Funeral services for James Thompson will be held on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Marilee Bergeson officiating. A public visitation will take place on Tuesday, October 10, 2023 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. and one hour prior to services on Wednesday. Burial will be at East Moe Cemetery after the funeral luncheon at the funeral home.
James Robert Thompson was born in rural Garfield, MN to Martin and Ruth (Gilbertson) Thompson on November 12, 1935. He was baptized and later confirmed at East Moe Lutheran Church where he remained a lifelong member, serving on various church and cemetery boards throughout the years.
James graduated from Alexandria High School and then began farming with his family. While farming, he worked for a time at Garfield Lumber Yard and then became a rural letter carrier for the United States Postal Service covering the Garfield area. He continued that career for over 30 years, but his roots remained in farming. He loved the simple farm life, and he remained on the Thompson Century Farm until 2016 when he and Ruth moved to Tracy, MN to be near Kalen and Tom. In December 2022 they moved into Boulder Estates in Marshall, MN.
James married Ruth Whitley Gease on November 15, 1968. Bringing to this union were Ruth’s children: Steven, DelRae, and Julie. James instantly loved them as his own. Kalen was born in 1971 completing the family. He was very proud of his family and loved them dearly. James and Ruth took many trips to visit the kids or to travel with them to various places and family reunions. They have been to both the east and west coasts, seeing many landmarks along the way. They also took many driving trips to Rapid City, SD to see Ruth’s family.
Once the grandchildren came, James and Ruth were always willing to help. They often had kids for weekends and happily traveled across the state to watch the Minnesota grandkids’ activities. He enjoyed visits from the California grandkids which turned the farm into a whirlwind of activity.
James enjoyed watching sports, especially the Minnesota Twins, and he always had a puzzle set out that he worked on daily. He was also a very talented carpenter and woodworker. James loved trees – planting hundreds throughout his lifetime. Many tree lines in the area were quietly planted by him. His favorite were the oaks that he would move from underneath the big trees where the acorns fell. He had a knack for transplanting and nurturing them, always knowing they were being planted not for his enjoyment, but for the future.
James passed away on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at Boulder Creek Assisted Living in Marshall, MN; he was 87 years old. For all who have known Jim, they knew him for his generosity. He was generous with his time, his talents, his friendship, his humor, his smile, his kindness, and especially his love. Our lives are richer for having known him.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth of Marshall, MN; son, Steven of Fergus Falls, MN; daughters: DelRae Whitley of Detroit Lakes, MN, Julie (Chuck) Fabijanic of Fargo, ND, Kalen (Tom) Nelson of Tracy, MN; grandchildren: Connor Gease, Charles “PJ” Fabijanic, Abby Nunes, Kendra Goettl (husband Joe), Deandre Gease, and Julia Fabijanic; great-grandson, Landon Nunes; sister, Marlene Buck of Alexandria, MN; brother-in-law, Sam Whitely of Grand Junction, CO; cousin, Stuart (Sue) Mackechney of Garfield, MN; and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Ruth; brother, Erwin (Adeline), brother-in-law, Al Buck; and daughter-in-law, Judi Gease.
Pallbearers include: Stuart Mackechney, John Buck, Tim Lauthen, Peter Lauthen, Bob Angen, Bruce Angen, Jerry Morical, and Mike Ziegelman. Honorary pallbearers are his grandchildren.
Blessed be the memory of James Robert Thompson.