Thompson memorial dedicated

| October 7, 2019

A large crowd gathered at the Lake Park ball diamond for the dedication of the Tom Thompson Memorial on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 6 including members of the family. Pictured from left are: Maci Thompson, Kennedy Davis, Jennie Thompson, Anderson Davis and Mya Thompson. Maci and Mya are the daughters of Alton and Nikki Thompson and Kennedy and Anderson are the daughters of Jayme and Drew Davis. They are sitting on one of four benches at the site. Mark Fortune | Beacon

COSHOCTON – A large crowd gathered near the entrance to Lake Park for the dedication of the Tom Thompson Memorial at Ben Tufford field. Ken Smailes gave the invocation and Bob Bigrigg greeted everyone. Bigrigg thanked the following organizations and area businesses for making the site possible. “I would like to thank the Coshocton Foundation, Friends of the Parks, Century National Bank, Hathaway Inc., Coshocton City and County Park District and the Century National Bank employees.

“A really, really special thanks to my co-worker, Beccy Porteus and her family who spent countless hours trying to get this put together. Dustin Klein, Hathaway Inc., obviously Chuck Hathaway, Greg and Heather Cox, Deb Gaumer and Kristi Leindecker of the Garden Patch and the Coshocton County Master Gardener volunteers.

“This memorial has 68 medallions on the benches with each having a saying on them from family and friends and each bench has a small home plate with a favorite saying of Tom.

“The tree in the center is a scarlet oak.

Speakers included Bruce Wallace, who mentioned the many coaches that Tom worked with over the years and mentioned one of Tom’s most meaningful awards, that being the Ohio High School Basketball coaches award. “Tom took great pride in all his dealings with coaches. He knew the value of what a coach could bring to a young person. Some of our greatest learning is on the ballfields, in the locker rooms, the dugouts and the practice fields. Of all the teachers we had, it’s the coaches that we credit with learning the values of teamwork, discipline and hard work.

“I look at this dedication that honors Tom as one he would be especially proud of because coached Tom coached at this location on this diamond for the Cherokees more than any other.”

Other speakers included longtime on air broadcaster with Thompson, Steve Cores, Ridgewood varsity baseball coach Chad Lahna and son Alton.

Cores said, “He was the most prepared person you could imagine. He left nothing to chance. His true passion was baseball.”

Lahna said, “20 years ago a relationship was formed between me and Tom on the diamond right behind me. The impact that he had on my life is meaningful. Just to be back here at this point in time and honor an individual that probably cared more about any of us here than he did himself is really powerful. He’s touched everyone here in a different way. His memory and his legacy will never end.”

Son Alton said, “He loved to compete, he loved his players, he loved his coaches, but more importantly he loved this community and he loved all of you guys. Thank you Bob and Beccy and thank all of you for the support. It’s been overwhelming.”

Following the dedication, Wallace said, “This is a perfect place for the memorial and they did a great job with making it look special and in this location so you can see the field. Tom was not only a great employee but he became a great friend – and was my best man when I took my vows. That indicates how special he was for Deb and I. He was a professional and he loved this area. Family and community were huge to Tom.”

Bigrigg said, “It was fantastic to see this many people come out to honor Tom and dedicate this memorial. I’m so pleased with how it turned out. The assistance I was able to get from the Coshocton Foundation, Friends of the Parks, the bank, on and on. We just couldn’t be more pleased with how it looks.”


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Category: High School, Sports

About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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