We sadly announce the passing of Tabitha Cooper Thompson, 39, of Fincastle, on February 11, 2022. Tabitha was tragically killed while riding her bicycle, cross training for the upcoming Blue Ridge Marathon.
Tabitha was born to Forest Perry Jr., “PJ,” and the late Denise Cooper in Charleston, W.Va. A fun-loving, hard-working and vibrant personality from the beginning, Tabitha was an excellent student and champion cheerleader. She graduated from Riverside High School at the top of her class and immediately went on to study nursing at WVU.
After graduating from WVU Nursing School in 2005, again at the top of her class, Tabitha moved to the Roanoke area with the love of her life and future husband, Matt Thompson. She began a career as a neonatal intensive care nurse and worked in Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital’s NICU for more than 15 years. In addition to her time spent working with and saving premature babies, Tabitha also spent many years as a member of the Neonatal-Pediatric Transport Team.
Tabitha recently graduated (2020) from Duke University with an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse degree as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. After passing her boards, she continued her work with the NICU as a Nurse Practitioner.
In addition to her mom Denise, Tabitha was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Forest Perry and Marvela Kay Cooper. Tabitha is survived by her dad PJ and wife Kelli; her brother Nick and his wife Kari and their two children, Paris and Carson; her maternal grandparents James “Teddy” and Yvonne Huffman; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, countless friends and colleagues. She is also survived by her best friend, soulmate, and husband of 15 years, Matt, as well her rescue pups, horses, cats, and chickens.
Tabitha’s hobbies could fill a book. She and Matt owned Cross View Farm in Fincastle. In addition to being a champion equestrian, she was an experienced marathoner, an avid reader, and talented with a crochet hook. Tabitha enjoyed every minute of her life. She took so much pride in her role as a mentor for nursing students and new NICU nurses. Tabitha also coached, taught, and helped so many friends interested in horses. Matt and Tabitha created an entire series of affordable horse shows for young or less-experienced riders to feel comfortable showing. She never met a stranger and was loved by so many.
Her family has decided to forgo traditional services in favor of planning a celebration of her extraordinary life at a later date. If you are inclined to honor Tabitha in some way, please consider a donation to the Carilion Clinic Foundation dedicated to the NICU, or perhaps donate to or adopt from your local animal shelter, sign up for a 5K, or take on that challenge you’ve always dreamed of chasing. We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to honor Tab and bring some light to this incredibly dark time.