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J Wilding Thompson ’46

Published in Feb. 20, 1991, issue

Jim THOMPSON left US July 17, 1990, succumbing to pancreatic cancer. Jim came to Princeton at age 17 following a year at Hotchkiss. Upon turning 18 in June 1943, he enlisted and served in the Army Air Corps in Europe.

After WWII, he returned to Princeton, played 150lb. football, and met and married his wife, the former Michal Isbell (Vassar'48).

After graduating with a degree in geology, Jim joined Hornelite, becoming a successful district manager in Charlotte, N.C. in 1971 he founded Huskipower, which distributed chainsaws and outdoor power equipment throughout the southeastern U.S. By dint of Jim's dedication to service and fair pricing, this company prospered, and remains ongoing.

Jim was a private person who believed in the plain virtues of applying one's self and living within one's means. His example of honest and persistent endeavor was a strong influence in the lives of his numerous employees and proteges. His avocations were tennis, skiing, and travel, all of which he did too little in recent years as the burgeoning business often took precedence.

Jim's sons, Peter '70 and Bruce '72, followed him to Princeton and majored in geology as well! His widow, his boys, and his two grandchildren have lost a lodestar, and Princeton and the Class of '46 have lost a stalwart son.

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