Darryl Thompson of Champaign, brother of a Rantoul resident, died Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.
A celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at Salem Baptist Church, 500 E. Park St., Champaign. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the church. A public viewing will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at Leek & Sons Funeral Home, 1215 W. Bradley Ave., Urbana. Eulogist will be the Rev. Nikolai Greaves, Park Avenue SDA Church.
Mr. Thompson was born Sept. 2, 1969, in Chicago, a son of Alma Johnson, whom he was reunited with in 2015. He was adopted by Anna Thompson in 1973.
Surviving are his mother, Alma Johnson of Chicago; two sisters, Carla Giboney of Rantoul and Yeakia (Carlos) Johnson of Urbana; and numerous other relatives
He was preceded in death by his mother, Anna Thompson, and his maternal grandparents, Linia and Jettie Taylor Sr.
Mr. Thompson gave his life to the Lord at an early age and was a longstanding member of Park Avenue SDA Church for more than 35 years.
He attended school in Oakland, Calif., and Pontiac. He graduated from Centennial High School, Champaign, in 1987. He obtained a bachelor of accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also obtained a bachelor of business administration from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala.
Mr. Thompson was employed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Hampton Inn as an auditor. He also worked as a bookkeeper at Bundles of Joy Learning Center since 2003 and in tax services at H&R Block since 2007. He served as the Lake Region’s Illiana Youth Federation president for more than three years.
Mr. Thompson was a lover of all things music. He formed his first singing group, Renewed Strength, in 1990 comprised of his youngest sister, a cousin and four friends from church. He went on to form His Children, a chorale of U of I students, friends and family. He was a member of Dynamic Praise at Oakwood University. He was also a member of the University of Illinois Black Chorus under the leadership of Dr. Ollie Watts Davis for more than three decades.
He formed Cousins & Friends in 2003, a group of family and friends who sing together at their annual family reunion as well as at various family events.
Mr. Thompson would travel for miles at the drop of a dime to see his favorite gospel artists minister at concerts and other events. He also believed in supporting family, friends and up-and-coming artists in whatever endeavors they pursued, no matter the distance. He loved preparing (late night) meals, especially his baked macaroni and cheese, which was a popularly requested dish at all family gatherings. He was known to accept food in return for tax and tutoring services instead of money because he loved food just that much. Darryl was a tutor to many students of all grade levels and at times would loan out his personal laptops to aid them in their studies. He had a strong affinity for electronics, stylish writing pens and perfecting his signature of “dylwthpn.”
He was most known throughout the C-U community and surrounding areas as a photographer and videographer. His personal archives of pictures and video footage are countless. To date, he has almost 5K subscribers to his YouTube channel with more than 2 million views.