Oscar Napoleon Thompson, affectionately known as “Pops” and “Papa” by his children and grandchildren, was a Christmas baby born December 25, 1940, in Lucedale, Mississippi to the late Claude Thompson Sr. (Shipman, MS) and Karene Dorsett (Bexley, MS). He was raised by his late aunt, Ms. Nora Mae Banks, who he respectfully and lovingly addressed as Ma Dear or Momma. She raised him in the church where he regularly attended service and Sunday School. He was a testament to Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Oscar spent his childhood and adolescent years in Mississippi and Louisiana before he made his way to California during his adult years. It was in California where he met his beautiful and beloved wife, Janie. One of the most significant milestones Oscar and Janie shared was their relationship renewals with the Lord and becoming dedicated members of Saint Paul Baptist Church. There, they both served under the tutelage of Dr. Ephraim Williams, Pastor Emeritus. Oscar served on the Usher Board and rarely missed Sunday School; he told the kids and grandkids that Sunday School was really the best place where you could get a deeper understanding of the Bible.
Throughout the years, Oscar and Janie created many wonderful memories together and established family traditions at home with the kids and grandkids. These two lovebirds went on dates, saw good movies, and frequented their favorite restaurants. They took spontaneous and planned road trips (imagine their laughter and the sound of Oscar’s favorite jazz and blues music playing in the background as he did his special snapping of his fingers to the music). One of their favorites places to travel was back home to Mississippi and Louisiana to visit Latroy and Karene as well as other family and friends.
Going back to family traditions and spending quality time, the family always gathered for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. During those times, you would see Oscar walking about the house shooting photos of the kids and grandkids. Taking pictures made him happy, and he knew they would serve as keepsakes for the family to remember the good times.
Oscar loved spending time with his family and providing for them. He worked for the City of Sacramento for over 20 years as a Manager in Custodial Services at the Sacramento Convention Center. He was a true craftsman; from his carpentry work to a wide range of repairs around the house, he took pride in his professional work as well as completing home improvement projects for his family and close friends.
Many of you know that Oscar was a die-hard, super fan of the New Orleans Saints. “Who dat”, the rallying chant codified in 2010, when the Saints won the Superbowl, became his greeting for you when you entered his home. You could tell by his face expressions he had experienced a proud moment for his favorite team that year. You would also realize his love for this team even before then because of the memorabilia displayed in the house, in his truck, in the garage, or on his boat.
Speaking about his boat, Oscar was a fisherman and a lifetime Bass Pro member. He loved reading Bass Pro fishing magazines and books, and he frequently watched bass fishing shows. You may have even caught him outside in the front yard practicing his fly casting. Most notable, he enjoyed sharing this pastime with his family leaving them with fun memories of learning how to tie a fishhook, pick tackle, bait the hook with a real worm, and cast the reel. They always had fun stories to tell about the biggest or smallest fish caught. Having fish for dinner every Friday night was one of the family traditions they experienced.
Oscar was not just a fisherman for pleasure catching such fish as bluegill, perch, trout, catfish, or bass. He was also a “fisher of men” for the great joy it brought to him in serving the Lord. For God’s glory, Oscar “casted his net” towards people of whom he would be in contact sharing the gospel and his love for the Lord.
As Oscar departed this life at the age of 80 on January 18, 2021, his family believes the Lord is pleased and has said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” and is now resting in the love, peace, and grace of our Lord and Savior.
Oscar was preceded in death by his parents, his Ma Dear (Momma), his siblings: Geneva Smith, Betty Jean, Claude Jr., John, and Leo Thompson; and his beautiful beloved wife, Janie.
He leaves to cherish his memory to his siblings: Betty Law (James) and Floyd Sheppard (Cheryl); his children: Latroy (Clanthier), Addie Karene (Cakey) (Gary), Cary (Pam), Oscar, Joy, Sean (Dana), Yolanda (Matt), Yvette, Yvonne, and Katrina (Donnie); his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends who will honor him and treasure his memory as they hold him in their hearts.
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