Legacy of public servant, civic leader honored

The family of former Enterprise City Councilwoman and Mayor, the late Jackie Thompson accepted a recognition on behalf of the longtime business and civic leader during the Enterprise City Council meeting Aug. 6. From left, are son-in-law Bruce Averett, daughter-in-law Jodee Thompson, son Greg Thompson, daughter-in-law Bev Thompson, husband Harrell Thompson, son Jim Thompson, daughter Terri Averett, State Rep. Rhett Marques, grandsons Sid and Dyar Thompson and Enterprise Mayor William “Bill” Cooper. Not pictured is son Rob.

“Even after her years of public service she continued to honor this town that she loved so much.”

“We are still reaping the benefits of what she accomplished as a public servant.”

Those were among the accolades, part of a tribute to the memory of the late Jacquelyn “Jackie” Dyar Thompson, 78, of Enterprise, who passed away Feb. 13.

State Rep. Rhett Marques joined Enterprise Mayor William “Bill” Cooper in reading a proclamation in Thompson’s honor at the Enterprise City Council meeting Aug. 6.

Signed by the Alabama House Senate and House of Representatives, the proclamation notes that the

Enterprise native and livelong resident holds the distinction of being the city’s first and only female mayor. “Both houses concurred,” Marques said about supporting the tribute presented to her family. “I think this is one of the best things that I did this year in the House and I am honored to be standing here with y’all.”

Thompson was a member of the Enterprise City Council from 1984 to 1989 when she was appointed mayor. In 1990 Thompson was named Enterprise Woman of the Year.

“On behalf of our family, thank you,” said her son Jim Thompson, who serves as a Coffee County Commissioner. “This city was her passion and I think the happiest she was, besides having the four of us born, was being on the city council.”

“A woman who devoted her life to the city,” is how Marques described Thompson. “Not only in the public arena as a councilwoman and as mayor but some 25 years later we’re reaping the benefit of what she did as a public servant.

“Even after her public service, she continued to honor this town that she loved so much,” Marques said. “She volunteered, she was involved in every meeting she could be.

“(Thompson) was the epitome of a servant leader. We’re here tonight to honor Jackie for her commitment to this town and to her family that she so dearly loved,” Marques added. “She is going to be dearly missed but her legacy will continue on for years to come.”

The proclamation notes that as a teenager Thompson worked in her father’s shirt factory, Searcy Company. She later became a co-owner of local retail shops The Tree House and Brombergs and was West Gate Shopping Center Manager.

Thompson worked as a bookkeeper for Easy Pay Tire Store with her husband, Harrell. She worked also as an agent for Century 21 for 27 years.

Thompson served as president of the Wiregrass Board of Realtors in 1997 and received the Realtor of the Year Award in 1998.

Thompson was a lifelong member of Enterprise First Baptist Church and a member of the Phyllis Talmadge Sunday School Class. Thompson was one of the first members of the 20th Century Misses Chautauqua Club and a strong supporter of the Enterprise Recreational Center. She served as a board president of the Enterprise YMCA from 1983 to 1984. She served also on the Coffee County Family Services Board.

Thompson’s death “leaves a void in the lives of her loving family, many friends and the entire community where she is highly regarded,” Marques said. “She was one of Enterprise’s best ambassadors.”

Cooper agreed. “I would like to say she initiated me when I came on the council,” Cooper said. “She was a giant and supported the Enterprise High School athletic program 100 percent. She and (her husband) Harrell were at all of the games.

“Jackie will never be forgotten. She was the first female mayor of Enterprise,” Cooper added. “We are all reaping the benefits of projects she started. We are thankful that she came our way.”

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