“Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
Those who worked closely with W.G. “Bit” Thompson, remember the longtime supervisor as the epitome of these words, penned by the apostle James.
“He was a very quiet, easygoing man and very easy to work with,” said Lowndes County District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks, who worked with Thompson for about eight years, before Thompson retired from the board in 1991.
“I think, in the number of years I served with him … I never saw him get angry,” Brooks added.
“He was the easiest person to work for,” said Rowena Worshaim, secretary to the Board of Supervisors. “If you did something he didn”t like, he would come to you in private. He never tried to publicly embarrass you. Even when he was angry, he stayed in a low tone.
“He didn”t like to speak in front of a public forum a lot. Even when he had to speak, he kept it short.”
When people disagreed with Thompson”s decisions, he would take time out to explain his vote, and he was quick to apologize if he thought he was wrong, Worshaim remembered.
“He was just a prince of a fellow,” said Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant, who confirmed Thompson, 84, died this morning from complications after a stroke.
“He was transported from his home last evening after apparently suffering a stroke, and he died this morning at Baptist Memorial (Hospital-Golden Triangle),” Merchant said.
Thompson served on the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors for six terms, or 24 years, and served as board president for three of those terms.
And, said Worshaim, the man known to most as “Mr. Bit” never abused his position as board president.
“He didn”t use that president”s seat to lash someone or exercise his authority over them,” she recalled.
“His constituents loved him, and they fondly called him Mr. Bit,” said Brooks.
“I thought a lot of Mr. Bit. We all called him Mr. Bit, and that was all over the state,” added Worshaim. “They”d all call and say ”I wanna speak to Bit Thompson.” Of course when he signed official documents, he signed them as W.G. Thompson.”
The presidency was based on seniority then, Worshaim noted. While Thompson served as president, Lowndes County Tax Assessor/Collector Greg Andrews” grandfather, Ed Andrews, served as vice president.
And the board got along like a group of old pals.
“Even when there were disagreements, we were never disagreeable,” said Brooks. “We would disagree on something in a meeting and then all have lunch together.”
Over the years, Thompson remained close to the boardroom, stopping by the courthouse to visit, said Brooks.
Arrangements for Thompson are incomplete and will be announced by Memorial Funeral Home of Columbus.