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Ron Thomson: 1/17/1943 to 2/20/2011

Ron Thomson: Jan 17, 1943 – Feb 20, 2011

Ron Thomson was a beloved member of the PeaceSmiths community. Ron passed away on February 20, 2011. This Friday, PeaceSmiths will be dedicating its coffeehouse to Ron. The evening will include music by George Mann, and a tribute to Ron from Veterans for Peace Long Island. More information at the PeaceSmiths website: here.

Some notes from the program shared at The  Life Celebration Service for Ronald George Thomson, Jr. held at the First United Methodist Church:

Ron Thomson was born in Brooklyn. He attended Island Trees High School, Levittown. Ron was graduated from the Manhattan School of Visual Arts in 1964.  After a stint in the US Army, from which he was discharged honorably in 1968, he illustrated educational books. Then he worked for the Meteorological Evaluation Services, Amityville, illustrating publications and art for presentations. Although he worked as an illustrator for over thirty years, his passion was for the fine arts.

He was a long distance runner for many years, including a run in 1984 from the VA Cemetery in Pinelawn to the Veterans Memorial in Albany. He would often speak of his trip to Russia in 1990 to run in the 26-mile Moscow Peace Marathon with about fifty other Vietnam veterans and Russian veterans from the Afghanistan War (1979-1989).

His work of more than one hundred and fifty paintings, over thirty sculptures, numerous sketches and scratchboard drawings is in homes from New York to Russia. He enjoyed teaching art and often taught classes at the Babylon Citizen Council on the Arts, along with private lessons. His art, he said, was to “tell a story for future generations to reflect on”.

Through three different pastors and three different secretaries, Ron Thomson worked as a sexton at First United Methodist Church for over fifteen years. He joined the church in June 1971. For him, being a sexton was more than a job. “I am performing a service for my church.” Ron was generous in many ways, always using his skills and talents as needed, such as creating visuals for many musicals at the church.

Two organizations to which he dedicated a great deal of time and enthusiasm were PeaceSmiths and the Amityville Artists Circle.

Ron is survived by many family members and friends. His wife, Jan Tarasenko Thomson is also a member of the PeaceSmiths community.

Ron Thomson’s family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to one of the following:

Amtyville Artists Circle
PO Box 543
Amityville, NY 11701


First United Methodist Church
Memorial Fund
25 Broadway
Amityville, NY 11701

2 Responses

  1. light poetry
    for Ron Thomson

    Natural light filters through two stories of stained glass.
    A line of New York City poets ascend the stagelit dais —
    fortified by horizontal & vertical rows of black cylinder lights.

    I remember a Long Island gathering —
    a church sexton surrounded by candles;
    his poetry flickered on the page.
    His paintings flickered along the walls.
    Making it difficult for
    words to meld with images of
    the Son of God Viet Nam memories
    running for peace.

    Would he be more comfortable here at St. Mark’s?
    Without the flicker to distract,
    would the church sexton wonder
    how to change the bulbs in forty foot ceilings,
    or would the artist wonder
    how to illuminate with so much light?

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