James Donald Thompson, Sr, of Apison, passed away on Armed Forces Day, May 17, 2014, in Chattanooga. James served with the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division in the Korean War. He retired as a District Fire Chief for the City of Miami, in 1984, and has lived in Apison since his retirement. James was born January 6, 1930 in Chattanooga. He lived in the Miami area for 35 years and wintered in Key Largo, Florida for 20 years. He loved his family, his dogs, fishing, working with his hands, and all things conservative. He was a true American patriot. James was preceded in death by his parents, Harris Lee Thompson and Myrtle Clifton Starr, a brother, Robert Vernon Heard, and a sister, Nettie Sue Morrison. James is survived by his wife of 63 years, Nelda Jones Thompson, a brother, Billy Jack (Beverly) Heard, a sister, Kathryn Whittenburg, a sister-in-law, Laura Herndon, three sons, James (Suzy) Thompson Jr, of Denver, Thomas (Terri) Thompson of Key Largo, Richard Thompson, of Apison, six grandchildren, James D (Ayumi) Thompson III, Erin (Scott) Anderson, Rose Thompson, John (Melissa) Gulla, Kimberly (Garrett) Trezona, Michael (Brenda) Gulla, and 10 great-grandchildren, Dylan, Logan, Elli, Zak, Sara, Riley, Inara, Emily, Brett, Ashtynn, and many more extended family who were very dear to him. James was a member of Apison United Methodist Church, and American Legion Post 40, Ringgold, Georgia. The family would like to thank Carroll and Pam Jordan, many other friends and neighbors, and family members, and Hospice of Chattanooga. Memorial Contributions may be made to Apison United Methodist Church or Hospice of Chattanooga. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday May 20, 2014 at Apison United Methodist Church with Pastors Debbie Stokes and Todd Chancey, officiating. The interment following the service will be in Plowman Cemetery. Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family and view the memorial tribute. The family will receive friends 4-8 p.m. today at Heritage Funeral Home 7454 East Brainerd Road.