Date of Birth
Date of Death
JAMES "Rex" REXROAT THOMPSONAge 90 of Tuscaloosa, Al, formerly of Kaneville, IL, passed away Monday, October 27, 2008. Rex was born February 16, 1918 and raised in and near Macomb, IL. He attended Western Academy high school and went on to earn both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Western Illinois University (Western Normal School). While in college, he met Maxine Kernal through a mutual friend. They married on December 27, 1941. Both were school teachers at the time, but Maxine had to quit her job because married women were not allowed to teach in that part of Illinois in 1941. Rex taught and coached at Pleasant Plains, Illinois until 1946. In the fall of 1946, Rex and Maxine moved to Kaneville, IL, where they put down roots that would last many years. Rex was both teacher and coach at Kaneville High School. After Kaneville High School closed in the mid 1950s, Rex served as principal of Kaneville grade school as well as Social Studies teacher and basketball coach for 6th , 7th, and 8th grades. As the area grew, the Kaneland consolidated school district was formed, and when Kaneland Junior/Senior High School opened in 1958, Rex returned to full-time high school teaching. He taught American History, Economics and Civics until the fall of 1962 when he moved on to St. Charles High School. He taught there until both he and Maxine retired in 1978 to spend part of each winter in Boynton Beach Florida where they had purchased a co-op along with a group of longtime friends from Macomb, IL. The young boys he coached at Kaneville high school and grade school , still remember Rex fondly. Though decades have passed, play-by-play accounts of the life and times of "Coach Thompson" still fill the room whenever teammates gather. Rex and Maxine raised their family in Kaneville and lived there until Maxine died in 1980. During their years there, they were members of the Kaneville United Methodist Church, Rex was active in the Blackberry Masonic Lodge #359 AF&AM in Elburn, and both were active members of Eastern Star. Following Maxine’s passing on December 18, 1980, Rex continued to spend winters in Florida. He moved from the east coast to Venice, Florida in 1988. In 1990, he sold his house in Kaneville and changed from a snowbird to a full time Floridian. There he enjoyed golf, cards and kept a faithful eye on the Chicago Cubs along with a number of other college and professional teams. He continued to play golf and make his home in Florida until after he suffered a stroke in the Spring of 2007, and moved to Tuscaloosa, AL, to an independent living facility near his daughter, Ann. SURVIVORS He is survived by two daughters: Ann Ramos of Tuscaloosa, AL and Sue (Chuck) Tudor-Norris of Denver, CO;Two grandchildren: Gregory (Renee Garrels) Tudor of Portland, OR and Alexandra Tudor of Fort Collins, CO;One sister-in-law, Margaret Brock of Brookfield, IL andOne brother-in-law Roy Kernal of Macomb, IL;One niece, Luan Barry of Macomb, ILA special friend and neighbor, Dode Bodnar of Venice, FLAnd a "family" of good friends near and far. PRECEDED He was preceded in death by his wife, Maxine, his parents, James Rexroat and Edith (Senn) Thompson, one sister, Helen Walker and one brother, Keith Thompson. VISITATION / FUNERAL A memorial visitation and a Celebration of Rex’s life will be held Saturday, December 20, 2008 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. Friends may call from 10am until noon. A luncheon will follow at the Kaneville United Methodist Church. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in Rex’s name to benefit the Kaneland Holiday Spirit program for needy families. Memorials checks may be made to Kaneland Holiday Spirit and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through his obituary at www.conleycare.com. For information, call 630-365-6414 or 1-800-8-CONLEY.
A memorial visitation and a Celebration of Rex’s life will be held Saturday, December 20, 2008 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. Friends may call from 10am until noon. A luncheon will follow at the Kaneville United Methodist Church.
Private family burial at Kaneville Cemetery.