Nautical 22


James A. Thompson

April 11, 1930 ~ November 15, 2018 (age 88)
James A. Thompson, 88, of Unionville, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, November 15, 2018. He was born in New Britain to James Alonzo and Alma Helander Thompson. Alma advised her son early in life, “Have fun Jim, you are dead a long time”, and Jim did. Jim worked hard and never wasted a minute. After 2 years of service during the Korean War, he graduated from UCONN School of Engineering and spent the rest of his professional life working in the engineering community in and around Hartford as a partner at Buck & Buck Engineers. He served the Town of Ellington as an engineering consultant for 54 years, spent 35 years consulting for several Connecticut based water utilities and served clients in industry and residential development. In his 60 plus years as a civil engineering consultant he felt his most important project was as a consultant to the City of Hartford after the collapse of the Hartford Civic Center in 1978. Jim worked hard and was dedicated to fulfilling his clients’ goals but he also played hard and fulfilled his personal ambitions. In the 1970’s Jim built a 43’ ferro-cement sailboat in Farmington and sailed it to Europe in 1980. He spent three six-month summers touring Europe’s coast, the canals of France and the Mediterranean with family and friends. Jim told friends and family that the boat was always open to anyone who could find him and the trip gave so many people in Jim’s life opportunity for adventure. Voyages to Bermuda and Maine followed and the “Murielle” was a fixture in Essex for years. Jim and his wife Colburn were married before the mast in the harbor on a warm summer day and set sail on a new adventure. The biggest joy of Jim’s life was building a home with Colburn. They were a great team and raised their twin daughters in a loving environment. Jim was so proud of his girls and often boasted that he was the only guy who could order up a violin duet after dinner. Every moment with Daddy was full of love, learning and lots of stories. Jim is survived by his wife Colburn, his daughters Alma and Louise Thompson, his son James A. Thompson III, his brother Bertrand Thompson, brothers-in-law Brecon and Andrew Cole, and his granddaughters and great grandson. Funeral services will be private and at the convenience of the family. Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Avenue is assisting the family. Please visit Jim’s memorial page at
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