Windham, NH — Bernard J. Thompson Sr., 79, of Windham, N.H., died unexpectedly on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at his residence in Naples, Fla.
Mr. Thompson was born on March 23, 1934, in Lawrence, Mass., and was a son of the late A. Bernard and Agnes (Philbin) Thompson. He was raised in Lawrence, and spent summers in Windham. He attended Admiral Billard Academy in New London, Conn., and graduated Lawrence High School in 1951. He married Jean M. Lafleur on January 15, 1955, and raised their three sons in Windham. For the past 25 years, he wintered in Naples and spent summers in Hampton, N.H.
His lifelong passion for the automobile led him to his career in the automotive industry at an early age. In 1965, he was hired as a salesperson at MacMulkin Chevrolet in Nashua. His success at the dealership led him to purchase the dealership from Donald C. MacMulkin in 1980.
Under his leadership, along with his three sons, MacMulkin Chevrolet Cadillac has become one of the largest dealerships in New England. Over the years, the business has evolved into The Thompson Group, encompassing everything from fuel oil to real estate, in addition to several dealerships. He remained active in the business throughout the years.
Besides his loving wife, Jean, Mr. Thompson is survived by one sister, Doris R. Sweet and her husband, Charles Jr.; three sons, Bernard J. Thompson Jr. and his wife, Cheryl, Thomas C. Thompson Sr. and his wife, Bonnie Jean, and Jeffrey P. Thompson Sr. and his wife, Christina, all of Windham; nine grandchildren, Kelly M. Thompson, Bernard J. Thompson III, Thomas C. Thompson Jr., all of Windham, Michelle Edward and her husband, John, of Londonderry, Justin M. Thompson and his wife, Lyndsey, of Windham, Amanda Gatzimos and her husband, Nicholas, of Merrimack, N.H., and Ethan Thompson, Samantha J. Thompson, Jeffrey P. Thompson Jr., all of Windham; and three great-grandchildren, Evan Hocking, Aliyah Edward and Emerson Gatzimos.