December 15, 1927 - March 3, 2022
There was an earlier time, a time when the Florida State University athletics program was a little smaller and quieter, and maybe even a little kinder. In those days, fans knew the iconic leaders of the University more by their first names than by their titles. ‘Bernie’ was the President. ‘Bobby’ was the coach. And ‘Claude’ ran the ticket office. ‘Bernie’s’ door was always open (and he might even share a beer). ‘Bobby’ would always put his arm around you and ask about your mother. And whenever there were any questions or special requests about tickets, Seminole fans routinely knew to “call Claude”. No last name was necessary. Claude was a welcoming friend to all Seminole fans, Boosters, and alumni. Those days have long passed. And now, Claude Thigpen has joined his pals, Bernie Sliger and Bobby Bowden, on a pleasant celestial plane far above the stadium. Claude H. Thigpen was born in Greenville, Florida on December 15th, 1927, the son of Elzie and Rosa Bell Thigpen. After graduating from Greenville High School, Claude joined the United States Air Force, stationed variously in Japan and Korea, as well as in the States. After seven years in uniform, he left the Service and re-located to Tallahassee to advance his education. He completed Business School at Lively and began working as an accountant with the FSU Athletic Department while continuing with advanced courses at FSU. During Claude Thigpen’s 35-year career with Florida State Athletics, his responsibilities included accounting, ticket manager, business manager, football team travel manager, game-day operations and overseeing the courtesy car program. Highly respected by his peers in Athletics, his humility and good nature along with his keen business sense, enabled him to gain the confidence of every FSU Director of Athletics, both full and part-time, over the course of 54 years. He holds the distinction of having worked in FSU Athletics longer than any other employee. Claude was a member of Thomasville Road Baptist Church; the Seminole Boosters; the FSU Letterman’s Club; and the FSU Alumni Association. Claude was also inducted into the FSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. During the retirement years, Claude enjoyed golf, fishing, working in his yard and especially times spent with family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Lark; and his son Greg. Claude is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 56 years, Carleen; sons, Martin Thigpen (Jane) of Monticello and Chuck Golden (Elaine) of St. Augustine; daughters, Angela Breon (Robert) of Tallahassee, Debbie Byrd (Alan) of St. George Island and Connie Duncan (Scooter) of Monticello; daughter-in-law, Sheila Thigpen of Sopchoppy; sister, Lillian Harris (Sonny) of Greenville; niece, Sonya Morris (Mike) of Greenville; nephew, Jeff Harris (Pam) of Monticello; seventeen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. The family would like to thank all the dedicated caregivers that took such good care of Claude during his illness. We will forever be grateful for their kindness and care. The family will receive guests at 10:00AM on Monday, March 7, 2022 at Thomasville Road Baptist Church followed by the funeral service at 11:00AM. The service will conclude at MeadowWood Memorial Park, with military honors. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Mr. Thigpen may be made to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32308. Rocky Bevis of Bevis Funeral Home (850-385-2193 or www.bevisfh.com) is assisting the Thigpen family with their arrangements.
There was an earlier time, a time when the Florida State University athletics program was a little smaller and quieter, and maybe even a little kinder. In those days, fans knew the iconic leaders of the University more by their first names than... View Obituary & Service Information
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