Heather Thompson, a veteran producer and project manager in the game industry, passed away on February 2nd due to complications from a nearly eight-year-long battle with breast cancer. She was 42.
Born in Memphis, Thompson attended Syracuse University and majored in mechanical engineering. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles and began her career in the game industry. There she also met her future husband, Andre Emerson, at Trimark Interactive, one of her first jobs in the industry.
Following Trimark Interactive, Thompson worked at a number of notable companies like Radical Entertainment / ESPN Digital Games, Sega, Electronic Arts, Namco, and Vivendi/Sierra Games. Her shipped titles
include Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
and Dead to Rights
According to her newspaper obituary
, one of Thompson's greatest satisfactions in life was rescuing and rehabilitating cats -- at one point, she was taking care of six cats. She also enjoyed traveling, attending concerts, and listening to wide variety of music from Bob Marley to Nine Inch Nails.
After learning she had cancer, Thompson travelled extensively to "Hawaii, where she swam with rays, Alaska, where she saw orcas, bears and petted sled dogs, Florida, where she swam with dolphins, Paris, France, where she admired great artist's work at the Louvre Museum and to Tokyo, Japan, on business."
Thompson is survived by her husband of five years, Andre Emerson (currently Game Production VP at 20th Century Fox); her father and mother, Jim and Brenda Thompson; and her brother, Dain Stephens.
"People were drawn to Heather," says Debbie Galarneau
, who worked with Thompson when she was still a student. "Heather has always seemed to know what path she should take, even when choices were unexpected. It's as though she had wisdom and a sense of purpose which most of us don't possess."