
December 31, 1929 – July 5, 2015
(Photograph courtesy of Hank Kurz)