Rebecca Adele Thompson
“Becky” Thompson, age 86, passed away on May 21st, 2020 at BeeHive Homes in Moorhead, MN. She was born on February 24, 1934 to Edward and Judith (Agrimson) Swiggum who farmed near Peterson, MN. She graduated from St. Charles High School and completed her RN training at Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis. There she met Richard Thompson, a student at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. They married on August 31, 1957.
After Richard’s ordination, they would serve congregations in Dannebrog, NE, Sioux City, IA, Spencer, IA, Osage, IA, Sioux City a second time, and Santa Monica, CA. Along the way they welcomed three children, Dawn, Deborah, and David. A fourth child, Daryl, died shortly after birth. After nearly 30 years in parish ministry, Richard accepted a call to serve in the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in its Commitment to Mission program. This work led them to a call in Des Moines, IA and eventually to Waverly, Iowa as an assistant to the bishop of NE Iowa. Through all of their moves, Becky was able to find work in her profession as a nurse, often working the night shift while caring for her family and making each place feel like home. In her own career as a nurse, she developed a reputation for being a compassionate and dedicated caregiver.
Always on the move, she became known for her rapid heel walking and her willingness to try new and adventurous things. There was a trip to the Holy Land, riding camels in Turkey, and a trip to Japan. After her husband died, she went on a hiking trip with her daughter Deborah in England. Well into her 70s, she parasailed in Mexico with her two daughters, and had her photo appear in a Northwoods newspaper for climbing a portable rock wall during a local festival.
Her children have wonderful memories of family camping trips, Swiggum reunions, fishing trips, baseball games, and Becky’s meal traditions around the holidays (especially jello salad creations and wonderful desserts).
In her later years, as she suffered from memory loss, she still enjoyed trips to the cabin, going out to eat, and going for rides on the Ferris wheel in Scheels. As her memory grew progressively worse, she still practiced her adventurous spirit by pulling off “the great escape” from one care unit, defiantly declaring upon her return, “I was naughty, but I had fun!”
Through all of her memory issues, her spirit shined. When visiting you could often see her nurse mode come through as she tended to other residents, cleaned up crumbs with a vengeance, and kept time to any music being played. We have been blessed for nine years by our angel caregiver, Jayne Myhro, who laughed, cried, and danced with Becky, and who held her gently for us to the end. We are also thankful for the staff at BeeHive Homes in Moorhead, who have also cared for Becky like extended family.
Becky was preceded in death by her husband Richard, son Daryl, and son-in-law Eric Paulsrud. She is survived by children Dawn (Larry) Papenfuss of Moorhead, Deborah Paulsrud of St. Paul, and David (Janet) Thompson of Denton, TX, and eight grandchildren.
Due to the pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials can be directed to BeeHive Homes 1001 Caddy Ave, Moorhead, MN 56560 or the nonprofit of one’s choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo, ND. To visit our online guestbook please go to www.boulgerfuneralhome.com