John Robert ThompsonJohn Robert Thompson of Townville, S.C., formerly of Superior, Hermantown and Grand Rapids, Minn., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 24, 2011, at the Carolina Transplant Center.
John Robert Thompson of Townville, S.C., formerly of Superior, Hermantown and Grand Rapids, Minn., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 24, 2011 at the Carolina Transplant Center. John suffered from a lengthy illness and is now at rest.
Born Oct. 25, 1945, in Detroit, Mich., to Forrest and Victoria (Janice) Thompson.
He was a US Navy veteran in the Vietnam War where he attained the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class; earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and electronic engineering at Western Michigan University. John held several managerial positions in the paper industry including resident engineer at Industrial Nucleonics Corporation and manager of Electrical and Instrument (E&I) Engineering at Blandin Paper Company of Grand Rapids, Minn. He was on the start up team as an electrical project engineer for the Lake Superior Paper Company (currently the New Page Paper Company), of Duluth. He held positions as manager, director and finally senior process engineer until his retirement in 2002. John was a member of the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper and the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Pulp and Paper Committee; one of his publications was selected as Best Mill Paper by the industry in 1993.
John was very active in sports all of his life ... he was so proud to have played baseball and softball for more than 40 years. He was thrilled to have coached several of his daughter’s softball teams. He was an avid golfer and traveled worldwide to play at many famous courses. He was a member of the Superior Curling Club, was active in various bowling and golf leagues; he belonged to the Nemadji Men’s Club, Nemadji Couples League of Superior and to the men’s and couples leagues at The Trails at Chickasaw GC of Westminster, S.C. He loved to hunt and fish and went on several houseboat trips to Lake of the Woods. He was a former member of the First United Methodist Church in Duluth.
John is survived by his wife, Mary Jo (‘Jo’) McKenna of Townville, S.C. (formerly of Superior); son, Ian of Hong Kong; daughter, Sara of Murray, Ky.; grandchildren, Michael and Andrew Boone, both of Murray, Ky.,; sister-in-law, Sue Thompson of Townville, S.C.; aunts, Helen Tishken of Merritt Island, Fla. and Constance Hunt of Westminster, S.C.; nephew, Jason Thompson (Donna) of Irvine, Calif.; stepdaughter, Tara Mattson (Jeff) and their three children, Lindsy, Sidney and Mitchell, all of Grand Rapids; stepson, Jeff Haiskanen (Camilla)and their children, Jimmy, Cody and Brady of South Dakota.
John was preceded in death by his Father Forrest (‘Bud’), mother Victoria, son Matthew, brother James, late wife Dee and by several of his cousins.
A memorial service is tentatively set for Saturday, Oct. 22 at Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Eosinophilic Family Coalition. John’s grandson Michael is afflicted with this rare disease. For information about this disease visit the website www.eoscoalition.org.