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Street named for ‘Mayor of Cambria Heights’

He left his mark on Cambria Heights and now two years after his death Jack Thompson’s name will be remembered for generations after the street where he lived was renamed for the man known as the mayor of the neighborhood.

Thompson, the late president of the Cambria Heights Civic Association for 11 years, died at age 78 in August 2006 from an undisclosed illness.

At Thompson’s funeral, City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D−St. Albans) suggested the block where Thompson lived on 116th Road be named after him.

“It was something the community wholeheartedly embraced,” said Comrie, who held the street renaming ceremony Saturday along with Thompson’s family and civic leaders. “Jack was truly a person who lived and breathed and fought and advocated for his community.”

The intersection of 116th Road and Nashville Boulevard is now known as Jack Thompson Drive.

Thompson was known throughout the neighborhood as the “Mayor of Cambria Heights.”

“He was always out and about and he was always shaking hands,” said Thompson’s son, Michael Thompson. “He was always visible. He was always there when people had concerns.”

Thompson was also a founding member of the advisory board for the Cambria Heights Post Office and played an instrumental role in bringing the first library to the community.

The ribbon cutting for the Cambria Heights Library was conducted six months after Thompson’s death.

The Jack Thompson Memorial Scholarship, handed out by the Cambria Heights Local Development Corporation, was set up in Thompson’s honor to reward students at Campus Magnet High School that performed community service.

“Education was very important to him,” his son said. “He wanted young people to be involved in the community.”

Richard Hellenbrecht, the chairman of Community Board 13, said Thompson always had a handle on his neighborhood.

“If anything was going on in Cambria Heights, he was the person I went to,” Hellenbrecht said.

He credited Thompson for the strong turnout at Cambria Heights Civic Association meeting that routinely draws about 100 members.

“He really had the organization very well organized and pulled together,” Hellenbrecht said. “Compared to most of the other civics, Cambria Heights is the one that has far more attendance than any other group.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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