Thelma Ann Gwilliam, aka “Tag” to her high school buddies, was born Sept. 8, 1940, in Houston to Cordelia Ann (Kennedy) and Rosco Chambers Gwilliam.
Everyone laughs that she got to south Texas as fast as she could. When she was 15 years old, in 1955, the family moved to a ranch south of Knippa, where she lived out a full and robust life on her own terms.
Thompson died Nov. 4, 2019, in her home. A memorial service will be held Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Uvalde County Arena at the Fairplex.
She married William David Thompson in 1968 in Uvalde, and is survived by her only son, William Ross Thompson and wife, Jae, of Uvalde; granddaughter, Kennedy Linn Thompson; sister-in-law, Ann Spurrier of Hillsborough, North Carolina; niece, Tonya Brami and husband, Jeff, and sons Cody and Taylor, all of Hillsborough, North Carolina; and countless horses, dogs and cats.
She was blessed with numerous friends all over Texas and the United States.
Thompson was known for her passion for horses and her service to many agriculture youth organizations such as the Uvalde County Junior Livestock Show and the Uvalde Youth Rodeo Club. Since the Youth Rodeo Club’s inception in 1963, she served in every leadership position, and led generation after generation of riders and parents through an organization near and dear to her heart.
Numerous local youths have benefited from scholarship funds generated from the South Texas Ranch Heritage Association Ranch Rodeo, held for 14 years running. She was one of the founding members of the organization and the driving force behind an event that Texas cowboys often voted on as their favorite ranch rodeo.
Other organizations benefiting from Thompson’s energy include the Bluebonnet Barrel Racing Association, the Uvalde Fair Association, and many Knippa Independent School District events.
Her rough and tough attitude did not mask her giant heart to those who knew her well. It was not uncommon for Thompson to donate her time, money and energy – often on the sly.
She was preceded in death by her husband and parents.
In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible memorials may be made to the Thelma Thompson Memorial Fund, c/o Uvalde Youth Rodeo Club, 400 E. Nopal St., Uvalde, TX 78801. Memorials may also be made to Uvalde 4-H, 122 Veterans Lane, Uvalde, TX 78801; Knippa ISD, 100 Kessler Lane, Knippa, TX 78870; or Uvalde Hospice Foundation, 100 Royal Lane, Uvalde, TX 78801.
The preceding is a paid obituary.