James Mervin Thompson was born October 14, 1935 in Ogema, Minnesota to Ernest and Hazel Thompson. Jim, or Pete as he was called by family, grew up working on the family farm and after attending school, graduated from New York Mills High School in 1953. After graduation, Jim found work on the iron ore ships that sailed out of Duluth, Minnesota. He made many crossings of Lake Superior while on the way to Chicago. In 1957, he enlisted into the United States Army and was stationed overseas. While there, he visited many of the European countries. Some highlights were seeing the Sistine Chapel and the Coliseum in Rome, and the beauty of the Swiss Alps. After an honorable discharge from the Army, Jim moved back to Minnesota. For a short time, Jim worked as a contracted employee on the Thule Air Force Base in Greenland.
In November of 1960 he married Eileen Wallace of Perham, Minnesota. From this union one daughter, Terri was born. In 1967 the family left Minnesota and settled in Hillsboro, Oregon. Here Jim found work as a Union Carpenter building houses all over the valley as well as commercial buildings including Hanks in Cornelius and Tuality Community Hospital where he later worked as the shipping and receiving clerk before retiring. After a divorce, Jim met and married Violet Camp. The two of them enjoyed working on their house, canning, driving to Idaho to visit Violet’s daughter Debbie and the grandchildren. They also traveled to Arkansas and Minnesota in their motorhome.
One of Jim’s favorite things to do was go to the Hillsboro Farmers Market where he sold many of his planter box benches, scroll top bread boxes and fishing rod holders that he made by hand in front of his garage. He worked outside from early spring until fall and many a friend or neighbor could always pull up an extra chair to sit and talk about anything and everything.
Jim also enjoyed fishing the lakes of his home state of Minnesota, and in Oregon as well as trips to Canada and Alaska for walleye and salmon. Jim and Vi always had fun together going out for breakfast at the coast and then picking up fresh tuna to bring home and can for family and friends. In November of 2017, Violet passed away at her daughter Debbie’s home in Lewiston, Idaho.
Jim spent the rest of his time taking long drives with Terri all over the valley, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and the beach. In the fall of 2018, the two of them drove to Minnesota to visit family. While there, Jim showed Terri where he was born and the farm where he lived and worked. At home, time was spent watching NFL football, as Jim was a big fan; going on shopping trips and playing with his dog Prince.
Jim passed away peacefully on August 8, 2019 at his home with Terri and Prince at his side. Preceding him in death is his wife, Violet Thompson; parents Ernest and Hazel Thompson; brother Robert Thompson and sister Martha Hanson.
Survivors include his daughter Terri Eastman of Hillsboro, Oregon; brother Jack Thompson of Breckenridge, Minnesota; sister Irene Frost of Perham, Minnesota; many other relatives and friends.
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