I know there are some around the OK/TX border who may have known these people that were lost recently.
Marietta couple's death leaves annual toy run without founders
By Carrie Coppernoll
Wed October 6, 2004
MARIETTA - Volunteers are unsure whether the Love County Toy Run will continue this year after the couple who founded the Christmas philanthropic effort were killed in a motorcycle accident last weekend.
Marietta police supervisor Jim Bob Thompson and his wife, Linda, died Sunday afternoon as they returned from vacation in Arkansas. Linda Thompson was the city clerk. Both were 54.
The Thompsons founded the Love County Toy Run two years ago and had been planning the event for this season, fellow organizer Bobby Reed said. During the toy run, motorcycle riders drive from town to town collecting Christmas presents for area children.
Reed said he is unsure if the toy run will happen this year.
Linda would spend hours e-mailing volunteers about the toy run, Reed said. And Jim Bob would talk to friends about donating money or toys for needy children.
"Jim Bob, he came on at times like he was a hard man," Reed said. "But he really had one of the biggest hearts in the world, especially when it came to Christmas time."
Marietta Lions Club Treasurer Dottie Gwin helped the Thompsons with the toy run and said county residents were starting to take notice of the Christmas event.
"Linda played a big part in that. Jim was there right beside her," Gwin said. "Every time I saw her, I saw him."
The event was important to many children and their families who otherwise might not have presents for the holidays, Gwin said. But continuing to plan for the toy drive will be difficult without the Thompsons.
"I'd hate to see it (the toy drive) not go," Gwin said. "But sometimes when a tragedy happens you might need to step back, take a break and try again next time."
A memorial service for the Thompsons is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church, 402 W Main.
NewsOK.com - Marietta couple's death leaves annual toy run without founders