Michael Wayne Thompson Sr., May 3, 1946 – September 7, 2019
Michael Wayne Thompson Sr.
Michael W. Thompson Sr. of Springfield, Virginia, passed away peacefully at Johns Hopkins Hospital on September 7, 2019, surrounded by family at his side after an almost year long fight with leukemia.
Born May 3, 1946, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Mike was the third of Charlie and Dorothy Thompson’s four sons: Charles Jr. (Rusty), Fred, and Curt. Known for his sharp wit, keen intellect and sense of humor, he was also known for his big heart and infectious laugh.
From a young age, Mike was drawn to politics. He became involved in Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) while at the University of Missouri where he received his MBA. It was at one of these events that he met the love of his life, Katherine (Kit) Baggett of Daytona Beach, Florida.
As his involvement in conservative politics grew, he became a national officer in YAF and the chairman of the National Student Committee for Victory in Vietnam. He also served as Ronald Reagan’s national youth coordinator when Reagan ran for President in 1968.
Mike and Kit married and soon started a family with the birth of their son, Mike Jr. They moved to Fairfax County, Virginia in 1970 where they raised their son and daughter, Liza, who was born in 1972. They would often spend long parts of their summers at the family cabin in Balsam, North Carolina where extended family gathered each summer. In Balsam, he became known for his near-professional level firework displays which he continued until 2019 when he was hospitalized.
In 1971, Mike began working for the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. Soon after Liza’s birth, Mike founded the Thompson Creative Marketing Group, a nationally recognized marketing and public affairs company.
Known for his love of America and the many cultures that make her great, Mike sponsored a Vietnamese family in 1975, after the fall of Saigon, who lived with his family in Burke, Virginia, and became part of their extended family; they remain friends to this day.
Mike sold his company after 24 years and founded the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. He served as President and Chairman until 2019. This foundation is the state’s premier independent public policy foundation.
Mike was known for his love of people, parties, gardening and movies. He never stopped
learning and was known to interrupt family conversations with an interesting fact that he was
reading from one of the many papers he enjoyed each morning. He had a wonder for the
universe and excelled at the art of friendly discussions often with differences of opinion.
Mike is survived by his wife, Kit; his son Mike Thompson, Jr. and his wife Maureen (Burke,
Virginia), and their two daughters Katie and Abby; his daughter Liza Graves and her husband Jay
(Nashville, Tennessee), and their children Mary-Blake, Reese and Charlie; and by his brothers
Rusty, Fred, and Curt as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Mike’s many other accomplishments include:
* Mike was an active leader in the Virginia Republican Party, often acting as an informal
advisor to Governors, Senators, Congressman, Delegates, State Senators, and county
Supervisors. He also served in many leadership capacities at the state and local level.
Among these included serving on the State Central Committee and as First and Third
Vice Chairman as well as Springfield District Chairman for the Fairfax County Republican
Committee. He was named by Campaigns and Elections magazine as one of the 30 most
influential non-elected Republicans in Virginia.
* He served as Vice Chairman of the internationally renowned Fund for American
Studies working with college and university student leaders, and high school teachers
and students, to promote a market economy, free political systems, and civic
responsibility and involvement.
* He was the president of the Mather Furniture Company, a family owned business
* He was the past Chairman of the Virginia Leadership Council, the state’s Board of
Directors for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and served on its
Board of Directors for many years.
* He served on the Virginia Attorney General’s Regulation Reform Commission in
2008-2009. He was a member of Governor McDonnell’s transition team in 2009 and was
Governor’s Advisor to his Government Reform Commission from 2010 to 2014.
* He was active in his community and served three terms as President of the Springfield
District Council, an organization representing over 200 homeowner associations.
* He served many years on the Executive Committee of the Fairfax Federation of Civic
Associations (the umbrella organization for all homeowner associations in Fairfax
* He helped found the Occoquan Watershed Coalition in Fairfax County and for many
years remained on the Board of Directors.
* He was the Governor’s appointee to the Small Business Assistance Compliance Advisory
Board for the Department of Environmental Quality, served on the Board of Directors
for several years of the Washington, DC area chapter of the National Kidney
Foundation, and served on several Fairfax County commissions and task forces.
A gathering for family and friends will be held on September 19, 2019 at Fairfax Memorial
Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Mike’s Memorial Service will be on September 20, 2019 at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 6509
Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA 22015 at 3 p.m. Reception immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Cover photo: Mike and Katherine Thompson