Chip Thompson

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Chip Thompson

February 18, 1943 - January 23, 2019

Chip Thompson James Chip Frankman-Thompson passed away on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. He was 75 years old.
Chip was born in Morgantown on February 18, 1943, a son of the late Samual James Frankman and Virginia L. Cunningham Thompson; Fairmont Airport (Frankman Field) is named after Chip's biological father, an accomplished pilot and dignitary, who logged over 30,000 flying hours during his career.
Mr. Frankman was the only single pilot the United States who was ever authorized to fly the presidency without a co-pilot; he also held a Doctorate in Aeronautical Science.
Chip was adopted by the late Walter Pete Thompson in 1955, who founded General Delivery Inc., a local trucking firm.
In 1947, at four years old, Chip was listed in Ripley's Believe It or Not column as the "Youngest Race Driver in the World", having raced at the Thomas Speedway (known later as the I-79 raceway) on numerous documented occasions.
Later, at the age of 14, Chip was acclaimed as the first person in West Virginia to waterski without skis, and later skied barefooted in various waterski shows throughout the state.
In the early 60's, Chip designed and built Mobile City Trailer Park, the only trailer park within the city, located on Morgantown Ave.
Chip was also an accomplished musician and played piano and organ in local group for more than 40 years, including The Emeralds in the 60's, Easy Street in the 70's and 80's, and for 11 years with the nationally known WV group, Rick K. and the Allnighters. Chip performed in 18 states, including the cities of Las Vegas and Los Angeles; he was noted for his exceptional stage presence and comedy.
Chip was the CEO and President of General Delivery Inc., a long-distance truckload carrier located on Morgantown Ave. He had been very active with his family-owned business since 1965; in 1972, Chip was co-founder of General Communications Co., the first company to provide wide area (beeper) paging service. Chip built and assembled all of the proprietary electronic terminal equipment for paging in his basement. The equipment was designed by his partner, John R. Hanway, who was then a local electrical engineer and lawyer with exceptional engineering ability; both Chip and Mr. Hanway held amateur Radio Advance Class licenses at that time.
Chip was also a licensed pilot, and held Single Engine Land and Sea, Multi-Engine Land, and Instrument airplane ratings. He was also a past president of the Fairmont Flyers, a model airplane club in Fairmont; having flown models since he was 12, Chip taught many people how to safely fly powered models.
Chip graduated from East Fairmont High School in 1960 and attended Fairmont State College where in excelled in math, physics, and chemistry.
Chip is survived by two daughters, Marci Lee Thompson-Priest and husband Erik, of Fairmont, and Andrea Thompson-Simmons and husband William, of Parsons; Jamie Goff-Kraegenbrink, who was like a daughter, and her husband Joe, and their children: Joe, Caleb, Savanna, Sara, Summer, Jozie, of Fairmont; grandchildren: Richard Dillon Chambers, of Glady, and Erika Taylor Poling, of Fairmont; aunt, Marie Franklin, of Fairmont; and cousins: TJ Franklin, of Michigan, Kelli Tobias, of Michigan, and Megan Wiederman, of Michigan.
In keeping with the wishes of the deceased his body will be cremated. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Marion County Humane Society, P.O. Box 905, Fairmont, WV 26555.
Published on January 27, 2019
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9 posts

Rebecca (O'Dell) Kieffer
Feb 03, 2019
Chip was always friendly and charismatic, and he will be deeply missed. Heartfelt sympathy to his family.
Denny Schwartz
Jan 29, 2019
Was a friend and business associate with Chip and the General Delivery folks for over 30 years, my deepest sympathies to Marcie and family RIP Chip
Bob Hanway
Jan 29, 2019
I 've know Chip since we took turns towing each other on water skis at Tygart Lake before we even had our driver's license. He will be greatly missed. We had some similar interests over the years like airplane flying, amateur radio and talking about our ideas for inventions. He enjoyed flying with me when I started flying hot air balloons. Marci and Andrea, so sorry to hear about your loss. Chip was a very interesting person.
Ronnie VanGilder
Jan 28, 2019
Chip always had an interesting tidbit of information about celebrities he met in Vegas and other venues.
Dr.Beverly (Fulayer) Baird Boothe
Jan 27, 2019
Chip,
May you rest in prace! We will miss your friendship, your beautiful smile, intelligence, and conversations. West Virginia will not be the same not seeing you when we come home. I will think of you when I return to Woody’s. God bless you! Please join the heavens with all of my other loved ones in your goodness and glorious , melodious sounds!
Love you! 💜🙏
Lisa S.
Jan 27, 2019
To the Thompson Family, so sorry to read if your loss. May the God of comfort be with during this time. (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)
Gary Stottlemire
Jan 27, 2019
I worked for Chip at General Delivery from 2001 to 2008. We used to joke around a lot. He would sometimes call me into his office and just want to talk about life and me also being a father how I would handle certain situations. He was a good man to work for and not just a boss but also a friend. R.I.P Chip.
Mike Shackelford
Jan 27, 2019
Last saw Chip in Woody's...like me, he liked hot dogs. We attended EFHS and FSC together, flew together, our parents were friends....and I'm proud to have Sammy's signature on my private ticket. So sorry to learn of his passing. Condolences to his family in their saddest of times.
"Play Bumble Boogie again for me, willya Chip".....safe travels.
DR JERRY A. MOORE, PHD JD
Jan 27, 2019
I WAS A CHATTERBOX IN THE AM AT THE BIG NICKLE OF FAIRMONT STATE COLLEGE WITH CHIP. GREAT GUY AND AN ABSOLUTE MAN OF HIS WORD AND LOVED GOD. I HAVE NOT SEEN HIM SINCE 1964 WHEN I GRADUATED FROM FSC. HAVE A SAFE JOURNEY. I LIVE IN WASHINGTON DC AND THE NORTHERN VA AREA FOR THE PAST 60 YEARS. DR MOORE