Fred Thompson dies at 73; family issues statement

Fred ThompsonBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Former Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) passed away today (see Former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson dies at 73 in the Tennessean). It was a shock to most who did not know of his battle with lymphoma. As the news raced through media outlets and social media, his family released a statement on Mr. Thompson’s Facebook page:

The following statement is from the Thompson family, following the passing today of former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson following a recurrence of lymphoma:

“It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, husband, father, and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville surrounded by his family.

“Fred once said that the experiences he had growing up in small-town Tennessee formed the prism through which he viewed the world and shaped the way he dealt with life. Fred stood on principle and common sense, and had a deep love for and connection with the people across Tennessee whom he had the privilege to serve in the United States Senate. He enjoyed a hearty laugh, a strong handshake, a good cigar, and a healthy dose of humility. Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of Lawrenceburg, his home.

“Fred believed that the greatness of our nation was defined by the hard work, faith, and honesty of its people. He had an enduring belief in the exceptionalism of our country, and that America could provide the opportunity for any boy or girl, in any corner of our country, to succeed in life.

“Our nation has lost a servant, Tennessee has lost a son, and our family has lost its rock. In the days ahead, we ask for prayers of comfort, assurance, and peace.”

I didn’t watch Fred Thompson on “Law and Order.” I know, I know … how could I not? But I knew of his time as a lawyer in Republican circles, and when he ran for president in 2008, he was my first choice out of a field of about six candidates.

I had the opportunity to be in the audience when Mr. Thompson addressed a conference in D.C. during that 2008 race. When he dropped out, my second choice was Mitt Romney. When he dropped out, I supported John McCain.

Mr. Thompson was a Facebook friend and he would often post short, humorous quips about this and that. The last one was posted October 5. We had no idea that he was battling with such serious health issues.

His presence will be missed on a number of fronts. We are richer for having known him. Rest in peace, Sir … and thank you.

Photo from Fred Thompson’s FB page

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