Norma Jefferson Thompson, age 73, passed away peacefully December 19, 2020 due to her struggle with ovarian cancer. She was born October 14, 1947 in the “Windy City” to Nelson and Shirley Jefferson who were not aware that she was deaf until she was 8 years old. During that time, lip reading was the emphasized method of communication, but it was through a preacher that Norma learned her first words in American Sign Language – “Jesus”, the “cross” and “forgiveness”.
In 1968 at the National Institute of the Deaf (NTID), she was among the first 70 deaf students to pilot a new deaf technological college established by the federal government to expand vocational opportunities for the deaf. It was at NTID that Norma met her college love, Thomas (Tommy) Joseph Thompson, whom she married in 1971. After 8 brief years of marriage and the birth of her oldest son Michael (Mike), Tommy unexpectedly passed away two months before her youngest son, Timothy (Tim), was born. Following Tommy’s death, Norma spent many years working and supporting two young boys as a single mother.
Norma was known as “Momma Sweet” to her family. She was a very sweet and happy soul – always smiling and loved a good laugh. She was very creative and developed her love of art at NTID. She loved to draw, go to Hobby Lobby to find the latest yarn colors, spend time with dogs, socializing with her deaf friends and binging on the Hallmark Channel. She crocheted beautiful blankets and crafts constantly. Her hands were constantly producing beautiful work.
But Norma’s passion was the things of God. She had unshakeable faith that one day she would go to Heaven because she believed that Jesus died for her sins, rose from the grave and conquered death. She showed this every day in her daily studying of the Bible, helping to teach sign language during church music camp, sharing scripture, and telling others about how they could meet her in Heaven. Her life was a living example of her favorite Bible verse, John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
She is survived by her oldest son Michael, his wife Natalie and 3 granddaughters Elizabeth, Laura and Caroline; her youngest son, Timothy and grandson Ezekiel Thomas. She loved each of them dearly.
Please join us in celebrating her life Tuesday December 29, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time at Haymarket Baptist Church, 14800 Washington Street, Haymarket, Virginia. For those unable to attend in person, please view the live stream: