Cecil B. Thompson, devoted husband of Karen Thompson, loving father of Nevah Stevenson and Leah Hull, proud grandfather of Connor, Cole and Dylan Stevenson, Bennett, Wyatt and Sterling Hull, passed quickly of a heart attack early Saturday morning, November 16, 2019.
Cecil was born in Los Angeles, CA. He was one of five siblings and the third son of proud immigrant parents, Brennan Irwin and Cecily Agatha Thompson, from the island of Bequia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Cecil was raised in their loving home, which provided a solid foundation for the many chapters of his life to come. Cecil was an intelligent and kind young man, who benefitted from his deep commitment to his education and the lessons he learned from his family role models. Born with natural ambition, determination and creativity, Cecil excelled at every stage of his life. In his early years his older brothers, also high achievers, were his inspiration, only to be followed by his younger brother and sister, who also advanced successfully in their chosen careers.
Cecil was a tap dancer and child actor. He was the voice of young Amos on the 1940’s radio version of Amos ‘N’ Andy, staring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll. How did I manage to find such an amazing husband? I call it luck, and a lot of it. It’s hard not to say “we” but this is all about my love, Cecil. Oh the places he would go and the experiences we shared.
Cecil was always up for a new challenge; he played the oboe in the elementary school band and composed music and cut records. His band later played wedding and bar mitzvah gigs, the counter activity to his university studies. Cecil had a magical gift for the piano, which he played most of his life. It gave him freedom to express and improvise; especially jazz.
Cecil majored in economics, receiving degrees through PhD at UCLA. He taught Economics at the University of Hawaii, in Manoa and California State College, Fullerton, where he was honored by one of his students with the creation of a scholarship in his name. Cecil later taught Managerial Economics at University of Phoenix in Utah.
Cecil served in several capacities with the Federal Energy Administration receiving many recognitions of appreciation. He worked for Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City, MO in the field of sustainable energy and for SERI (Solar Energy Research Institute) in Golden, CO. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Cecil headed a U.S. - Saudi Joint Commission Program to build a solar village in Al Jubaylah and Al Uyaynah, 30 miles northwest of Riyadh, and a water desalination plant in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. Cecil spent seven years living and traveling throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His wife and daughters lived there for part of that time as well.
In 1991 Cecil was appointed by President George Herbert Walker Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate, as a Member of the Board of Directors of the United States Export Import Bank. Cecil became the bank’s first Small Business Director. He was instrumental in enhancing the bank’s Working Capital Guarantee Program and in the creation of Delegated Authority.
In 1997 Cecil and Karen moved to Utah where they spent their first two years exploring mountains, river rafting, 4-wheeling, meeting new friends and enjoying their new Western lifestyle. It wasn’t too long before Cecil felt it was time for a new chapter in Real Estate, where he and Karen continued to be a well- matched team.
Cecil was my best friend and a most thoughtful and caring husband. Most of all, being a dad made him happy and proud. He loved his grandchildren and enjoyed their individuality, thrived hearing about their jobs, sports, talent, and future plans. His faith in our Savior was strong, he loved serving his church and lending a hand whenever he could. He was a loyal, caring and good friend to many.
Cecil is survived by his wife Karen Thompson, daughters Nevah Stevenson and Leah Hull, grandchildren, Connor Stevenson, Cole Stevenson, Dylan Stevenson, Bennett Hull, Wyatt Hull, Sterling Hull, brothers, Irwin Thompson, Sidney Thompson, Denis Thompson, sister Lynne Thompson, and of all their respective families.
A wake will be held Friday, November 22, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. at Starks Funeral Parlor at 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building. Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, November 23, 11:00 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 300 East 11800 South Draper, Utah. Please share your photos and memories with the family at www.starksfuneral.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Cecil’s name to a charity of your choice or to the Cecil B. Thompson Award, a scholarship in his honor, at California State University, Fullerton or to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) where he's served as a member of the corporation and as trustee for years.