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Dr. Albert Reed Thompson

Dr. Albert Reed Thompson

Dr. Albert Reed Thompson died August 14, 2017, just as he lived ó gently, but with purpose. He was a father, husband, brother, grandfather, healer, teacher, friend, and lover of all creatures great and small.

Reed was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, on August 5, 1944, to Merle Clowney Thompson and Tignor Marvin Thompson. He graduated from El Dorado High School, Hendrix College, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He served in the Navy from 1971 to 1974. Reed was an ear, nose, and throat surgeon for twenty years.

Motivated by the challenges of caring for his patients who had incurable head and neck tumors, Reed became interested in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. As this was a relatively new specialty in the U.S., he realized that he had an opportunity to promote and expand it by returning to UAMS to educate future generations of physicians. In 1995, he started the first Palliative Care program in Arkansas.

In 1998 he became Head of Palliative Care for the Central Arkansas VA System and also Medical Director for Arkansas Hospice. While at UAMS he introduced medical students to basic Palliative Care, and provided Palliative Care electives to medical students and residents throughout the UAMS system.

Over the following twenty years, these programs grew tremendously. Anticipating eventual retirement, as each of these programs grew and became self-sustaining, Reed passed the reins to colleagues, and retired from the VA system at the end of 2016.

Anticipating a "next" career in another area of interest, Reed became certified as a Spiritual Director and actively practiced in that area until forced to stop by his illness. He was also looking forward to a pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona in the spring.

Reedís favorite place to be was with his family, especially when they were all together on Deer Isle in Maine where they spent summers for 25 years.

Reed is survived by his wife, Rebecca Thompson; sons, Quin (Mary Thompson) and Jonathan Thompson; daughters, Susan Williams (Vern Williams) and Mary Ellen Pyle; brother, Tig Thompson (Patti Thompson); and grandchildren, Katie Williams, Milo Thompson, and June Thompson.

Reed was a man of great compassion, selflessness, and vision who always spoke in an unconditional and generous manner. He will always be fondly remembered by those whom he loved, taught, healed, and ministered.

The visitation will take place at Ruebel Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 16, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Christ Church in downtown Little Rock.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite animal shelter, the Arkansas Nature Conservancy, or the Buddhist Ecumenical Center. Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home,

Condolence Book

"Reed was such a dear man and my heart is with you all during this huge loss. Sending you so much love. "
Shelley Seitz | Little Rock, AR

"Dear Becky
I am so sorry for your loss. He truly was such a special soul in this world. Thinking of you at this time
Debby Whitney"

Deborah Whitney | YORK, ME

"We have so much respect for Reed, what he believed in, and what he stood for that we feel not only a personal loss but a loss for all the lives that Reed touched.
Our hearts go out to Rebecca, to their children and to other family members. Our love to Rebecca--Joe and Terry "

Joe Lampo and Terry Jefferson | Little Rock, AR

"May his memory be eternal! What a great doc, I loved working with him."

"I'm shaken to the core to hear of Reed's death. He was my teacher, my mentor, my exemplar, my friend. Much of who and what I became as a physician I can attribute to Reed's gentle but persuasive influence.

My heart goes out to you, his beloved family. I stand in silent honor and respect for your grief. My heart hurts with this news.

Please know that I loved Reed for the kind, compassionate, gentle, generous physician, teacher, friend, and gentleman that he was. "

Stephen Hathcock, MD | Little Rock, AR

"I have so many great memories of going on home visits with Dr. Thompson. He was always such a great mentor and friend during the time I worked at Arkansas Hospice along side him. ! I will miss him dearly."
Anna Noack | NLR, AR

"Dr. Thompson was a parent at infant toddler Montessori and neighbors of my daughter Natasha Marlow on sunset drive..very nice person and mat him a few months ago after my return to Little Rock.My heartfelt condolences to his family ..his son Jonathan...May his soul Rest In Peace."
JyothiMcminn | Little Rock, AR

"I am so saddened to read of Reed's recent death. I was at Hendrix with him, and he was admired by everyone and was always a classic Southern Gentleman. Reading about his life and his gifts to the world, I see that continued throughout his life. He definitely is the definition of a "Life Well Lived" and will be missed.

Joetta Duke | North Little Rock, AR

"Reed touched many lives. The world is a better place because of his caring. He will be missed."
Debra Fiser | Little Rock, AR

"My condolences to family and colleagues of this special man. He was a mentor a friend but always a teacher. He was an inspiration and motivating source for so many in the end-of-life field, forever grateful Dr. Thompson."
Donna Williamson | Mountain Home , AR

"I only met Dr. Reed Thompson once, and I never forgot him. He had a beautiful aura about him that was impossible to ignore. May he rest in peace, and may his kind, loving spirit live until eternity."
Marzetta Austin | Jackson, MS

"Dear family
I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Dr Thompson was a fine man and a tireless physician. Wishing you peace at this hard time.


Cynthia Webster | Little Rock, AR

"Reed was so well-loved and respected in his field, and by all who worked with him. He was a kind and generous soul. My condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to all of his family. "
Debbie Oates Erwin | Buffalo , NY

Stephen Lawrence | LIttle Rock, , AR

"Reed Thompson was my colleague, mentor, and friend. As a healthcare chaplain, I am grateful for his appreciation of caring for the whole person, including the spiritual dimension as well as the physical. Reed taught me palliative care. He greatly impacted my life. Rest whole, my friend."
All Henager | Kansas City, KS

"Dr. Thompson was my ENT as a child. I was in and out more that anyone should be at such a young age. He made me feel so comfortable and calmed the fears of a young child. I will never forget his bedside manor. He was a great doctor and more so a great man. He is missed by many. My prayers are with the family. "
Melissa Baker | Amarillo, TX

"Please accept my deepest condolence. I had a pleasure to meet Dr. Thompson, when he was helping and supporting us, staff at Inpatient Palliative Unit, in Jackson VAMC. I will always remember him as a very kind and pleasant person and dedicated physician."
Dr. Jolanta Roszkowska | Jackson, MS

"I was a student and then a colleague of Dr Thompson. I have learned a lot from him. I was very impressed with his palliative and hospice care service. I have not been exposed to hospice before, as it was a relatively new discipline. Dr Thompson was a pioneer in this area. He has filled the great gap that existed for the care of dying patients. He was caring and gentle. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family

Burcu Ozdemir | Little Rock AR, AR

"I am so sorry for your loss. He had a beautiful soul."
Marie Sullivant | Little Rock, AR

"I had known Reed for many years through the medical profession, and I was so sorry to hear this sad news.
He was a great physician ,mentor and friend, always so kind and compassionate, he will be greatly missed.
My prayers and condolences to all his family."

Kathryn A Morris, RN BSN | Little Rock, AR

"Condolences to Becky and the children. Reed was an unusually kind and thoughtful man. He will be missed by everyone."
Robert H. Dudley | Little Rock

"I can not express just how much I love Palliative Medicine because of Dr. Thompson influence. Thank you so much Reed, for your contribution to the profession and sharing your knowledge with any one around that would soak it in. I am grateful to be one of those people. You will be missed. "
Malaika Amedee | New Orleans, LA

"Dear Family, i met Reed just as he was joining us in the GRECC. From that time, I knew him as the genuine article: Wonderful in all ways, always. After we moved over to The Reynolds, I used to stop by his office just to see him and take some of his perfection, warmth,and gentleness back up stairs to face Mr. Alzheimer's puzzle. XO Sue"
sue griffin | Little Rock, AR

"I knew Reed for over 50 years. Watching him start palliative care at UAMS was inspiring. He knew how to spread his enthusiasm to others. His impact will go on forever through patients he cared for and people he trained. A truly great man. Kent Westbrook"
Kent Westbrook | Little Rock, AR

"So sorry to hear of Reed's passing. My deepest condolences to all of you. "
Tom Donovan | Fayetteville , AR

"A true gentleman, a great friend... Will be missed so much !!!"
Emre Vural | Little Rock, AR

"So sorry to hear of the loss of a truly grat man."
Janet Manes | Benton, AR

"I am truly saddened to hear of the loss of Dr. Thompson. He was a kind, gentle and compassionate Physician. He will be greatly missed."
Gillian Taylor | Little Rock, AR

"I knew Dr.Thompson through Hospice. He took very very good care of my mother-in-law during her last few days and was a very special man to my family. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with his family. "
Cathy Shaw | Heber Springs , AR

"Donna and I have known Reed since Freshman days at Hendrix. He truly exemplified the values and strengths of the liberal arts. Our College had no more worthy alumnus. He was an adornment to the profession of Medicine, and to UAMS. It was my honor and pleasure to be his partner in teaching. We will remember him always. May he enjoy the rewards of a life so well and selflessly lived."
Jonathan Wolfe | Little Rock, AR

"My condolences to Dr. Thompson's entire family. Reed was such nice, kind and talented man. He helped me for many years teaching a summer program for students interested in becoming health professionals in cancer research and care. A great guy who will be missed."
Thomas Kelly |

"My condolences to Dr. Thompson's entire family. Reed was such nice, kind and talented man. He helped me for many years teaching a summer program for students interested in becoming health professionals in cancer research and care. A great guy who will be missed."
Thomas Kelly |

"I am so sorry to hear about his passing. I worked with him at UAMS and at the VA. He was one of the kindest people I have ever known. He was compassionate toward his patients and made those around him feel valued as well. My condolences to the family. He will be missed."
Mary Beth ODonovan | Friendship, AR

"Dr. Thompson taught my Introduction to Medicine class many years ago. He taught by example how to provide compassionate care. My thoughts and prayers to the family of this fine man."
Nathan Turney | Jonesboro , AR

"My sympathy to Reed's family, especially Quinn.
- jc"

John Cooke | North Little Rock, AR

"So saddened to hear of Dr. Thompsons death. Prayers to his wife and children. He was truly a compassionate and caring man. "
Tonie Durrett | Little Rock, AR

"I enjoyed every time I was able to be around him during my Arkansas Hospice employment. He was always so willing to explain anything anyone had a question about. He was so compassionate and understanding and will be greatly missed. He taught me so many new ideas. My prayers are with each of you at this special time and asking Godto give you strength and comfort for each new day. "
Zann Jordan | Hot Springs, AR

"Rebecca and family
We are so saddened to hear of Reed's passing. He has been
a wonderful neighbor, and true friend through the years
We will miss him
Steve and kristine"

Steve &a kristine Smithson | Stonington, ME

"This is so sad. The Palliative and Medical field has lost an amazing pioneer I worked with Dr Thompson and he was there when we lost my father. MY father was even in one of his case studies on End of Life Care. To his family I say I am sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing this men with so many. He will truly be missed. The Bennie Alberson Family"
Dealonnia Alberson Cook | Austin, AR

"Reed Thompson was the epitome of a caring and compassionate physician. I had the privilege of seeing him as a patient and of working with him in medical humanities. He radiated warmth, concern, and quiet wisdom. He touched so many lives. What a loss for all of us."
Laura Ackerman Smoller | Rochester, NY

"As a classmate at UAMS I knew Reed as a gentle and calm presence in the frantic quest of med school. Thirty years later my family and l experienced that same gentle caring presence as he cared for my dad at the inpatient hospice facility in NLR. We too join those expressing gratitude and condolences."
Tom Blucker | Denton, TX

"You are my friend, ever and always, wherever and always. Blessings on your new life, Reed, and prayers of transition blessings for your family and friends.

jane lee wolfe | woodstock, VT

"Our hearts were deeply saddened to hear of Reed's passing. He was a truly fine man in every way. As I read the above condolences and comments I recognized the kind, gentle man we knew. His healing purpose and friendship lives on in all of us whose lives he touched. Our love to you, Rebecca and your precious family."
Lee and Burton Moore | Little Rock, AR

"Reed was a great clinician, teacher, roll model and colleague. He will be missed."
Dennis Sullivan | Little Rock, AR

"I met Reed in 2013 at Kanuga where we were both in the Haden Spiritual Direction program. He was ahead of me in the program and one of the few fellow Arkansans. I so enjoyed getting to spend time with him and have him mentor me a bit over the following year.. He was a real pleasure and I can only imagine what kind of presence he was in his work. I'm remembering him joyfully today and offer my best wishes to his family."
Liz Lester | Fayetteville, AR

"Rebecca and family, words are always a struggle at a time like this. Know that I am thinking of you and remembering Reed at his strongest, his wit and humor. Love and light - Namaste Michelle & Chris "
Michelle Bradley | Yuma , AZ

"Reed Thompson loved chocolate chip cookies, especially at sea. I will love them more for him now. Reed loved Becky Thompson. I already love her. Reed Thompson loved to laugh. I will be better at that because of him. Reed Thompson never thought he knew everything. I will try to be more humble in the future. Reed Thompson never minded lowering his stature to let the dog out to pee. I don't even like it when I have to pee. Well, I would have had him survive for a while longer, but in its stead I will collect all my memories and try to be a bit more like him, focusing mostly on Rebecca, and the cookies, of course."
Joe Coomer | Stonington, ME

"I graduated with Reed at El Dorado High
in 1962. He was a friend on mine. I'm very, very sorry for all of the Thompson family loss. He was a good person.
Jay Haas
Class of 1962"

Jay Haas | El Dorado, Arkansas

"I was fortunate to have worked with Dr. Thompson-he was kind, caring and had a heart for those suffering. The world is a better place because he was here and will be missed by all who had the privilege to have met him. Prayers for his family at this time."
Brenda Ramsey | Benton, AR

"I am just reading this Obituary and My heart is shattered. I have known Reed all my life and Nursing Career. He was the first to offer me a job after completeing L.P.N. School at St.Vincent in 1982. Although, I chose Orthopedics; He often encouraged me to get my degree in Nursing. I took his advice. He just had a way of making it all make sense.
He took my Tonsils out at the age of 21. He was so kind and such a gentle soul. Never to be forgetten.

My Mom, Beverly Stancil Herring, worked in the OR with him for many years. My Dad, Ray Stancil worked on his Volvos, until he closed his shop in 2008, due to Alzheimers. My family adored this man. Through the years he kept up with my aging parents through me, until they both passed away in 2015.

I have had a calling to go into Hospice and after reading this I will do this in his honor.
May His Blessed Family be comforted by Love, devotion and treasured memories of this One of a kind Gentleman who touched the lives of everyone that knew him. REST IN LOVE SIR..

Jamie Stancil Lee and Family"

Jamie Stancil Lee | Mabelvale, AR

"I attended high school in El Dorado, AR with Reed. I always had the utmost respect for him. My prayers go out to his family. "
Nancy Gardner | INDIAN WELLS, CA

"Little Rock lost a very special soul. My condolences go out to his family. "
Dent Gitchel Jr. | Little Rock, AR

"My heart is heavy upon learning of the loss of this truly wonderful man. I never knew him as a physician, but shared a spiritual path with him. He was, indeed, a man of deep compassion. I'm holding his beloved family in my heart with much heartfelt sympathy for their loss."
Judith Elane | Little Rock, AR

"What a wonderful person. I had the good fortune to work with him at the VA. He was so good to everyone. So sorry for the loss of this kind man. I hope that the medical students he taught will continue his legacy of kindness, compassion and caring. "
Marti Rouby | Little Rock, AR

"Please accept my condolences on your loss. May your memories comfort your heart; and God help your family during this time of sorrow. Isa.41:13

Carla | Phoenix, AZ

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