Homer and Annette Thompson were each born in east Polk County; Homer in Haines City and Annette in Winter Haven. Homer’s family was among the pioneers of the citrus industry in and around Haines City and Annette’s grandfather, Ephriam Baynard, was a significant, early developer in Auburndale. Two of the most significant historic buildings in Auburndale were built by Mr. Baynard.
Homer and Annette both graduated from Haines City High School, and Homer also graduated from the University of Florida.
They married in 1939. Homer served in the military, including service during World War II and the Korean War. His military career included ROTC, the Army, and the National Guard. He served as a 2nd Lt. in the Field Artillery during his active duty days and retired from the National Guard as a Lt. Colonel, receiving the Legion of Merit Medal, the highest award for non-combative service. In addition to his long and distinguished military career, Homer worked for the Federal Communications Commission for 30 years.
The Thompsons lived in more than 25 locations during their marriage, the many moves necessitated by Homer’s employment and military service. They returned to Polk County after Homer’s retirement in 1978, settling once and for all in Winter Haven. They spent their retirement years enjoying life together. Homer and Annette particularly liked to travel, golf, and folk dance. They were active members of Beymer Memorial United Methodist Church and the Lake Region Yacht and Country Club. Annette was involved with the Ponce de Leon Chapter of the DAR and together, she and Homer were avid amateur radio operators. After his retirement from the FCC, Homer served on the Board of Haines City Citrus Growers Association and took an active role in the management of his beloved citrus groves. He was a member of the American Legion as well as the Elks and Masonic Lodges of Haines City. At the time of Annette’s passing in 2010, they had been married for 70 years. Homer passed away in 2013 at the age of 96.