Terriel James Thompson, 86, husband of the late Coreatha Thompson, passed away peacefully on Monday,
March 5, 2018, at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in San Diego.
He was born November 13, 1931, in Kinita, Oklahoma to Corene Carter and Curley Thompson. Terriel James Thompson was the eldest of his four siblings, all predeceased: twin brothers, Virgil Lee, Virgil Dee, and late
“TJ” attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar in Shawnee Oklahoma, from grades kindergarten to twelve in a class of sixty students. It was a segregated school until demolished in 1957. His wife, and high school sweetheart, would boast, “he was the most popular one in the class.” TJ was an all-star athlete, excelling in track, basketball, and football. It was there he met and married Coreatha Rutledge in 1952. Together they had four children: the late Shane and Beverly, as well as Terriel, Jr. (Skosh) and Sequita (Sack-Sacagawea).
TJ’s athleticism continued when he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1951. This became his lifelong passion. TJ’s children fondly remember him instilling sound judgement, decisiveness, and promptness both inside and outside of the home. During his time of service, it was his desire to become "nothing but the best" moving up the ranks as a Drill Sergeant, Special Weapons Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant, and ultimately a
Sergeant Major. Through his 30 years of service, Terriel served in the Korean War, and two tours in the Vietnam War. He remained connected to his Montford Point Marine buddies. Weekly visits from Tony Reese brought a bright smile to his dear friend. Barnett Person’s trips to San Diego always included a stop by to see his buddy until his untimely death.
After retirement from the military, Mr. Thompson went back to school to earn a BA then Master’s Degree in Family Counseling from National University. From there he was employed as Dean of Veterans Affairs. Being a serviceman, Terriel left National University to pursue a career in law enforcement, both as a Parole and Probation Officer for the City of San Diego. Mr. Thompson retired after ten years.
Terriel was well-known throughout the community as a fitness fanatic and was frequently spotted sprinting up and down Genesee Avenue well into his sixties. Staying "fit for duty" was his goal, never missing a day at the gym.
Terriel is survived by his son, Terriel, Jr.; daughter Sequita, granddaughter Neco and Terriel lll, great-grandchildren
Raquel, Tyrus, Savion, Kamari, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, childhood cousin Rosa Lee, and bonus grand-children, who affectionately call him Grandpa.
Terriel James Thompson’s strength, dedication, perseverance, and dry wit will truly be missed. Keep your head up, God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.