Leonard W. Thompson, 74, Western Electric supervisor

March 25, 1996

Leonard W. Thompson, who rose from the assembly line to become the first black supervisor at the Western Electric Co.'s Point Breeze plant, died of a heart attack Wednesday at his Harlem Avenue home. He was 74.

A native of Baltimore, Mr. Thompson served in the Army from 1943 to 1946, becoming a first sergeant, and was stationed in England, France, Belgium and Germany.

A 1951 graduate of the Cortez Peters Business Junior College, he later took correspondence courses and corporate training in management, economics, computers and human relations.

Mr. Thompson began his 39-year career with Western Electric as an assembler on the production line at the now-closed plant in Dundalk.

He was a union representative for Communications & Electrical Workers from 1962 through 1964, when he became a supervisor.

His assignments included labor relations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission representative, and supervising sections of the telephone-components production line. He retired in 1980.

Mr. Thompson headed several committees and organizations at Union Memorial United Methodist Church.

His community activities included the Alpha Chapter of the Chi Psi Sigma business fraternity; the Peers Inc. charitable organization; the Mayor's Blue Chip program, the Pioneers of Bell System Infant Hearing Assessment program; and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

A funeral will be at 7 p.m. today at Union Memorial United Methodist Church, 2500 Harlem Ave.

Burial will be tomorrow at Arbutus Memorial Park.

Mr. Thompson was married in 1942 to the former Helen Grooms, who survives him. He is survived by three daughters, Reada T. Nelson of Randallstown, Leonora T. Grayson of Woodlawn, and Jewel M. Thompson of Baltimore; a sister, the Rev. Ida E. T. Simms of Pikesville; five grandchildren; and many other relatives.

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Pub Date: 3/25/96

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