James Edward Thompson, affectionately known as "Bum," "Uncle Bum" or "JT," was born in Sumter County, to the late Cornelius and Inez Vaughn Thompson. He confessed that he knew Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He worshipped and fellowshiped with New Life Bible Church.

He departed this earthly life on Friday, July 5, 2019, at Prisma Health Richland Hospital, Columbia.

James graduated from Lincoln High School, Sumter, in 1970. After high school, he joined the United States Air Force and served for four years at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. Upon his honorable discharge from the military, he joined McEntire Air National Guard in Hopkins. He served with distinction and received awards such as outstanding guardsman. Having a thirst for knowledge, he matriculated at Halm Industrial Corp. in Glen Head, New York, and Sumter Area Technical College (now Central Carolina Technical College). He received awards in operator technician, Caterpillar Operator Training Course. He further believed in hard, honest work. He was employed with Union Camp, Eastover, for 26 years (that he helped to build), presently known as International Paper, from which he retired in 2010.

In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by his sister, Ethel Gadson; a brother, Cornelius Thompson; and his parents-in-law, Walter P. and Edna Buckery.

James' precious memories are cherished by his loving and devoted wife, Annette O. Buckery Thompson; one daughter, Felicia I. Thompson Hawkins (Mark) of Travelers Rest; two sons, James B. Thompson of Columbia and Edward C. Thompson (Yasheika) of Greenville; four grandchildren; one sister, Dorothy Thompson Dix (Wilbert Sr.); one uncle, Herbert (Lucille) Kennerly; six sisters-in-law; four brothers-in-law; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the home, 2415 Wedgefield Road, Sumter.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. today in the John Wesley Williams Sr. Memorial Chapel of Williams Funeral Home Inc., 821 N. Main St., Sumter.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday at St. James United Methodist Church, 720 Broad St., Sumter, with the Rev. Cheryl Johnson, pastor, the Rev. Dr. Nate Brock, eulogist, the Rev. Travis Kinley officiating, assisted by the Rev. George Johnson.

The remains will be placed in the church at noon.

The funeral procession will leave at 12:10 p.m. from the home.

Burial will follow at Hillside Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to SPOLIWA Bible Camp, 317 Bible Camp Road, Jeffersonville, GA 31044.

Services directed by the management and staff of Williams Funeral Home Inc., 821 N. Main St., Sumter.

Online memorial messages may be sent to the family at williamsfuneralhome@sc.rr.com.

Visit us on the web at www.williamsfuneralhomeinc.com.