Rev. James Thomson Jr., 75, Presbyterian minister

July 12, 2002

The Rev. James Campbell Thomson Jr., a retired Presbyterian minister who had been deputy director of the Governor's Office of Volunteerism and an avid horticulturist, died of cancer Monday at Union Memorial Hospital. He was 75.

The 40-year Lauraville resident was born in West Chester, Pa., and raised in Bloomfield, N.J., where he graduated from high school in 1944. He attended Pennsylvania State University briefly before enlisting in the Army.

He was en route to Japan when the war ended and served there as a member of the occupation forces until he was discharged with the rank of lieutenant in 1946.

He earned his bachelor's degree in horticulture from Penn State in 1950, and after working briefly with the Christian Service Training Center in Florida, he enrolled in the Dubuque Theological Seminary.

After his ordination in 1955, he worked as an assistant pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo, Iowa. From 1958 to 1962, he was the Presbyterian minister assigned to the Student Christian Movement and Campus Ministry at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1963, he moved to Baltimore when he became campus ministry coordinator for the Synod of the Chesapeake, a position he held until 1970, when he became assistant director of the Urban Coalition.

In 1974, Mr. Thomson became deputy director and later director of the Maryland Service Corps, a state volunteer program. After the program became the Governor's Office of Volunteerism, he remained as deputy director until retiring in 1987.

In the late 1980s, he worked as a horticulturist for Frank's Nursery and Crafts at the company's East Joppa Road store in Towson.

Although formally retired from the ministry in 1993, he continued to serve as a parish associate at Faith Presbyterian Church in Northwood.

Mr. Thomson's community interests included the Lauraville Improvement Association and the Harford Road Partnership.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Faith Presbyterian Church, 5400 Loch Raven Blvd.

Mr. Thomson is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Patricia Mae Woods; two sons, James C. Thomson of Hanover, Pa., and Bruce S. Thomson of Rex, Ga.; four daughters, Bonnie L. Thomson of Glen Arm, Mary R. "Becky" Thomson, Sara A. Thomson and Janet L. Thomson, all of Baltimore; and six grandchildren.

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