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William Raleigh Thompson, Jr.


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Dr. William Raleigh Thompson, Jr. 90, died peacefully in his sleep on June 3, 2024, at home in Jacksonville. He lived a full and amazing life, bravely and honorably battling cancer and the effects of treatment for several years.

 Raleigh was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was born and raised in Mandarin, Florida and graduated from Landon High School, and then Emory University. 

 After graduation from college, Raleigh joined the U.S. Navy and became a flight officer. Following his exemplary service in the Navy, he attended Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Thompson and his family returned to the Jacksonville area in 1966 and settled in Orange Park. At that time, there were only four physicians practicing in the area and he worked with three of them.  In 1968, Dr. Thompson opened an independent medical practice where he provided a full range of medical care to the community: delivering babies, performing minor surgery, and providing care and treatment for the entire family. 

In the early 1970’s, Dr. Thompson and two of the other physicians in town decided that the community of Orange Park needed its own hospital so that patients would not have to travel to Jacksonville for care. After years of planning, the three of them financed and opened Orange Park Community Hospital, now HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital. Dr. Thompson was a leader in the medical community, serving as Chief of the Medical Staff and President of the Clay County Medical Association. He was also instrumental in establishing the Family Practice program at the Regional Medical Center at NAS Jacksonville. Raleigh loved, and faithfully served, the rapidly growing community of Orange Park in many ways, seen and unseen. His leadership in the expansion of both Grace Episcopal Church and St. John’s Country Day School are just two examples of his devotion.

 Dr. Thompson happily served as a mentor to many of the physicians who have practiced in Clay County throughout the years.  After 59 years in Orange Park, he retired from medicine in October 2023. He always said the most rewarding part of his career was the relationships he enjoyed with his patients. Dr. Thompson considered his patients, and their families, dear friends, and he was honored to be a part of their lives.

 Raleigh was a pilot, avid outdoorsman, Mason, and Shriner. One of his greatest joys was traveling with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

 He was predeceased by his father, William Raleigh Thompson, Sr., his mother, Lucille Thompson Allen, and his wife of 43 years, Joanne Nelson Thompson. 

 He is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 23 years, Lane Moore Thompson and his children:  William Raleigh Thompson, III (Marcela), Lance Nelson Thompson (Tonya), Jody Thompson, Ashley Thompson Senn (Kurt), Ruth Thompson Burchfield, Thomas Grayson Harmon (Joelle), Beth Harmon Lute (Dann), Tracie Harmon Jacobs (Steve), and Heather Harmon.  He was a loving “Papa” to his grandchildren:  William Raleigh Thompson, IV (Sayuri), Bess Thompson (Travis), Katie Thompson, Sean Thompson, Carolina Thompson, Jackson Robinson (Katherine), William Robinson (London), Banks Robinson, Raleigh Robinson, Blake Senn (Lindsey), Cole Senn (Sarah), Rachel Burchfield, Roxie Reeve (Fergus), Sasha Lute, Zach Lute, Peyton Taylor (Sean), London Harmon, Mackenna Jacobs, Cali Jacobs, and Ridge Jacobs; and to his great-grandchildren:  Raleigh, Hugo, Tyson, Sofia, Lennox, Holden, Lydia, and Jonathon.  And, of course, Dr. Thompson is survived by the hundreds of friends and patients whom he considered family.

 Please join us at a visitation for family and friends on June 16 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home (127 Blanding Boulevard, Orange Park).  Funeral services will be at 1:00 pm on June 17 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (4129 Oxford Avenue). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider making a donation in his memory to:  Forgotten Children Ministries “Operations” (fcmhonduras.org/donate), the American Cancer Society (https://donate.cancer.org), or the charity of your choice.