Irving Dennis Thompson, 85, of Devils Lake, ND, died Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at Altru hospital in Grand Forks, ND.
Irving Dennis Thompson, 85, of Devils Lake, ND, died Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at Altru hospital in Grand Forks, ND. Visitation will be held at Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Sunday, July 29, between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 30, at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, with Reverend Reuben Schnaidt officiating. Visitation on Monday will one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at the Devils Lake Cemetery. Irving was born on Sept. 30, 1932, to Theodore and Hannah (Sandven) Thompson. He was raised on the family farm in Beaver Township, Benson County, with his family of three brothers and two sisters. Irving attended Beaver Schools through the 8th grade and graduated from Leeds High School in 1951. After graduation, he worked for an area upholsterer for a short time, learning to sew and work on furniture. Irving graduated from Mayville State in 1956 and began his teaching career in Halstad, Minn. He returned home and taught at the Leeds High School for two years before moving to Devils Lake. He taught math and physics at Central High School before joining the faculty of the Lake Region Junior College. He continued teaching there (through its many name changes) until retiring in 1991. In 1963, he earned a master’s degree from the University of North Dakota; he also did some graduate study at Stanford University in Palo, Alto, Calif. In 1965, Irving married Janice Baker. They raised their two children south of Devils Lake in the home and neighborhood they have enjoyed for more than 50 years. Between school terms, Irving used his many skills in a variety of summer jobs from installing sprinkler systems to inventorying area trees. After retirement, he enjoyed helping with spring and fall farm work for his brother George and brother-in-law John Baker. Irving was active in the community and church (first at Our Savior’s Lutheran and later at St. Olaf). He loved music and singing - performing with groups including church choirs, the GosPals, the Silver Sensations, and the Sons of Norway choir. He also led the singing for polka services (first with Cliff Foreng and later with his second cousins, Judy Randle and Dennis Thompson). He was an early supporter of the Devils Lake Community Orchestra and served on the board for several years. He loved chording for piano duets with the kids of the family. In addition to music, his other pastimes included crosswords, gardening, golf, playing cards, watching sports, traveling and spending time with family. Irving will be especially remembered for his perseverance, ingenuity, competitive spirit and attention to detail. Irving is survived by; his wife, Janice; son, Derek (Susan) Thompson of Golden Valley, MN; daughter, Signe Thompson (Jeff Johnson) of Minneapolis, MN; four grandsons: Gavin and Davis Thompson, August and Theodore Johnson; sister, Janice Nelson; brother-in-law, John (Jean) Baker; sisters-in-law, Bonnie Thompson, Inger Thompson, Claire (Gary) Garske, and Lynn Purcell; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by; his parents, Theodore and Hannah Thompson; his wife’s parents, Ed and Mildred Baker; infant brother, Arden; brothers, Arvid, Howard, and George; sister, Delores Sudbrink; and brothers-in-law, Leslie Baker, James Johnson, and Carl Sudbrink.