At Monday’s school board meeting, Seneca Valley officials took a moment to remember longtime school photographer Ray Thompson.
A fixture at Seneca Valley, including at numerous sporting events, Thompson, of Harmony, died from cancer on Jan. 11. He was 75.
Thompson was married, the father of five children and grandfather of two young children. He also took photos for various newspapers, including the Butler Eagle, News Weekly, the Cranberry Journal and the defunct Pittsburgh Press. According to his obituary on the Boylan Funeral Home website, Thompson won 30 Keystone Press and Golden Quill awards for photography throughout his career.
School board president Robert Hill said Thompson worked with the district for about 30 years and was responsible for thousands of the photos found on the Seneca Valley website.
“He will be sorely missed here,” he said.
District spokeswoman Linda Andreassi, who worked closely with the photographer, said Thompson was a fatherlike figure to her.
She called him a generous man who always had a smile on his face when he delivered photos to her office. She recalled how Thompson often got his subjects to laugh while he was taking their photos by telling them to say “Fuzzy Mustard.”
“He would do anything for you, whether it was to lend you a hand, take a last-minute photo or pitch in on a favor," she said. "And he did it with a smile on his face and joy in his heart. I think I’m going to miss that most.”
Besides his family, Andreassi said Thompson’s pride and joy was a restored Rolls Royce. In his later years, he also loved to show off his Vespa scooter.