Claude Thompson, age 97, of Storm Lake, died Sunday, November 18, in Wilmington, N.C.
A Celebration of Life Service will be at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 21, at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Storm Lake. Burial will be in the Buena Vista Memorial Park Cemetery. The family requests no flowers. Donations may be made to Friends of the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, P.O. Box 93046, Des Moines, Iowa 50393. The Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake is in charge of the arrangements.
Claude M. Thompson, Jr. began his life in Omaha, Neb. on May 20, 1915. His two daughters, Sandra Dee Brown and Susan Ann Potee, his grandson Jeff Brown, and his son-in- law, Duane Brown were with him when he switched from eastern standard time to Kairos time. Claude was predeceased by his father, Claude M. Thompson, Sr., his mother Sylvia Sawyer, who passed away when he was two years of age, his grandparents, Jesse and Alma Thompson who cared for him after his mother's death, his brother Luther and his sister Alma.
Claude graduated from South High School in Omaha in May, 1933. He excelled in several sports, particularly football. He was named to the all-state team and was offered a scholarship to play football for the University of Nebraska, but family circumstances kept him from accepting it. He attended Boyles Business School after graduation from high school, worked for his father in Sioux City, until 1938. In that same year he married his high school sweetheart Alma Pinnow.
Claude became an employee of the Railway Express, which he continued until 1946. He purchased half interest in the Kennedy and Coleson Moving and Storage firm and it was renamed Kennedy and Thompson. The business became the Thompson and Laird North American Moving Company when his life-long friend and co-footballer at South High, joined the business. In 1967, Claude left the moving business and sold insurance for Northwestern Mutual Life from 1970 to 1978 when he retired.
Claude's adult life was spent working and serving the community in various roles including the Storm Lake City Council, deacon and trustee of the Lakeside Presbyterian Church, and the Methodist Manor Board. Fishing, golfing, traveling, and playing cards with friends, with Alma, and later with his second wife, Verjean Hartwell, were also major parts of his life. His children, Sandra, Sue, Stan Hartwell, and Jan Welch were cherished members of his family as were his grandchildren Jeff Brown, Tamara Keefer, Cari Ossenfort, Dan Flohr, Chet Hartwell, Jamay Hartwell, Cassandra Brown, Kindra Walker, Sarah, Matthew, and Katherine Welch.