Landon Carrington Thompson

Published 6:20 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

Landon Carrington Thompson, 61, of Suffolk, passed away on January 16, 2019.  A committed member of his community, as well as a devoted husband, father and true Southern gentleman, Carrington will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Carrington was born on Sept. 3, 1957 in Gastonia, N.C., son of James Landon Thompson and Hazel Eleanor Amick Thompson. He is survived by his wife of over 20 years, Suzanne E. Gillespie-Thompson; daughter, Hayden Elizabeth Thompson; in-laws Ernest Gillespie of Carrollton, Catherine Gillespie and Andre Hakes of Charlottesville and Cara and Craig Bennett of Charleston, S.C.; two nephews, Mason Hakes and Emerson Bennett; and many more family and friends.

As evidenced by his tremendous record, CD and book collections, Carrington’s greatest loves, outside of his family, were music and reading.  Should a question about music arise in conversation, his encyclopedic knowledge was faster and more entertaining than any Google search.  Hard working, good hearted, with a touch of mischievousness and humor for good measure, Carrington was an integral member of every community of which he chose to be a part. Trained and certified as a lay speaker at Benn’s United Methodist Church in Smithfield, Carrington most recently served as treasurer for the United Methodist Men and adult Sunday school class teacher.

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It was at his own graduation party from William and Mary’s MBA program that Carrington met Suzanne for the first time.  There, they began their long journey towards courtship, marriage, parenthood and partnership in life.  He would want it officially recorded that he was, “blessed to be alive and married to Suzanne for eight thousand-three-hundred and seven days!”  They married on April 20, 1996 by the water of Jones Creek on Suzanne’s family farm in Carrollton.  After a short time in Richmond, they lived briefly in Greenville, S.C., then moved on to Charlotte, N.C. where they lived and worked for many years before returning to Virginia to raise their daughter and be closer to family. 

A graduate of Oak Ridge Military Academy in N.C., Carrington went on to earn his BA from Davidson College as a student in their ROTC program before completing masters-level coursework in communications at the University of Tennessee.  After faithfully serving our country for four years in the U.S. Army, he pursued a career in radio where he held several director positions at radio stations from North Carolina to West Virginia.   With a gift for analyzing data and noting trends, Carrington eventually found himself in the world of market research.  While working full time for a market research firm in Williamsburg, he earned an MBA in strategic market analysis and planning at William and Mary’s Mason School of Business.  After conducting strategic planning for several national homebuilders, Carrington built his own firm, Pinpoint Market Research in N.C. before returning to Virginia and applying that experience towards a dream of owning his own radio station held since his experience as a DJ in both high school and college.  

President of Hayden Hamilton Media Strategies, Carrington personally managed Bright Radio 105-7 WMXH-FM/1330 WRAA-AM in Luray, which required him to commute during the week several hours away from home and family.  Building connections and community away from home, Carrington joined Luray’s Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club, and quickly joined a small cadre of friends with whom he would walk every morning, getting exercise and exchanging news from around town.  It didn’t take long for Carrington to be known in Luray for his great wit, intelligence and genuine kindness.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2 p.m. in Benn’s United Methodist Church, Smithfield.   The family will receive friends on Saturday, from 6-7 p.m. at Little’s Funeral Home, Smithfield.  Memorial donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity. Online condolences may be registered at