William "Billy" Thompson, Jr. of Milan died on Friday, April 17, 2020 at his home in Milan at the age of 91.
A celebration of Billy's life will be held on Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:30 AM at Burns Park in Milan. Please bring your own lawn chairs. In case of rain the celebration will be held at Kviteseid Lutheran Church.
Visitation with the family will be held on Thursday, July 30, 2020 from 5 to 7 PM at Kviteseid Lutheran Church in Milan. A time of sharing will begin at 6:45PM. Social distancing will be observed and masks are required.
William Thompson Jr. was born in Benson, Minnesota on November 16, 1928 to William, Sr. and Margaret (Gilbertson) Thompson. When he was 2 months old the family moved to Milan, Minnesota. He attended Milan schools and was active in basketball, football, marching band, and theater. Following high school he attended St. Olaf College for 2 years and then the University of Minnesota for a short time. He moved back to Milan but always maintained his friendships and association with those he met in college. Billy worked for his father in the hardware store before going into the Army, serving at Fort Richardson in Alaska during the Korean War. After discharge from the Army Billy returned to Milan and started Thompson Flooring as owner and operator. Billy married Deloris Ann Borstad at Our Saviours Lutheran Church of Baxter on June 19, 1955. Together they had four children: Mark, David, Steve and Ann.
Billy was a man of many passions and it is hard to put into words all the memories that he created. He was always ready with a story and a history lesson. Billy got his first movie camera as a sophomore in high school and filmed life events all his life. He has movies of six generations of family, Army movies and special events throughout life. Billy loved nature and taught his children to respect nature. He would often work with the DNR with birds out at Marsh Lake. Billy was a man who was always solving problems and could fix anything. He could always find a way to rig up something that would solve a problem.
Billy was a member of the Lions International for over 66 years. He loved the organization and the projects that would help others in the community and the world. He was a scout leader, served on Milan City Council, served as a volunteer fireman, member of the Milan American Legion and was a active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. In later years, he would volunteer to show his movies to “Old people” for their enjoyment. Billy loved his museum and relished every chance he could get to give someone a tour. Billy loved to travel and his children remember for two weeks every summer taking a van and touring the country. He had traveled to all 50 states and many foreign countries.
Most of all Billy always had time for people even if he didn’t know them. He would stop and share his optimism and stories with many. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved children, who he enjoyed teasing.
Billy is survived by his children: Mark Thompson, Fukuoka City, Japan, David (Kim)Thompson, Milan, Steve Thompson, Milan, Ann (Ron Porep) Thompson, Milan; grandchildren: Jaime (Craig) Berghorst, Melissa (Donavin) Anderson, Angela (Dominic) Sweetman; Madisen, Cade, Bricen, Kyler, and Keegan Berghorst, Bryce and Dax Anderson, Gemma Sweetman; brother and sister in-law, Stuart (Marlys) Borstad, Madison; as well as other extended family and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Deloris; his twin sister, Peggy (Fred) Thompson Heddleson; daughter in-law, Ryoko Thompson; father and mother in-law, Joseph and Sylvia Borstad; brothers in-law: Merlin (Donna) Borstad, Roger (Grace) Borstad; sister in-law, Dorothy Olsten.
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