Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Lois Thompson

Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Lois Thompson

Lois Rae Long Thompson, born on November 25, 1929, was raised on the campus of Southern Christian Institute, a Junior College for Black students in Edwards, Mississippi, where Lois’s father was the President in the 1930s through 1940s. Lois was a mission co-worker with the Division of Overseas Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which is now a part of Global Ministries, from 1966 to 1970. She and her husband, Rev. Rhodes Thompson, taught English at the Palmore Institute in Kobe, Japan.

Growing up in the south on the SCI campus was instrumental in Lois’s lifelong commitment to working for civil rights and social justice alongside her husband Rhodes. Lois attended Drake University in Iowa for one year and then transferred to and graduated from TCU where she was a cheerleader, resulting in her diehard allegiance to TCU football. She met Rhodes at TCU, and they married on June 6, 1952, and were married 65 years when he passed away on August 13, 2017.

Lois peacefully passed away surrounded by her family on February 5, 2023, after a short illness.  In her ninety-three years of life, she touched everyone who encountered her loving presence. Lois was a quiet leader and a professional volunteer who hated the spotlight but received honors in every city she lived in for being a “woman who made a difference” in politics. This included the Democratic Party, civil rights, women’s rights, the quality of life for people living in poverty, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the League of Women Voters. She welcomed all people into her home and made anyone who met her feel important, loved, and listened to.

Rhodes and Lois retired to Pilgrim Place in 1994. Lois served as chair of the costume jewelry booth for over twenty years, loved welcoming new Pilgrims to campus, enjoyed playing bridge, and was actively involved at Pomona Christian Church and in the local Democratic Party. The center of her life, however, was her family, including her husband, three children, four granddaughters, and two great-grandchildren.

The light in the world dimmed when Lois took her last breath, but her spirit will live on in the light she lit in everyone she touched. For all who had the fortune of knowing Lois, may we each continue to carry her light out into the world to make it a kinder and more compassionate place for all people to live, just as she did. 

Family members would appreciate the memories and stories you have of Lois.  If possible, email them to Diane Kenney (, and they will be compiled for the family. A celebration of life will take place on Saturday, March 25 at 3:00 PM in Decker Hall at Pilgrim Place.