CISSNA PARK, Ill. (WCIA) — Cissna Park has a population of 850. Its American Legion has a membership of 225. Francis Thompsen had a lot to do with its success. Richard Swing was his friend since the 1970’s.
“He was kind of the face of what the Cissna Park American Legion is.”
The 76-year old died from cancer this summer and left behind a legacy of an Angel Among Us. He was a leader, a friend, and the only one here who drank MGD. He always asked for it in a glass.
You could say Thompsen was a man who knew what he wanted like getting his buddies involved in Operation Honor Guard. He was very organized and very particular, the perfect person to be the adjutant. That’s a position where he saw every service, sponsorship or activity through to the end.
Thompsen wanted to make Cissna Park a great place to live. He was on the school board both as a member and as the president. He also made sure the entertainment for Old Settlers’ Day and its parade were top notch for 20-years.
Swing remembered, “I got the job of trying to do what he did at Old Settlers. I tell you, what I ran myself ragged.”
Thompsen’s dedication to service was life long. He was in the Army, was a state trooper for 31-years, and a bailiff in Iroquois County for 20-years after that. He was one of those kind of guys who led by example. He was the heart and soul of this legion and a man whose influence will be missed.