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Marietta (OK) couple's death leaves toy run without founder

Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
5,640
Location
Denver, Colorado
I know there are some around the OK/TX border who may have known these people that were lost recently. :-(

The Oklahoman
Marietta couple's death leaves annual toy run without founders

By Carrie Coppernoll
The Oklahoman
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
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,709
Location
Huntsville
:tab You know, it really sucks for everyone left behind, but going together like that would not be so bad. It's hard for me to think what life would be like without Beth by my side. I imagine the couple would like to see the toy run continue in their abscence. I just wonder if anyone else will step up to the plate to carry on the tradition.

Adios,
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
5,640
Location
Denver, Colorado
Here is an update on this story.

The Oklahoman
Daughter to continue toy drive

By Carrie Coppernoll
November 11, 2004

MARIETTA - When Jilin Henson's parents died in a motorcycle accident Oct. 3, she said she would never ride her Harley-Davidson again.

But she's changed her mind. The 25-year-old has decided to continue a tradition her parents started two years ago, even if she has to get back on her bike.

Her parents, Jim Bob and Linda Thompson, organized the Love County Toy Run to collect Christmas presents for needy children.

After their deaths, volunteers thought the event would be canceled, but this weekend, Henson, family members and friends will host the run as a memorial to the Thompsons.

"Mom and Dad wouldn't want us to stop it because of their death," Henson said.

Jim Bob and Linda Thompson were avid motorcycle enthusiasts, and folks in town knew they loved to ride. He was the police supervisor; she was the city clerk.

At a memorial service for the Thompsons, motorcycle riders and friends of the couple approached Henson and asked her to continue what her parents started. And those who rode motorcycles to the memorial encouraged her to get back on a bike, immediately, to lead them in a send-off ride.

"When I put my hand on the throttle, I just had this calming sensation," Henson said.

Henson has learned new things about her parents since their deaths, especially working on the toy run.

"I'm so glad my parents started this, were founders of this," she said. "I just hate that they had to leave it."

The Love County Toy Run

Participants will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lake Murray Lodge. An unwrapped toy or other donation is requested. Cash donations will be used to buy Christmas presents for needy children in the area.

The ride will include motorcycles and antique cars and will end at the Love County Fair Building in Marietta. A band will perform and children enrolled in the local Head Start program will sing Christmas carols.

The Oklahoman - Daughter to continue toy drive (Requires registration)
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
128
Location
Katy, TX
I live in Houston, but if there is anything you need from here let me know. I'm happy to help out however I can.
 
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