Funeral services for Ernestine “Tina” Thompson, a veteran Philadelphia City Council employee who had also just opened her own travel agency, were held Friday April 30, 2010 at Mt. Ephraim Baptist Baptist Church.
Tina, 67, had just been seen laughing and joking with dozens of her friends and associates at a campaign fund-raiser the night before she died April 24. The unexpected abruptness of her death left her numerous friends and family members in an utter state of shock and disbelief.
Many of the mourners who came to Mt. Ephraim last week were seen shaking their heads in stunned silence as they waited in line for the viewing.
Tina was raised and educated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, completing her formal education at the Simon Gratz High School, class of 1961.
She was a proud Graztonian, often organizing reunions and events with former classmates and friends. She cherished the life-long bonds of friendship and camaraderie that her Graztonians shared. Red and White lived in her heart to the end.
For over fifteen years, Tina worked for the City of Philadelphia’s, City Council. She enjoyed her work and the co-workers she called friends. She was well-known and highly thought of by everyone at City Hall, from her “Republican” friends (as she called them) to the “ladies in the front office” (of apparently every office in the building).
Tina could be found almost every day walking laps on the fifth floor of City Hall, getting her daily lunch time exercise and pushing her co-workers to pick up the pace. Always a smile, a wave, a word, a greeting, always being “Tina.” Oh, but her work didn”t end at City Hall, she turned her love of travel into a business. She worked for many years as travel agent and was very excited about recently launching her own agency she proudly named Red Carpet Travel, where you were assured to “travel in the ambiance of style.” She opened up the world of travel to many.
Tina began her early church association as a member of the Emmanuel Institutional Baptist Church, where she served for many years on the E.I.B.C. Choral Choir. Tina had a beautiful voice and she loved to sing. She was known for her solos of “Going Up Yonder” and “God Is”. In the 1980’s, she was a member of the gospel group Gwen Carter and Company, but she always remained dedicated to her beloved Choral Choir. Tina ultimately left Emmanuel, and sometime later, she found a home at a place of worship she affectionately called the “little church that could,” Mount Ephraim Baptist Church. She attended Mount Ephraim for over two years and recently joined as a member. Tina fell in love with the warmth and generosity of its members, as well as the charismatic and youthful outlook of its pastor, Reverend Julius Renwick, who she thought of as both friend and family.
Tina will forever be remembered for her flare and class. When she walked into a room she emanated a confidence and elegance that was unmatched. She was known for her beautiful blonde hair that was often imitated but never duplicated. She was outgoing, charismatic and enjoyed socializing with family and friends.
Living her life to the fullest took Tina around the world in her travels. She traveled everywhere from China, Egypt and Europe, to the Caribbean and Mediterranean Islands. But she always returned back to her firstlove, the Bahamas, where she had friends and fans.
Tina’s heart was as big as her personality. She loved her family, she loved her friends and she loved the Lord. Always an ear to lend and advice to give (and you’d better be ready to hear the truth), Tina was our “rock”.
Sometimes it is not how long we live on this earth that matters, but how we live and what we did during our stay on earth that sets us apart from others. There is no telling how much we have impacted the lives of others, such that, in death we are greatly missed. Tina will be forever greatly missed.
Tina leaves to cherish her memories: her husband of 42 years, Frederick Thompson; two daughters, Monique Williams and Tara Thompson; son, Scott Thompson and step-daughter, Vannessa Thompson-Christian; three grandchildren, Melissa, Taylor and Damian Thompson; her sister, Brenda Johnson; three brothers, Ricardo, Steven and Nelder Wooden; three sisters-in-law; four brothers-in-law; a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law; five nieces; one nephew; a host of great-aunts, great-nieces, great-nephews; and cherished cousins and friends.