His deep raspy voice and gruff exterior belied the warm disposition of Jack Thompson, known to many of his Lake View Terrace neighbors as “Papa Jack.” Thompson died of occupational emphysema at his home, the J-Bar Ranch, on May 2 — his 73rd birthday. “Your first impression was that he was a big, old bear,” said his wife, Barbara Thompson. “But he was just a great big, huge marshmallow. “Some people told me that they were scared to death of him when they first met. I took one look at him and I was pixilated, like Bambi. We were ‘second-time-arounders,’ but we learned from our past and we were meant for each other.” Barbara Hartman met Thompson when he bought Wilshire Awning, where she worked as a bookkeeper. They were married on April 24, 1976. Thompson had planned to retire when he closed the business in 1977, but found himself in demand as an awning consultant for the Hilton Hotels chain, Los Angeles International Airport and other businesses. Born on a ranch in Liberal, Kan., Jack Gilbert Thompson “tried everything and worked everywhere when people could do that,” his wife said. Thompson worked in the oil fields and as a lumberjack, drove a big-rig truck and picked pears and, thanks to a degree in journalism from the University of Iowa, was a reporter for a Houston newspaper. He also studied to become an Episcopal priest. “Horses and our horse ranch was what he loved most,” Barbara Thompson said. “Lake View Terrace is the home of the cowboys and he loved the big, open spaces. He took one look at the big, empty ground and said, ‘That’s it.’ We started the ranch in 1976.” The J-Bar is a boarding and breeding horse ranch. He also owned Rawhide Ranch Facilities, which specialized in corrals and other ranch equipment. “He was the toughest guy you’d ever meet. He was the stereotype of the cowboy,” said stepson Ron Bozarth Jr. “He was a tremendous role model for me through his actions, the basic Golden Rule. He told me to always stay tough. He was a big-hearted guy.” Thompson was at one time an active member of the homeowners, horse owners and improvement associations in Lake View Terrace. He was a founding member of the East Valley Optimist Club. “He was loving, giving and serious. He was definitely understanding as a parent,” said stepdaughter Vickie Josefsberg. “Whenever someone needed something he got to it and got things done. But he never wanted the recognition for doing something. He was quiet, supportive and he had a soft heart.” In addition to his wife and stepchildren, Thompson is survived by six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a brother, David. A memorial service was held Saturday. Donations in his memory may be sent to The St. Francis Academy (Father Bob’s Home for Boys), P.O. Box 1340, Salina, Kan. 67402-1340. — Holly Andres, (818) 713-3708 [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!