Our beloved William (Bill) Sherman Thompson passed away at the age of 67 on December 7, 2022, at The Fountainview Center for Alzheimer’s Disease, located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Born to Kossie and Shirley Thompson on April 1, 1955, Bill was raised in DeKalb County with his two younger siblings, Jim, and Karen. Bill had an idyllic and memorable childhood. He and his family often spent summers in Viroqua, Wisconsin, visiting his grandparents farm. It was here among the family’s deep Norwegian roots and history that his love and passion for photography and videography began. Bill grew to be extremely proud (and vocal) about his Viking heritage!
As a teenager, Bill’s love for the arts led him to playing drums in rock bands and photography on the side. He began shooting rock concerts and sporting events and worked part-time for a commercial photography company. He graduated with Honors from Southwest DeKalb High School in 1973 and attended Georgia State University to study film and television and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication in 1979. While working and completing his Master’s degree, he managed the University’s cable television station full-time and produced a number of documentaries and music videos.
Bob Slavinski, Bill Thompson, Stan Fyfe
Bill formed his own production company producing and directing broadcast and corporate projects for several years. He then spent several years as VP- Production at a local production facility and later joined the largest tele-production facility in the southeast United States, Crawford Communications in Atlanta, to form and manage its Production Services division.
In his last position, Bill headed the Georgia Film Office. He attracted an exponential number of feature films, television productions and video game projects. He, his team, and several key industry professionals and organizations worked diligently to pass the Film Tax Incentive. Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease prevented Bill the time to realize its economic impact. He would be extremely proud of this legacy and his influence on Georgia’s film and television industry, which can be seen in every production crew and the billions of dollars in revenue across the State.
During his career, Bill worked in 20 countries on four continents and in 45 of the 50 states, with countless beloved crew and industry colleagues.
Bill was a teacher at heart and a mentor to many, helping others grow to their personal and professional potential. He was a true gentleman and scholar.
Bill married Nena Paty in 1995. An impenetrable love and journey like no other and the star in each other’s “blue heaven”. Their hearts were forged with faith, love, humor, hope, and affection. They shared a deep love of the ocean and beach, travel and music. Buddy and Jake, their wonderful, spoiled rotten rescue dogs, are now happily reunited with Bill in Heaven.
Bill was a beautiful, brave and loved man.
Bill is preceded in death by his wonderful parents, Kossie and Shirley Thompson. He is survived by his wife, Nena Paty Thompson, brother Jim Thompson, sister Karen Thompson, and niece Emily (Peyton) Gross.