Family and friends of Tim, Karen and Tessa Thompson came together at a funeral visitation in St. Susanna Church in Mason to remember and mourn the family killed in a car crash involving a wrong-way driver.
Few could hold back tears for the Thompsons, who were described as filled with “love and laughter.”
Family members hugged one another, and greeted church members, friends and coworkers of their loved ones, sobbing quietly and accepting condolences.
By early evening Monday, about 200 people had stopped by the viewing, despite the pouring rain.
St. Susanna pastor the Rev. Robert Farrell offered words of comfort.
“It’s a huge loss of three lives and as we pray for peace for them, we somehow have to find it within ourselves to also pray for the fourth life, destroyed in this tragedy,” Farrell said as he detailed plans for the visitation and funeral Mass.
Tim’s son Tyler, a teen, was not in the car with the family, and is struggling with the loss.
In a Facebook post last week, Tim’s brother, Mark, had written, “By now, a lot of people have found out that my brother Tim, his wife Karen and my beautiful niece Tessa were all taken too soon Sunday evening in an accident… words can’t describe the emotions that my family and Karen’s family are feeling and dealing at this moment.”
He added that “the prayers and well wishes are deeply appreciated at this difficult time.”
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Family members say the Thompsons were returning from Maumee, Ohio, where Karen’s family lives.
Colleagues of Karen and Tim came to the express their grief. Tim was a vice president for sales and marketing at Tape Products Co. in Sycamore Township. Karen was a special education teacher with Cincinnati Public Schools.
John Fette, who was having trouble containing his tears, said he ran the company where Tim worked. “He was my best friend, the best employee and he took care of everybody,” he said.
Karen was also remembered by coworkers.
“We worked together at the health center with the special needs kids and Karen would hug them, hold them and make them laugh as we would take their temperature and look in their ears,” said Barb Keefe, who worked alongside Karen for two years. “Karen was just an amazing, special lady.”
Abby Tarkington, a friend of Karen’s from work, added, “They were the most loving and generous family and they will greatly be missed.”
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Friends also remembered the family.
“They were just a fun, beautiful family with big hearts. My son played basketball with their son Tyler and Tim was their coach. I knew them for many years. I remember when Karen was pregnant, she was so happy and excited,” said Katie Hauer.
“This however, is just too sad for words… I know that God has a plan, it seems like a very cruel one but maybe someone else will be saved from this. People will learn from this.”
Tim, 51, Karen, 50 and their fourth-grader Tessa, 10, were killed in a March 17 wreck. Police said Abby Michaels, 21, of Xenia, Ohio, turned her Kia Forte around in the median, drove the wrong way on Interstate 75 outside Dayton and crashed head-on into the Thompsons’ Toyota Camry in the southbound lane.
Timmy and Tessa were pronounced dead at the scene by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, and Karen died the next day at local hospital.
Mass of Christian Burial was Tuesday at St. Susanna and a second memorial Mass will be in Maumee at a future date. The family requests that memorials be made to St. Susanna School, 500 Reading Road, Mason, OH 45040.
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