August 2, 1918 - August 28, 2015


Donald Swan Thompson was born at home on his parents farm east of Princeton in Wyanett township on August 2, 1918 to Elmer and Alma (Sederlund) Thompson.

He went home to heaven on Friday, August 28, 2015 at Elim Care in Princeton, Minnesota.

Donald grew up on three different farms east of Princeton. He attended district 46 and district 19 country schools in Wyanett township. He began his love of music under the inspiration of country school teachers Hazel Oliver and Alvie Erickson. After the eighth grade Donald worked on the family farm until he was 20. In 1939 he moved to Rockford Illinois where he worked as a lathe operator at American Cabinet and Rockford Brass Works.

Don knew Marion Larson as a friend from the Wyanett Free Church near Princeton. They started dating while he was in Rockford. They took the Zepher train many times to visit each other. They were engaged at Christmas time,1943, and decided to get married before Donald was scheduled to leave for the Navy. Don and Marion were married on March 18, 1944 at the Wyanett church. They moved into the brick home on the farm they had purchased which was located about four miles east of Princeton. Donald and Marion enjoyed life together on this farm for 64 years. Marion was the lifelong love of Donald. The home they shared together was filled with kindness, hospitality, laughter, music, and love.

After he was married, Donald farmed for several years. He later worked as a construction foreman for Westman Silo Company, and as a plumber for the Princeton Coop. In 1954 he began his career as a carpenter. He skillfully and carefully built many homes, apartment buildings, and churches. He worked for contractors Vern Franzen, Ray Rust, Ron Anderson, and the Kroy Company. He retired in 1984. During all the years on the farm Donald enjoyed working the land and raising animals. In addition to carpentry work Donald raised Hereford cattle on natural feed and sold the meat to neighbors and friends. He loved gardening and shared lots of vegetables with family and friends. During his retirement he constructed hand finished furniture for his children and grandchildren.

For the last eight years of his life Donald lived at the Caley House and Elim Care Center in Princeton. There he received the wonderful care and love of many staff members.

Donald was active in his community and church. He served on the Wyanett Telephone Board. He was sextant of the Wyanett Bethany cemetery for forty years. He served as bus driver, Sunday School superintendent, song leader, and chairman of the Wyanett Evangelical Free church over the years. He served on the board of the Oxlip Evangelical Free Church.

Donald loved music and shared his gift of song as a soloist at numerous church services, funerals, weddings, and family events. Marion accompanied him on the piano. Donald also played the harmonica.

Donald was a strong, kind, and loving person. He liked people and spoke highly of everyone he knew. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He loved all of his family deeply and took a special interest in what was happening in each of their lives. He was a wonderful father and grandfather. Donald had an unwavering trust and faith in Jesus, his Savior and friend. May God bless his memory, life, and example to the generations yet to come.

Donald is survived by his son Dennis (and Paulette) Thompson of Faribault; daughter Diane and (Steven) Wilcox of St. Cloud; eight grandchildren - Jonathan (Deirdre) Thompson, Anne (Taylor) Vander Martin, Kristen (Keith) Pickard, Jen (Blake) Koelmel, Charles(Elizabeth) Thompson, Bethany Wilcox, Richard Wilcox, and Josh Wilcox; seventeen great grandchildren - Carter, Levi, Jonah, and Owen Vander Martin; Evan and Ainsley Thompson; Andrew, Katelyn, Emma, and Benjamin Pickard; Charlotte, Nora, Shae, and Hudson Thompson; Clark, Grant, and James Koelmel; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Elmer and Alma Thompson; wife Marion Thomspon; brothers – Wallace, Lawrence, Woodrow, Warren, and Edsel Thompson; and sisters – Gladys Anderson, Marion Lundgren, Francis Carlson, Millie Swanson, Lillian Palmquist, and Dorothy Olson.

A funeral service will be held 11AM, Friday, September 4, 2015 at The Oxlip Evangelical Free Church, 29237 Roanoke Street NW, Isanti, MN 55040 with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be held in Wyanett Free Church Bethany Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Princeton.