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Tess Thompson

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Member Since: Mar, 2002

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United in Life; United in Death --A Love Story
by Tess Thompson   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, April 16, 2009
Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2009

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Tess Thompson's parents were married and madly in love for 66 years. After he died, he came back to get her exactly two weeks later.

Alice and Kenneth Bourland:United in life;united in death. A Love Story.

Kenneth Richard Bourland died peacefully at home with his children beside him at the age of 92, on December 17, 2008, in El Paso, Texas.

First and foremost he was a true gentleman: loving, patient and kind. He made light of favors while doing them and never spoke of himself unless compelled to do so. He did not listen to slander or gossip and interpreted everything for the best. His family never heard him say a bad word about anyone.

He was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and friend. All who knew him were blessed to do so. We will all forever miss him and call him our hero.

Ken was born November 30, 1916, in El Paso, Texas, and lived there all of his life. He started building and flying airplanes at 16. The late Jack Weiler, operator of El Paso Flying Service and one of the first chief pilots for Continental Airlines, employed him as an airplane mechanic and taught him to fly.

Throughout his life, Ken worked as a pilot, an aerial photographer, and as an aircraft mechanic. He could fix or fabricate just about anything. He and his brother Charles were among the pilots who flew the first airmail letters into the Southwest.

He was a member of the El Paso County Sheriffís Reserve Search and Rescue Team, and along with his brother Charles, helped organize the first fully combined air and ground search and rescue training mission in El Paso County. He was inducted into the El Paso Aviation Hall of Fame in 1984. He worked for El Paso Natural Gas as the chief of the Aviation Maintenance Department for twenty-three years, and retired in July 1979.

During World War II, he worked at Fort Bliss, and met the love of his life, Alice Adams. They were married just 6 months after they met, and their marriage lasted for 66 years. Alice and Kenneth were soul mates who adored each other, and they were the center of each otherís world. She gave him love, support, and strength, and she was his greatest happiness.

Ken was in the Navy during World War II and stationed in San Diego. He was an aircraft mechanic and machinist and kept the United Statesí fighter planes flying. He received an honorable discharge from the US Navy as an Aviation Machinistís Mate Second Class in February of 1946.

Ken loved to fly airplanes and hunt and fish. He was proud to be an endowment member of the NRA and the Republican Party.

His loving wife, Alice Marguerite Bourland passed away exactly two weeks later at the age of 91, on December 31, 2008, in El Paso, Texas, after suffering for many years with Alzheimerís disease.

As her husband Ken was a true gentleman, she was his equal partner and a true lady. Refined and gracious, she was loving, giving, and kind to family, friends and strangers.

Alice was born on a farm in Dona Ana County New Mexico on May 14, 1917. She graduated from Valley High School in 1935, and worked her way through college at the College of Mines in Silver City, New Mexico, and earned a bachelorís degree from Texas Western College and a masterís degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. She was a teacher, an assistant principal at North Loop Elementary from 1965-1973, and one of the first female administrators in the Ysleta School District. At the time of her retirement in 1978, she was the principal of Parkland Elementary School. She was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa.

Alice was a life-long Baptist, and she was deeply spiritual and religious. Alice was one of the earliest members of Scotsdale Baptist Church and was the Director of the Adult Sunday School Department for many years. Everyone remembers that Alice made peanut brittle and candy as birthday gifts for members of the church. She visited the sick and elderly, taught Sunday school, and was a vital member of the congregation.

Alice was a master gardener. She could stick anything in the ground, and it would grow. She could name every flower she saw and collected photos that Kenneth took as they traveled. She had a greenhouse filled with hundreds of flowers and plants. She was a wonderful cook and baker. She could sew and made beautiful craft projects. She taught all of her grandchildren to pray and to be respectful of others. She spent hours with them and had infinite patience. She had a wonderful sense of humor and a lively spirit.

She met her husband, Kenneth, in 1942, while working at Biggs Field during World War II. It was love at first sight for both of them, and they were devoted to each other for 66 years. Even though she was a career woman in an era when most women stayed at home, Aliceís family and home were her top priority.

In the last six months of her life, she and Kenneth were forced to live apart because of the amount of care that her illness required. Kenneth visited her every day until his declining health made that impossible. We know, without question, that their spirits are entwined. On the night that Kenneth died, her caretakers noticed a drastic decline in her condition. From that day on, although she was never informed of his passing, she began to slip away. We believe that he came to get her exactly two weeks to the day of his death. The family is comforted by the knowledge that they are walking hand-in-hand together in Heaven and will be never be separated again.

Kenneth and Alice are the parents of Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson who write under the pseudonym Tess Thompson. Visit their websites at and


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