Sylvia R. Thompson, 89, of Orange went home to be with the Lord Sunday, Nov. 17, following a brief illness.

She was born July 19, 1924, in Havre, Mt., the daughter of pioneering wheat farmers. A member of the “greatest generation,” she became a military wife and lived in a number of locations, including Oregon, where she gave birth to her first daughter, and California, where her son was born. The family moved to Orange in 1954, when her now-deceased former husband, John Derrick, was asked to work as news director for KOGT Radio.

Eventually, they went into ministry, a calling that stayed with Sylvia long after John’s death. A licensed and ordained full-gospel minister, Sylvia could best be described as a bit of a firebrand when it came to preaching, something she dearly loved to do. She often ministered at her home church, which was first the Mauriceville Assembly of God and then Community Church in Orange. She also would travel to ladies meetings or retreats, often accompanied by her youngest daughter who had been born the year she moved to Orange. It was during this time that Sylvia was introduced to Robert M. Thompson whom she married in 1974. The love of each other’s lives for nearly four decades, Bob opened his arms to her family and her church, worked hard to support her and thoroughly enjoyed being a preacher’s husband. He cared for her with the utmost love during her difficult later years.

Her home going will be recognized and her life honored at 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiants will include the Honorable Dennis Powell and the Rev. Harold Nazworth. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday prior to the funeral service. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens near Bridge City.

Serving as Pallbearers will be David Wagner, Steve Menard, Gene Allen, Steve Howard, Wayne Lewis, Allen Bertrand, Terry Miers, Myron Creamer and Kent Welch.

Sylvia is survived by her husband, Robert M. Thompson; a son, John E. Derrick and his wife, Nancy E. Derrick of Mauriceville; two daughters, Anne Lavine and her husband, the Rev. Charles Lavine, of Fort Worth, and Deborah “Debi” Derrick of Beaumont; a sister, Myrtle Rhodes of Alma, Ark.; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers.