Bruce Carrel Thompson

Published 11:21 am Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Bruce Carrel Thompson of Port Neches went to be with the Lord on October 19, 2019. He was born in 1926 in Marlow, Oklahoma and attended Bray High School and graduated from Central State College, Edmond, Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Administration in Business.

In 1947, he married the love of his life, Alletta Thompson, and later moved to Houston, Texas. After working in supervision at another grocery chain, Bruce decided to pursue his lifelong dream of owning his own store. In 1962, he and Alletta purchased a store in Groves, Texas, naming it Bruce’s. He soon helped form a joint advertising group, which became known as Market Basket. He and Ed Hughes, continued the Market Basket brand by purchasing stores in Texas and Louisiana.   In 1983, he bought out his partner and life-long friend, Ed, to continue the operation of Market Basket as it currently operates.

Always the gentleman, Bruce managed his life and business with a genuine, simple life philosophy. He worshipped God and loved his Sweetheart, Alletta, for 70 years. He was a decisive and progressive leader, always leaning on the generous side. He served in the United States Navy from 1944-46. He was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church in Port Neches. After a major car accident at the age of 74, he rallied and worked to overcome his many injuries over the course of a year, returning to work for another 15 years. He was an innovator in grocery retailing, nurturing his 2000 employees, with respect and admiration.

He had a passion for the business and he loved having problems to solve. Bruce was a remarkable man. He was never limited by fear and didn’t recognize failure. He saw problems as opportunities. He had a rare ability to connect with employees, business associates and customers. He made everyone feel like they were special and left a lasting impression with them. He was driven with passion and energy in all areas of his life, whether it was the Church Finance Committee or serving on the PNG School Board or President of the Texas Retail Grocers Association.

An avid deer hunter and Cowboy fan, he loved ice cream and anything sweet.   Friends told him they could see why he was in the grocery business! He was extremely patient and kind, an entrepreneur, mathematician and the voice of reason amongst family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bruce C. Thompson and Lillie Winkler Thompson Holley; sister, Wanda Thompson Rohrbaugh, and wife, Alletta Rotroff Thompson.

Survivors include daughter, Caira Thompson Franz and husband, Mike; son, Skylar Thompson and wife, Angie; sister -in-law, Marlene Lee and husband, Gale.

Grandchildren, Macy Franz Hill and husband, James; Greg Franz, and wife, Ashley, David Thompson and wife, Loren; Meredith Franz Broussard and husband, Ryan; Heath Thompson and wife, Courtney; Clifton Franz, Neal Thompson, Elizabeth Thompson and Nicole Thompson,. Great-grandchildren, George Hill, Charlie Hill, Caylynn Franz, Carli Franz, Reese Broussard, Evie Broussard, and Layke Thompson.

A reception for friends and family will be held on Friday, October 25, 2019, at 5:00-6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church Port Neches in the Fellowship Hall, 1826 Nall Street, Port Neches, Texas 77651.

The Memorial Service will be Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., at United Methodist Temple, Port Arthur, followed by a reception in Scott Hall, 4101 Hwy 73, Port Arthur, Texas 77642.

Memorial contributions may be directed to First United Methodist Church, PO BOX 277, Port Neches, TX 77651.

Arrangements are under the direction of Levingston Funeral Home Port Neches.