In 1990, after 18 years of working as a servant for Orangeburg County, Margaret Thompson was elected and became the first black to be voted into the office of probate judge.
With her most pleasing personality and her outstanding people-person character, she served proudly this county until her untimely death from leukemia in March 1997.
Judge Thompson was well prepared for this position of leadership after being nurtured by former Probate Judge Harry Dawkins and Geneva Dean. And today, the office of probate judge under Judge Pandora Jones-Glover has continued that type of service to our county.
Fairness, dignity and integrity were her motto in serving the good people of Orangeburg County. If Thompson had any enemies, they most likely ended up being her footstool.
The following is an extract from a tribute printed in The T&D on March 23, 1997, “Margaret Thompson, A friend and mother” — “You were a mother to all my children, and a best friend to me. You always helped to keep us strong. You always encouraged us to go on though life is full of pain. Yes, we know that you would want us to go on. But our lives will never be the same. Because your presence is gone. But we’ll work to meet you in eternity. Maggie Funchess, Your other children, Monique, Karen and Wesley.”
At the time of Thompson’s death, she was serving her second term after being re-elected in 1994.
The legacy of Probate Judge Margaret Thompson will live forever in Orangeburg County because of her glowing eyes and the warm smile she always displayed when you were in her mist.