Don Duane Thompson, 70, of Argos, passed away at his farm on Thursday, July 14, surrounded by his loving wife Jill and family.
A veteran, professional pilot, farmer, and community leader, he was born to Carroll and Lida Thompson in Rochester, Indiana on October 17,1951.
Raised on his parents’ family farm in Marshall County, Don graduated from Argos High School in 1970 and from Purdue University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. While at Purdue, he enrolled in the University’s student pilot program and became a licensed pilot.
In 1974 he was accepted into Officer Candidate School and the Pilot Training Program in the U.S. Navy. While stationed at Pensacola, Florida, he became an expert at landing the A-7 on the deck of an aircraft carrier and he flew off the USS Ranger and the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. He also flew the A-7 in the Air National Guard at Toledo and he flew the F-4 and F-16 in the Air National Guard at Fort Wayne. He retired from the military with rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
As a commercial pilot Don flew for two major airlines, retiring from Delta Airlines as an international captain based at New York JFK Airport.
He loved farming and trees and he believed strongly in natural resource conservation. In addition to raising corn and soybeans, he developed managed forests and water conservation spaces on his farm. He was also committed to his community and civic engagement, and he served on the Argos School Board and the Marshall County Community Foundation Board.
As much as he loved farming and flying, Don’s greatest love was family and friends. In 1995 he married Jill Long and they have spent the last twenty-seven years enjoying their farm life in Marshall County while regularly traveling for work and recreation.
He also loved being a father and grandfather. In 1970 he married Carol Roush and they had two children, Shawn and Gretchan. They have shared more than fifty years of proud parenting.
Don is survived by his wife Jill, his son and daughter-in-law Shawn Thompson and Alysia Desbiens; his daughter and son-in-law Gretchan Thompson and Will Anderson; his grandson and granddaughter-in-law Mychael and Constance Thompson; grandchildren Malcolm, Jay, Claire, Ryan, and Dash; and great grandson Caleb. He is also survived by his sisters Bonnie Lohmann, Loralie Coffin, and by his sister and brother-in-law Maurine and Don Wrede and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Carroll and Lida, his brother Jay O. Thompson, and his brothers-in-law John Coffin and Ed Lohmann.
A private service for family will be held at a later date.