Gerald Raymond Thompson, Bismarck, passed away on March 15, 2020 at his home after a short battle with cancer.
A memorial service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at a later date due to the COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Burial will be at the ND Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, ND.
Jerry was born on July 4, 1939 on the family farm near Barney, ND, son of Ray and Gladys (Anderson) Thompson. He attended country school. In 1952, the family moved to Bismarck when his father was elected State Treasurer. He attended Bismarck High School for two years. He graduated from Antelope High School, rural Barney, in 1957.
In January, 1958, he joined the USMC. He served on the USS Donner in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and at Camp Lejeune, NC. After an honorable discharge, he worked for the ND Air National Guard in Fargo as a radar/electronic technician until March of 1965.
On July 6, 1963, Jerry married Karen Bellin at St. John's Lutheran Church, rural Hankinson, ND. Together they farmed for 26 years while raising their three children near Wyndmere, ND. He loved the land and farming was his passion. While living there, Jerry was very active in Jaycees and was awarded the honor of Jaycee International Senator in 1976. He received the Outstanding Young Farmer award in 1974. He served on the Wyndmere School Board from 1977 to 1992 and the State Board of Vocational Education from 1989 to 1993. He was also active in the Democratic - NPL Party (when ND was still a blue state), twice serving as a national convention delegate. He served as North Dakota's Democratic National Committee man on the DNC and as district 27 chairman for many years. He currently was a member of the Lions' Club and the Amvets.
Upon retirement from farming, Jerry worked for the ND Department of Agriculture from 1990 to 2007, moving to Bismarck in 1994, where he worked as assistant pesticide director. Upon his retirement, Jerry along with his wife Karen, worked part-time for the NDSU Extension Service until 2016.
Jerry enjoyed working with his hands and was a self-taught expert in carpentry, electrical work, and auto repair. Jerry was a perfectionist in whatever he did. He enjoyed fishing for walleye with his grandsons and spending time with his family. He was also an avid reader of history. He will be remembered for his kind heart and willingness to help others.
He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, rural Wyndmere, for many years and currently a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Karen, Bismarck; his children, Robin; Steven (Kristy), Plainfield, IL; Eric (Stephanie), Hill City, SD; his grandchildren, Ryan, Kalika, Joshua, Bryce, and Skyler Thompson, Kelly Grimm, Alee and Isabelle Schmierer and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Helen Cram and Pat Eike, a brother Stephen, and his brothers-in-law, Lyle Cram, John Miska, and Jack Elke.
Go to www.eastgatefuneral.com to share memories of Jerry and sign the online guestbook.