GILFORD — Seven-year-old John Bradley Thompson died peacefully at home in Gilford on Wednesday morning. His loving parents, Jesse and Alison Thompson, were close at his side.
John was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) in June, 2013. His ten-month battle was defined by courage and love. Throughout his life and especially in his last year, John was embraced by a caring, generous community and surrounded by joyful friends and family members. He found fun and happiness in every single day.
A vibrant first-grader at Gilford Elementary School, John excelled at puzzles and patterns; enjoyed writing mystery stories; and was a dedicated artist whose projects often displayed a meticulous attention to detail. John was a fast skier and a skilled, strategic soccer player. He was small but mighty on the flag football field. He looked forward to playing with his buddies at Gilford Beach each summer and impressed his fan club with creative jumps off the dock into Lake Winnipesaukee.
John was a nurturing and protective big brother to his sisters, Clara and Elizabeth. He also doted on his little cousins, Irene and Otto. He loved curling up on the couch with his yellow lab, Jackson, to watch the Patriots, the Bruins, and the Red Sox bring it home. John was a leader on the playground and on the dance floor. He became a minor Internet sensation in the summer of 2013 due to his awesomely original dance moves (Booyah!). Until the very end, John focused on making others laugh. By his last birthday, he could no longer walk or speak clearly. But he could load berries onto a plastic spoon and mischievously launch them one by one at his ninety-year-old great-grandparents. There were belly laughs all around.
We know in our hearts that John is now at peace in Heaven, running and playing and always laughing. His spirit will inspire us always.
John Bradley Thompson is survived by his parents, Jesse and Alison, and his sisters, four-year-old Clara and one-year-old Elizabeth. He is mourned by his loving grandparents, "Dearest" Nancy Hesko, of Cambridge, Mass., and Brad and Daryl "Buck and DeeDee" Thompson of Gilford, as well as great-grandparents Harold and Mary "Guppie and Grammie" Dexter and Walton "Gup" Thompson, all of Gilford. John was adored by five aunts and five uncles: Katherine Hesko and Andrew Spofford of Malden, Mass.; Dr. Caroline Hesko and Garrett Hickey of Cleveland, Ohio; Kalee Thompson and Dan Koeppel of Los Angeles, Calif.; Becky and Pete Doherty of Gilford; and Abby and Jason Fopiano of Barrington.
A celebration of John's life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 at the Gilford Community Church, 19 Potter Hill Road, Gilford, N.H. Please wear comfy shoes, as we will be walking through the Village to Pine Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gilford Youth Center or the N.H. Chapter of The Cure Starts Now at www.thecurestartsnow.org/newhampshire_2014.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N.H. is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.