Wallace J. Thompson, known as Wally, age 85, Staples, died Friday morning at Lakewood Health Systems Hospital in Staples. Wally’s memorial service will be Wednesday, March 20th at 11 AM at Faith Lutheran Church, Staples, with Pastor Carl Larson officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday, March 19th from 5 to 7 PM at the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel in Staples and for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, MN.
Wally was born on June 15, 1933 in Argyle, MN, son of Anton and Lillian (Peterson) Thompson. He grew up and was educated in Grand Forks, ND, attending Central High School there. He served in the US Army from 1953 to 1955. He was united in marriage with Marian Schmaltz on December 12, 1956 in Minnewaukan, ND, they made their home in Grand Forks. He began working with the BNSF Railroad in the Material Department, working his way up to Locomotive Fireman and Engineer. He was transferred with the railroad on January 20, 1972 to Staples, working in Administrative to Management (Trainmaster), retiring after 46 years with the company. He was united in marriage with Shirley Redemske on July 1, 1995 at the Staples United Methodist Church. Shirley died on August 10th of 2018.
Wally was a member of Faith Lutheran Church and the Masonic Lodge, serving as Master of the Lodge five times and receiving the Hiram Award. He spent 15 years in Rotary, served 15 years on the Staples Tree Committee, planting hundreds of trees in Staples. He was a member of the NARVRE (National Association of Retired & Veteran Railway Employee’s, Inc.). He enjoyed Square Dancing, growing roses and vacationing in Arizona.
Wally is survived by his five children: Audrey (Scott) Nelson of Grand Forks, ND, Linda (Dean) Shearer of Fargo, ND, Glenn Thompson of Princeton, MN, Roger (Sandy) Thompson of Bismarck, ND and Dawn Anderson of Crookston, MN; eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren; two sisters: Marlene (Bob) Bemenderfer and Ardyce (Terry) Swanson. He was preceded in death by his parents: Anton and Lillian Thompson; siblings: Bud Thompson, Ronald Thompson, Keith Thompson, Connie Elgaen, Sharon Gudmundson and Joan Bare; and his wife: Shirley.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel in Staples. www.brenny.com