First Lieutenant Jay O. Thompson served our nation, with honor, in the United States Air Force. A graduate of Argos High School and Purdue University, he rose to the position of instructor pilot in the Air Force Training Command, assigned to Vance Air Force Base at Enid, Oklahoma. In September 1972, at the young age of twenty-four, Lieutenant Thompson gave his life during a night training flight over Oklahoma when the jet aircraft he was piloting crashed in bad weather.
Born in 1947 in rural Kansas, his father's native state, Jay was two years old when his family bought a farm near his mother's family farm in Marshall County and moved to Indiana. Jay was an energetic and outgoing farm boy who was active in sports, 4-H, band, and choir. He was a member of the Argos Chapter of Future Farmers of America and went on to be elected State Reporter in the Indiana FFA organization.
In 1970, Jay graduated from Purdue University with a Baccalaureate degree in Agriculture, and he was proud to have completed student teaching assignments at Triton and Argos High Schools. Upon graduation, following the example set by his parents Carroll and Lida who served in the military during World War II, Jay was immediately inducted into the United States Air Force. The Vietnam War was ongoing, but like his parents, he felt the call of duty.
The Argos community has a strong and proud history of military service. The patriotism of the community inspires its young. As an Air Force Pilot, Lieutenant Thompson was proud to serve his country in a way that was both challenging and exciting. His sudden accidental death was a striking example of the dangers of the position and it was devastating to his family and friends. The J. O. Thompson Memorial Scholarship was initiated shortly after his passing by members of his 1965 Argos High School graduating class. It is maintained today by the Marshall County Community Foundation. The scholarship helps fund an Argos High School
graduate attending Purdue University and studying Agriculture.
The purpose of the fund is to provide an annual scholarship to an Argos High School senior.