Lynn Pettit Thompson
Lynn Pettit Thompson, widow of Reverend Russell W. Thompson, Sr., returned home to be with her Lord and Savior on November 26, 2021. She was 100 years old.
Born as “Mary Caroline” Pettit in Brooklyn, New York, Lynn spent her first eleven years in St. Petersburg, Florida, where her parents founded and operated the Cilley Foundational School, later known as St.Petersburg Preparatory School. When the Great Depression caused the school to close, the Pettit family moved back to Brooklyn, NY.
Lynn graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, then worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company while saving for higher education. She attended the National Bible Institute in New York where she met Russell Thompson who became her beloved husband for sixty years.
Lynn was a vivacious and intelligent woman who brought energy to all aspects of her life. She supported her husband’s 45-year tenure as pastor of First Baptist Church, Toms River, NJ, while raising four children, teaching piano lessons, conducting several church choirs, and leading a weekly Bible study class for women for many years. She often blessed others with her beautiful singing voice and talent on the piano and organ. She went on to college in music education and became a certified public school music teacher. After retiring as an elementary school music teacher, she served as a trustee at Ambassador Christian Academy in Toms River, NJ.
As her children grew older, it was not uncommon for Lynn to sew matching outfits for herself and her four children for holidays or special occasions. She inspired all of her children to love music, to appreciate education, and to enjoy games, sports, and meeting family and friends. Above all, Lynn and Russell are committed to loving God and showing others the beauty of Jesus. They passed it on to their children and to subsequent generations.
When her husband died in 2004, Lynn took up residence with her daughter, Phyllis, in Pompano Beach, Florida. She continued a vibrant life in Pompano, enjoying new friends and neighbors, and worshiping and fellowshipping with others at First Baptist Church in Pompano Beach. In her final days, she continued to live and be cared for at home. It was a sweet blessing to hear her sing along with her family and caregivers to many of the familiar hymns she had sung all her life. When she grew too weak to sing, she continued to mouth every word as others sang to her.
Lynn leaves behind a rich family legacy, including Phyllis Withrow (Michael) of Pompano Beach, FL; Elizabeth Clerico (Donald) of Summerville, South Carolina; Frances Corby (John) of Colorado Springs, CO; and Russell W. Thompson Jr. (Laurie) of West Orange, NJ. Lynn had nine grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her husband, Russell; his parents George Pettit and Lucia Cilley Pettit; his brother George Pettit; and his sister Helen Frances Pettit.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, January 29, 2022, at First Baptist Church, Pompano Beach, FL. Arrangements have been entrusted to Kraeer Funeral Home, Pompano Beach, FL 33064. To share a favorite memory or leave a message for the family, please visit
Posted on January 12, 2022
Published in Asbury Park Press