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Gene L. Thompson

Died: July 2, 2017

Gene (Polo) Thompson was a bon vivant, raconteur, TV producer and personality, writer, musician, singer and dancer. He married the prettiest girl, was the life of the party and planned to live forever, achieving all of his goals save the last one.

Gene wrote in his 50th Reunion entry that “When I was at Yale I wanted to be a Renaissance man and do everything.” He described his busy days and his even busier weekends “blowing off steam drinking, dancing and partying…. Not much has changed for me since leaving Yale.”

This description of his casual lifestyle omits that he received a lengthy and varied post-graduate education: at Stanford in music; an MBA from two institutions, the University of Las Vegas and the New York Institute of Finance; the study of Hawaiian Culture at the University of Hawaii, Kahuna; and becoming qualified as a Registered Representative on the New York Stock Exchange.

Gene was employed as the Principal Trustee of the George L. Thompson Trust Global Endowment for the Arts Foundation in Oklahoma City. In 1991, he married Julie Ann McDonough, a dancer, singer and actor, who received training at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Stanford. She survives him.

Gene was a TV news reporter for ABC Television News/KHON in Honolulu. In addition to news reporting, Gene produced specials on the Honolulu Symphony Shell, Ancient Hawaii and Komohana. He hosted “Sweet Dreams,” a TV Nightclub show and was rated the #1 On Air Television News personality in Hawaii.

He received awards for televising the UN Secretary General Koffi Annan’s appeal for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, a UN reception for Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and a 1989 National Award from NASA for coverage of the world’s largest satellite. Gene was especially proud of his God & Country Award as an Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America and training other scouts on Red Cross lifesaving and other skills.

Gene was inspired by Yale professor Chris Argyris’ teaching “the Self- Fulfilling Prophecy” to write a trilogy, To Live Forever, available on Amazon. He was working with author Sharon Johnson on a book called Common Sense in the 21st Century, also available on Amazon.

As Gene wrote for the 50th Reunion, “My other life is music, and that is what Julie and I do best.” They produced CDs of pop songs from our era and cowboy music under their stage names, “Bebe Dupont” and “Polo Chanel.”

Gene cannot be with us for the 55th Reunion, but his songs and the hopes he expressed in his books live on.

Michael Crutcher