Mr. Murray Donald “Don” or “M.D.” Thompson - The Mena Star: Obituaries

Mr. Murray Donald “Don” or “M.D.” Thompson

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Posted: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 5:23 pm

Mr. Murray Donald “Don” or “M.D.” Thompson, passed away Sunday, October 15, 2017 at his home.

Don was born on July 29, 1929 to Edward Douglas Thompson and Dessie May Pottridge in Bates, Arkansas during the Great Depression.  The family went to Oregon to work the fields picking fruit and beans.  They then moved to Visalia, California where Don went to work for Campbell’s Dairy, milking cows and running a door to door milk route.  His passion was always playing music and he did so six nights a week, including playing with Buck Owens on The Cousin Herb show on television in Bakersfield, California.  Among the other notable musicians Don played with were Johnny Cash, Earnest Tubb, Jenny Shepherd, and the present band of the late Merle Haggard consisted of Don’s former bandmembers.

After Campbell’s Dairy moved to Mena, Arkansas in 1961, Don began working with them again in 1967 and continued there for the next 20 years.  He also worked for Moran’s Foodland in the produce department before retiring, along with his wife Bobbie Sue Booth who worked in the meat department. 

Don still played music every week in and around Mena, including the American Legion.  Gene Lance was Don’s bassman and funnyman for over 35 years, as well as a close friend.  Other friends and bandmates that formed his group, The Talimena Drive, included Lloyd Schoolfield as his lead guitarist, and their band was the best around.

To all the guys who plays in the band, we, his sons, say a heartfelt “thanks”, to all of Dad’s friends and followers who went to all of his dances and put up with his bragging, we say “thank you all”.  “We love you dad! I guess you’re playing for Jesus now!  Make Him get up and dance!”

Don is survived by his wife, Bobbie Booth Thompson; sons, Eddie Donald Thompson and wife Janice of Hatfield, Arkansas, Michael Dale Thompson and wife Niecee of Barling, Arkansas; step-son Aldridge Clay Booth of Pine Ridge, Arkansas; brother, Steve Thompson of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Dewayne Thompson of Ft. Smith, Arkansas; sisters, Delores Tolbert of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Geneva Cook, Kathy Sosa of Ft. Smith, Arkansas; grandchildren, Heather Grenier of Mena, Arkansas, Cory Thompson of Mena, Arkansas, Shasta Reichard of Van Buren, Arkansas; Great-Grandchildren, David and Sarah Grenier of Mena, Arkansas, Jackson and Grant Thompson of Mena, Arkansas and Easton and Tennison Reichard of Van Buren, Arkansas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Dessie Thompson, a son, David Lee Thompson, a daughter, Sharon Cochrane, and a brother, Dale Thompson and his beloved step-mother, Beatrice “Bea” Thompson.

Graveside services were held Thursday, October 19 in Pine Ridge Cemetery with Brother Lynn Chiles officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of the Beasley Wood Funeral Home. Online obituary available at

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