Valeria Wallis Thompson Maxwell age, 93, passed away Friday, January 12, 2018. She was born in Searcy, Ark. on March 25, 1924. Shortly after birth, she moved with her family to Memphis, Tenn. Val lived with her family in Memphis until she was ten years old. At this time, her father died, and she returned to Searcy to live with relatives.
Val's adventuresome and independent spirit was evident at an early age. Not only did she earn her pilots license as a teenager but also developed her skills to the point she flew crop dusters.
She attended Hendrix College in Searcy, Ark. She then received a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Iowa.
With the dawn of World War II, her love of country and sense of patriotism called her into service, and she volunteered to help in any way she could. She was sent to Washington, D.C. and joined with other women flying mail planes.
She joined the American Red Cross and was sent to the Pacific Theater. While in the Philippines, she met her future husband, Major James A. Thompson Jr., MD. They were married in Manila. At the end of the war, Val and Dr. Jim moved to Marion, Va., Dr. Jim's home town. It was in the mountains of Southwest Virginia that she and Dr. Jim worked as a team establishing a medical practice and becoming an integral part of the community and their extended family. Together they raised four children. After the fourth child, she gave up flying and became an avid golfer. Dr. Jim predeceased her in 1978.
After her husband's death, she continued to live in Marion. She became a realtor. She devoted a lot of energy being a helpful and doting grandmother. During this period, she began to spend more time in warmer climates. She enjoyed Palm Springs and San Diego, but returned to the mountains for the summers.
In 1987, she married Lt. Col. Donald Maxwell, a fellow pilot. They moved to a golfing community in Roaring Gap, N.C. Later they built a home in Weeki Wachee, Fla. at the golfing community of Glen Lakes. After Don's death in 1997, Vale became a year-round resident of Fla.
It was her desire to be remembered as a lifelong Methodist and an ardent Democrat. She loved and cherished her family and friends. She was an avid golfer, a world traveler, a wonderful grandmother and lived to be a great-grandmother. Her interests were broad and varied and she enjoyed reading and crossword puzzles. Her true passion became golf, and she played regularly in ladies' groups at Glen Lakes well into her late eighties. Quietly, she would give a helping hand when she saw a need. Her greatest strengths were her sense of self and her resiliency.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two husbands, Dr. James A. Thompson Jr. and Lt. Col. Donald W. Maxwell; two brothers; one sister; her son, Dr. James A. Thompson III (Tommy); daughter-in-law, Dr. Patricia Hays; and son-in-law, Charles Voelker.
Val is survived by two daughters, Dr. Charlotte Campbell (Dr. Robert Campbell) and Lou Voelker; son, John Thompson (Judy); nine grandchildren, Beth Campbell, John Campbell, Annie Thompson Frankfort (Stuart), Erin Thompson, Theresa Thompson, Kimberly Brust, Alex Thompson, Laura Campbell (Eric Johnson), Joe Campbell (Anna); and six great-grandchildren, Catherine Campbell, Gwyn Frankfort, Thomas Frankfort, Oliver Campbell, Erica Campbell, and Sam Johnson.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 2 p.m. at Rose Lawn Cemetery, Marion Va. with Mr. Blake Frazier officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or a charity of your choice.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family at www.seaverbrown.com. Seaver-Brown Funeral Service and Crematory is honored to serve the family of Valeria Wallis Thompson Maxwell.