Roy A. Thompson

PORTAGE – Our beloved uncle, Roy A. Thompson, age 102, went to be with his Savior on Monday, March 8, 2021. 

Roy was born on December 12, 1918, in Portage, Wisconsin to Arthur and Lydia (Betts) Thompson. Along with his sister, Marie, the family moved to Wichita, Kansas when he was about 8 years old.  Eight years later, they returned to Portage, where he graduated from high school.  Roy worked at Winkler Auto Supply until he enlisted in the Army Air Corp (later known as the US Air Force) in October of 1940.  He attended the Airplane Mechanics school and upon graduation was kept on as an instructor.  He taught for about 18 months and then continued his education in Minnesota, learning about a super charger control used on B-17 and B-24 bombers.  Roy became a supervisor of about 15 instructors who taught others how to use that control.  He held that position until his discharge in November of 1945.

While still in the service he married Pauline (Schulte) in 1945.  She was living in Decatur, Illinois, so they made their home there upon his discharge from service.  They had one son, David.

After being discharged, he worked at Mueller Company, which manufactured plumbing goods used by city utilities.  The plant manufactured a large variety of cast iron and brass valves, shell cutters for mains and machines that installed the valves.  In the spring, when a large number of employers were slated to be laid off, he was offered the job of time-keeper.  Later he was given a job in the Engineering Department taking care of all the routing sheets (10,000 of them) for the entire plant.  After a few more years, he took on the position of Cost Estimator.  The company couldn’t offer the pay and benefits the other big companies were offering, and he didn’t have an engineering degree, but they felt he could do the job.  He took the job and promised to do his best and he must’ve done alright because he continued in that job for 30 years until his retirement.

In 1975, Pauline passed away as a result of cancer.  In 1976, he married Laura Rose (Thomas).  They enjoyed twenty years of married life until she passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s.

After attending his 60th High School reunion in 1997, he got acquainted with Marie Johnson, another member of his class.  They had not associated in high school, as, according to him, he was too shy to let her know he admired her.  They were married in 1998 and enjoyed 12 years together in Portage before her death in 2010.

Roy continued to live in Portage after her death, most recently at Heritage House in Portage.  Roy loved golfing and spending time with friends, of whom he had many.  God blessed him with 102 years of what he called “a very good life.”  His congenial smile and easy demeanor will be missed.

Private funeral services will be held at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage, with the Rev. Douglas Clement officiating.  Private burial will be in Graceland Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to your favorite charity.

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