Martin Joseph Thompson, Jr
Martin Joseph “Joe” Thompson, Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at his home in Austin, Texas. His family, numerous friends, and professional colleagues mourn his passing. He was a solo-practice lawyer for the past four years in criminal law, as well as practicing law in employment and disability laws for 18 years.
He is survived by his mother, Elean
or Thompson and his brother, Mark “Randy” Thompson, both of Aurora, Colo., as well as other family members and a wealth of friends throughout Texas, and across the United States. He was preceded in death by his father, Martin J. Thompson.
Joe was born on November 6, 1957 and graduated high school in Del Rio, Texas. Through his young years, his family lived and traveled around the world due to his father”s military career. The years the family lived in Italy were some of his fondest memories that he spoke of frequently. As a young adult, he continued his world travels to Europe, Italy, and China. Joe was proud that he was able to walk the entire length of the Great Wall of China in 1989 before his Muscular Dystrophy progressed to the point that he was confined to a wheelchair.
In 1980, Joe graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts. in economics. Columbia remained with him as an important influence. The friendships and relationships he developed with his colleagues at Columbia were very important to him. In 1987, Joe completed his Doctor of Jurisprudence at The University of Texas at Austin. As he was known to say, he worked on all sides of the bench as a prosecutor and litigator. This experience included the Texas Attorney General”s Office, City of Austin Municipal Court associate judge, as well as a corporate lawyer and a counselor of law at The University of Texas at Austin, prior to entering into private practice. The excitement of the courtroom was intoxicating for him.
Joe presented arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals several times throughout his career. His passion of the law, his desire for the “everyone to have his/her day in court,” and his fight for justice for the disabled and employment issues were driving forces throughout his career. Living with muscular dystrophy and asthma, he never complained and what is remembered about him mostly include his sunny disposition, sense of humor, and quick laughter. These were characteristics admired by all who knew him.
A memorial service to celebrate Joe”s life and accomplishments was held at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 at Faith United Methodist Church. A graveside service will be held at a future date in Denver, Colo.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice or to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America or the Muscular Dystrophy Association.