January 15, 2011 10:26:00 PM
Mark Thompson was almost as sweet as the Shipley''s donuts he served for 21 years, according to his family and close friends.
Thompson, 43, owner of the local donut shop since 2002, died Jan. 9, 2011, at Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian following a two-year long illness.
The well-known New Hope native was born Jan. 11, 1967, to Roy Thompson and his late wife, Laurie.
"He was a good kid," Roy Thompson said. "He was just loved by everyone. My soul has been hurting ever since this has been going on."
Mark Thompson went to work for his late wife''s parents at Shipley''s Donuts at 2526 Main St. in 1990, shortly after graduating from New Hope High School.
After he bought the donut shop, Thompson characteristically poured his energy into making it the community staple it is now, said his closest friend, Amanda Pevey, who is also Shipley''s general manager.
"He loved Shipley''s Donuts," she said. "That was his place."
Tiffany Thompson, 17, said many of her memories of her father were made along with the donuts at the shop in the early hours.
"He had us there even when we were babies," she recalled. "He was the greatest man I have ever known."
Her sister, 15-year-old Kelli Thompson, said her father was a "big kid at heart," ever ready to play with his children.
"He''s my guardian angel now," she added. "He''ll be missed by so many people."
Jamie "Mo" Mouchett, who knew Mark Thompson since 1984, said he would be one of those that would miss the ever-joking Thompson.
Besides Thompson''s fun-loving personality, he also had a giving spirit, Mouchett said, recalling when Thompson found a $100 bill on the floor of the donut shop. Instead of keeping the bill himself, he used it to buy a bicycle for a waitress whose car had broke down so she could attend classes at Mississippi University for Women.
"He would try to help you as best he could, whether you were a close friend or had just met," Mouchett said. "He was pretty much always there for you."
More than 200 people attended his funeral Thursday afternoon, many who knew him through the donut shop, Pevey said.
Tommy Cowart, who grew up in New Hope with Thompson, came all the way from Kansas City, Mo., to see off his lifelong friend.
"I love him and will miss him always," Cowart said. "I hope I''ll see him one day."
Besides his father, daughters and Pevey, Thompson is survived by his 11-month-old son, Jacob, and his brother, Adam Thompson of Columbus.
What makes the loss even more difficult to bear is knowing that their son, Jacob, will not remember his father, Pevey said.
"He''s just so little now, he doesn''t know what''s going on," she said.
To make a donation to the Mark Thompson memorial fund set up by the Columbus Police Department, visit any BancorpSouth location. The money will go to the family to help defray funeral costs.
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