COLFAX – James Donald "Don" Thompson, 83, of Colfax died peacefully at 6:12 a.m. Thursday (Oct. 4, 2012) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington, with the Rev. Thomas Wirsing and the Rev. Chris Nitzel officiating. Burial with military rites will follow at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Calvert-Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington, and again from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday at the church.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington, where Don was a member.
Don was born Aug. 24, 1929, in LeRoy, a son of W.H. and Virgie Brown Thompson. He married Edna Marie Dirks on Jan. 20, 1954, in Normal. She survives.
Don is also survived by four children, Teresa (Gary) Beland, Carla (Bart) Lytel, Gerald (Jayme) Thompson and Laura (Robert) Nickrent; 12 grandchildren, Jason (Jill) Beland, Joel Beland, Garrett Beland, James (Amber) Lytel, Callie Lytel, Katie (Ryan) Grahs, Aaron Lytel, Tyler Thompson, Reid (Heather) Thompson, Amanda Thompson and Matthew and Michael Nickrent; and four great-grandchildren, Brooklyn, Nolan, Paige and Emerson Beland. He is also survived by his brother, Robert (Sondra) Thompson; and several other nieces and nephews, as well as his beloved dog, Addie.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister.
Don served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955 before returning to Illinois to farm with his father, and subsequently his son, Gerald, and grandsons.
"Papa" was hard-working and disciplined, values which he instilled upon his children and grandchildren. "Anything worth doing should be done right the first time," he would say. WWDD
He was instrumental in creating a close-knit family. In 1977, he took his family to Minnesota for the first time. This annual tradition has grown to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was a loving husband, father and grandfather who will be truly missed by his friends and family, all of whom were able to be there for him near the end. His legacy lives through them.