Dr. Darlene Thompson Ed.D

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Funeral services for Dr. Darlene Blackwell Bennett
Thompson, Ed.D., were held Tuesday, February 16 at 2 pm at the First Baptist Church in Leesville with Rev. Jeff Coleman and Rev. Craig Forgue officiating. Burial followed at the Welcome Cemetery in Simpson, LA. Services are under the direction of
Labby Memorial Funeral Home of Leesville.
Darlene was the daughter of Odis Pharon (O.P.) and Carrie Knight Blackwell, she was born June 28, 1931 in Simpson, she passed February 12, 2016 with her loving family by her side at her home in
DARLENE THOMPSON – “The Many Rooms of Her Life”
In the Bible, John Wrote “In my Father’s House are many mansions, (or many rooms). Darlene’s life had many rooms and she filled them all to their fullest.
Darlene’s rooms began to be formed at an early age. Her love for music began at the age of eight when she began taking piano lessons. By the age of twelve, she was playing the piano for churches in the local area. This love of learning, music, and
her devotion to God, continued throughout her entire life. The rooms that she would later fill in her life were being formed at an early age.
One room was filled with education. She loved to learn and spent many years of her life
learning. She first entered Lamar Junior College to pursue a career in music. After she graduated from the junior college with a two year degree in music, she entered Northwestern State University (NSU) and received a Bachelor of Science degree in
As life sometimes is, she began her career in Elementary Education as a second-grade teacher. NSU soon offered a Master’s Program, and in three summers graduated with a Masters in Elementary Education.
Loving to teach,
she continued her career and went back to NSU and completed the 30 Plus Program. As the years went by, NSU offered a Doctoral Program in elementary education, and in three years graduated with a Doctorate of Education Degree.
opportunities opened in Texas, Darlene retired from the Louisiana Teaching System and moved to Vidor, Texas where she became the Director of Alternative School Program. This filled her room as an educator.
Another room in Darlene’s life
was filled with music. She always had a love for playing the piano and singing. She taught piano as a high school student and continued all her life to teach young people and adults to play the piano.
She used this talent in her church
work and worked as music director for different churches. Her love for music led her to learn to play other instruments. She played the organ, the violin, and in the latter part of her life, began to try her hand at the steel guitar. Music was always
a part of Darlene’s life.
Her next full room was spent serving the Lord. She loved the Lord and loved to work for him. She served as Vacation Bible School organizer, Music Director, Sunday School teacher, and served on various church
She served where ever the Lord called her. The Lord led it upon her heart to start an Assembly of God Church. Following God’s direction, she drew the plans and organized the First Assembly Church of Simpson, . She never tired
working for the Lord.
The next room was filled with travel. She loved to travel and experience the cultures of other countries. She traveled to the Holy Land, Europe, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Island, and all over
United States.
The last room was filled with her family – three children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. It was important for her to provide her grandchildren with the same opportunities that she had given her
children. She reached back to her love for music and taught many of them to play the piano and sing.
She was always there for their birthday parties, graduations, ballgames, and school programs. In order to be near her children and
grandchildren, she planned yearly vacations for her family to share and spend time together. Family was important to her.
She also participated in local clubs and organizations. She enjoyed being a part of the Pilot Culb, the Vernon
Parish Community Choir, the Vernon Parish Community Choral Ensemble, and the Vernon Parish Community Drama Organization. She was accepted into the honorary Phi Delta Kappa Education Fraternity, of which she was a member for over 30 years.
In 2003 life dealt her a devastating blow. She was given too much gentamicin, an antibiotic that destroyed all of her balance. She was told she would never walk again, but, her will came to the forefront, and with sheer determination, and trust in
the Lord, she began to slowly walk again, and still walks with the Lord.
Darlene is survived by her husband of 25 years, Retired US Army LTC Mitchell G. Thompson of Leesville; her children, Debra Bennett Beckwith (John H. Beckwith, III)
of Simpson, Eric Blane Bennett (Taini Larney Bennett) of Leesville, and Denise Bennett Wills of Leesville; her step-children, Mitchell Glen Thompson, Jr. (Francis) of Chicago, Ill., William Richard Thompson (Pamela) of Miami, Fla. and Julie Ann
Thompson, San Antonio, Texas; her grandchildren, Autumn Beschoner Boudreaux (Branch Boudreaux) of Simpson, John H. Beckwith IV of Natchitoches, Ryan B. Beckwith of Simpson, Aaron B. Bennett (Brandy Bennett) of Leesville, Brett L. Bennett of
Leesville, Chamberlyn Wills of Leesville, Chandler Wills of Leesville; great-grandchildren, Payton Miller, Preston Miller, John Beckwith V (J.J.) Gentry Bennett, and Shalyn Bennett.
Words of comfort may be expressed to the Thompson Family
at www.labbymemorial.com