Finally giving in to the complications of Alzheimer’s disease, Bill Thompson died on Nov. 4, 2014, at Canyon Creek Memory Care Community, where he had been living for the last year and a half.
In 1968, Bill moved to Billings after having grown up in Ohio and living for some time in California. Though he may have left Ohio, Ohio never left him; he remained loyal to Ohio family, friends and, of course, the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Sports — either as participant or spectator — were high on Bill’s list of favorite things. Over the years, he played baseball, ice hockey, softball, handball, golf, racket ball and noon basketball at the Y. More recently, he focused on playing or watching lots of golf, fishing now and then, following college football (Go, Bucks!) and helping to man the football chain gang for West High.
When first in Billings, Bill was a manager trainee for Sears; later, he tended bar at the old Archers and Fridays; finally he settled in as a retail salesperson for Pierce Flooring, where he was employed until his retirement.
Friends and family gave Bill many nicknames, but those closest to him had special words for him. He was Dad to DeDe (Darin) Rabas and Bom to grandsons Dylan and Wyatt O’Connor. He was Bonus-dad to Gerry’s daughters Tammy (Kelly) Clinch and Stacey (Stu) Reed. He was Bobo for Skylar Hannah with Jaren Saga and their daughter Lila, Tyler and Makenna Reed, and Colter, Duke and Jessy Clinch. He was Big Brother to Pink (Doug) Curry and John Thompson. He was Uncle Bill to nephews Kevin Curry and Jamie Thompson, and niece Kellie (Dan) Dessum. And he was simply good guy Bill for Gerry, his wife of 30 years.
A celebration of the life and times of Bill Thompson will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1241 Crawford Drive, Billings, MT 59102.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Stephen’s Church or Canyon Creek Memory Care Community, 1785 Majestic Lane, Billings, MT 59102.
But to really honor the memory of Bill, find and hold onto the beauty, joy and glory of each day.