Thompson, Leonard

THOMPSON, Leonard Rockett "Rocky"

10/9/42 – 11/11/20

"In as much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me,"-

Mathew 25: 40

Rocke ("Rocky") Thompson took the road less traveled to heaven Wednesday November 11th after many years of defying the odds against type 1 diabetes, dementia, strokes and the doctors who told him as a young adult that he would not live past 43 years old. He dedicated his life to his family, community, and social justice. After graduating from NC State with a degree in architecture, Rocke moved to Atlanta with wife Beth and settled in the neighborhood of Lake Claire. This eclectic enclave of peaceful agitators, teachers, and builders became a source of aspirations based on equality, equity, and inclusivity. Rocke, Beth, and many other residents helped launch a community radio station, cooperative grocery store, newspaper, credit union and countless other initiatives that brought people together to overcome life's many challenges. His professional career began as an architect once tasked with designing live-work-transit hubs for Atlanta's new rapid transit system, MARTA. Rocke eventually became Assistant Director of Community Development for Dekalb County and remained in that role for 27 years. For a county of 500,000 residents, Rocke secured funding for parks, affordable housing, permanent supportive housing, and services for the homeless. In his free time, he shuttled kids to soccer in his Volkswagon van, tended his garden, and poured his heart and soul into the mission of Clifton Presbyterian Church and Atlanta's first year-round night shelter for homeless men – where he served 10 years as volunteer coordinator for Night Hospitality. He wore his heart on his feet; led by example, and always felt he could do more. And he did. He was a loving and devoted husband, brother, father, and grandfather. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren play sports and was the center of all family gatherings. His sense of humor bound us all in laughter, even when he could not remember the punch line. Papa Rock died peacefully at home with his family at his side. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Beth, his daughter Kore (husband, Brendan) and son Jon (wife, Arelis), sister Emeie, and grandchildren Catherine, Margaret, Jon Rockett, and Camila. The family appreciates the caregivers from Synergy and the doctors and nurses from Emory who cared for Rocke over the years. Donations can be made to Clifton Sanctuary Ministries (369 Connecticut Ave, Atlanta, GA 30307) and Comunidad Connect (3105 Mt Olive Dr. Decatur, GA 30033).

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