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CHAMPAIGN — Darryl William Thompson was born on Sept. 2, 1969, in Chicago to Alma Johnson; in which, he was reunited with in 2015. Through His divine plan, God allowed Anna Lee Thompson to adopt Darryl in 1973. Darryl gave his life to the Lord at an early age and was a longstanding member of Park Avenue SDA Church for over 35 years.

Darryl attended school in Oakland, Calif., and Pontiac, Ill. He graduated from Centennial High School 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.

Darryl 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. Darryl served as the Lake Region's Illiana Youth Federation president for over three years.

Darryl 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. Darryl 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 over three decades. Darryl 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. 

Darryl 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 amazing baked macaroni and cheese, which was a popularly requested dish at all family gatherings. He’s even been 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.”

Darryl greeted everyone with that infectious smile and his infamous saying, “Greetings & Salutations!” 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 over 2 million views.

On Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, God called our beloved Darryl from labor to reward. He leaves to cherish his memory his mother, Alma Johnson of Chicago; two sisters, Carla Giboney of Rantoul and Yeakia (Carlos) Johnson of Urbana; one uncle, Bishop Jettie (Mary Ann) Taylor Jr. of Aurora; one aunt, Bernice Mason of Muskegon, Mich.; two close cousins, Shelissa Jones of Nashville, Tenn., and Sonia Oliver of Rantoul; two beloved god sisters, Darlene Anderson of Urbana and Shawnette Valery of Champaign; three nephews, Lee Albert Giboney III, Eric Giboney Sr. and Kyrell Brown, all of Champaign; three nieces, LaToya Giboney of Champaign, A’Kaylee and Akira Johnson of Urbana; six great-nephews, LeeTrayveon Giboney, Jaishawn Williams, Malcolm Giboney, William Hampton, Najuan Brown and Eric Giboney II; three great-nieces, Naomi Brown, Carmyn Giboney and Zuri Zander; and a host of relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Anna Lee Thompson, and his maternal grandparents, Linia and Jettie Taylor Sr.

Darryl’s soft-spoken nature, kind, giving and loving personality will be greatly missed by his family, friends, community and the body of Christ at large.

“Well done, thy good and faithful servant!”

A celebration of life will commence at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at Salem Baptist Church, 500 E. Park St., Champaign. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the start of the service. 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 Pastor Nikolai Greaves, Park Avenue SDA Church. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.