PORTLAND – John Thompson Sr., a retired security guard at the Cumberland County Courthouse who had a passion for golf, died on Thursday. He was 87.

Mr. Thompson, formerly of Deering Pavilion in Portland, was a night security guard at the courthouse for 20 years. His son, John Thompson Jr. of Westbrook, said his dad enjoyed his work.

He said his father often ventured to the roof of the building to watch for ships coming into Portland Harbor, and he watched the fireworks show every Fourth of July from the courthouse roof.

He retired in 1995 at the age of 72.

“He got the chance to do a lot of reading at work,” his son said. “It’s the biggest thing about the job that he liked, and he loved going on the roof to look around.”

Mr. Thompson previously owned and operated John’s Neighborhood Store, a convenience store near Deering Oaks. He worked from 6 a.m. to midnight during the week, and spent weekends being with his family and playing golf.

He ran the store with his wife, Mary Thompson, who died about two years ago. His son said the long hours took a toll on him, but he enjoyed interacting with customers. He ran the business for 10 years.

“He had the gift of gab,” he said. “He could strike up a conversation with anyone.”

Mr. Thompson played golf for nearly 30 years. He took up the game when he was in his early 40s, playing on Sundays, mostly at the Val Halla golf course in Cumberland. He stopped playing when he was 68.

“He played for all those years, but never got a hole-in-one,” his son said. “He was a lefty.”

Mr. Thompson and his wife were married for 53 years and raised a son together. He also leaves two stepchildren.

His stepson Dominic Budzko died two weeks ago.

Mr. Thompson was remembered by his son Friday as an honest and hardworking man who took good care of his family. He said they enjoyed fishing and often talked about politics and world events.

“He taught me a lot,” he said. “I’ll miss him.”

Mr. Thompson’s friends and family will gather at 9:15 a.m. Monday at the Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home in Portland for a prayer service. A Mass will follow at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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