Horace Arthur Thompson, Jr. (1917 - 2010) graduated from Tulane University in 1938 where he earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. He was active on campus as a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and competed in track, boxing, swimming, and diving. In his sophomore year Horace joined the first Platoon Leadership Class of the United States Marine Corps. He began his business career with the Humble Oil Company in Texas and later with the Standard Oil refinery in Baton Rouge. In early 1941 he began active duty with the Marine Corps on Midway Island in the Pacific. Lieutenant Thompson commanded an artillery battery and defended Midway the night of December 7, 1941 and again at the Battle of Midway. He served on General Douglas MacArthur's staff in the Philippines as one of four Marine liaison officers helping to plan the invasion of Japan. Following the war Horace commanded the New Orleans Marine Reserve unit until he retired from the Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1951.
In 1946 Horace, "Punchy" as he was known to his business colleagues, founded Thompson Equipment Company, TECO, to provide advanced process equipment to the growing petro-chemical industries. He was a good friend and business associate of Kermit Fischer, founder of Fischer & Porter Company and they established a life-time relationship. "Punchy" also founded Monitor Panel Company a fabricator of union labeled instrumentation control rooms and panels. Both businesses thrived under his leadership. Today TECO is the recognized leader in flowmeter remanufacturing ( www.teco-inc.com/flowmetermovie ). The company is headed by his grandson, Todd C Thompson. As a Professional Engineer (PE), "Punchy" was active in many of the industry associations, including the American Society of Chemical Engineers, the Louisisana Engineering Society and was a charter member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Instrument Society of America, oftern holding meeting in the basement of his home.
Through the years, he volunteered his time to many organizations and served on several boards including the Lambeth House, Junior Achievement, the Children's Hospital, and the Freedom Foundation. Horace particularly enjoyed returning to Audubon Montessori, where he attended grade school, to talk to the students about business and World War II. He was a member of Bay Waveland Yacht Club as well as several social clubs and carnival organizations.
Horace loved sailing with his "first-mate", Ethel, in their Lightning which he built. He was a skilled hunter and often cooked any "extra" ducks in the blind. He was a pilot and enjoyed flying friends to the barrier islands to fish for specks and redfish. Following Hurricane Betsy, his neighbors and friends appreciated the ice flown to New Orleans in those weeks without power. There were no strangers in Horace's life; only friends he had not met.