James D. Thompson was called home to his Lord and Savior on the evening of Jan. 14, 2014, with his wife and family by his side. Jim was born on June 3, 1927, in Riverton, Wyo., to Joseph L. and Anna Thompson. He married Ramona (Schamber) on Sept. 5, 1948, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Kinnear, Wyo.
Jim was a baptized and confirmed Christian. He became a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Billings, in 1960 and was very involved in his congregation. He served on the MT District Board of Directors and, for 35 years, on the Board of the Lutheran Church Extension Fund.
In addition to loving his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Jim admired and adored his family and extended family. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ramona; children, LaRae Talafuse (Geoff), Donald (Janis), Susan Going (Ron), Darrel (Karen), all of Billings, and Cynthia Hein of Northglenn, Colo., and daughter-in-law, Mavis; 16 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Three sisters also survive: May Stewart (Stan), Evansville, Wyo., Jane Napier, Riverton, Wyo., and Anita Hashberger (Claude), Riverside, Calif., and a sister-in law, Dorothy Thompson of Shoshoni, Wyo. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Michael, in 2010; his son-in-law, Bruce Hein; his sisters, Anna Weber and Shirley Carpenter; his brothers, Joe and Jack; and his parents.
Jim worked on the family ranch while he was growing up. He went to work for Morrison Grain in the 1950s, where he sold government pre-fab homes and moved the family to California, Maine, Ohio, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. In the 1960s, the family moved to Billings to be closer to relatives. While owner of Americana Homes, Jim built churches in Roundup, Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Harlowton, Laurel, North Dakota and South Dakota. In 1970, he began Thompson Construction and built homes, as well as several additions to Mount Olive Lutheran Church. In 1972, Jim and his sons began Thompson Pools and they have installed pools in Montana, Wyoming, and his “favorite” pool project in Hawaii. Jim retired from Thompson Pools at age 80.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Neal Sorensen and the staff of St. Vincent’s for their loving care and Pastor David Preus and Pastor Mark Grunst.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 2336 St. John’s Ave., Billings. Interment will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens, and a light meal will be served afterward.
Memorials can be made to Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran School (gym upgrade) or The Lutheran Hour.