Serving Western Wisconsin
Douglas Thompson 07/08/2021

Douglas Thompson 07/08/2021

Douglas Neil Thompson, age 77, of River Falls, Wisconsin died on Thursday July 8, 2021 in Hudson, Wisconsin. Doug was born in River Falls on April 13, 1944, one of five children born to Clarence N. and Daphne A. Thompson. He graduated from River Falls High School, class of 1962, before attending the University of Wisconsin at River Falls where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. At UWRF Douglas met Mary Hendrickson, and they were married on July 13, 1968. Douglas went on to earn a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. Early in his career Doug taught at UW Eau Claire, UW Parkside, briefly in Waterloo High School and in Denver, Colorado before moving permanently into the Wisconsin public school system.  He taught chemistry for over thirty years, first at Mondovi High School and then at River Falls High School. He also coached girls’ volleyball in Mondovi and River Falls. Doug was an avid hunter, farmer, conservationist and environmentalist. One of his proudest achievements was the solo design and construction of his family home. Doug was hardworking and self-sacrificing, naturally skilled at mechanics, and generous with his time and abilities for friends and family alike. Called “Mr. T” or “T” by students, Doug will be remembered as an excellent teacher and for his strategically-placed chemistry jokes that he could work seamlessly into his lessons.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence “Kelly” and Daphne Thompson, and sister, Karen Thompson. He is survived by his wife of just shy of 53 years, Mary Thompson; daughters Kyrsten (James Phernetton) Thompson, Lisa (Charles) Dailey and Kaarin Thompson; grandson Arol Thompson; siblings Lynne Foss, Gary Thompson, and Kathleen Halberg; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Wayne Hendrickson, Janet Lomoljo, Gordon Hendrickson, Jerry Hendrickson, Thomas Hendrickson, and Karen Esanbock; and many beloved family members, friends, and students. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust or American Bird Conservancy. A memorial service and celebration of life was held on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 11:00 am at Hope Lutheran Church (3337 Kingsbarn Avenue) in River Falls. Visitation and reception followed the service from 12:00-2:00pm at the Hope Lutheran Church Winds of the Spirit outside pavilion. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

click here to watch Doug’s memorial service


  • Megan Hyland Posted July 9, 2021 5:47 pm

    Doug Thompson was my favorite teacher, who started me off in my career as a chemist. I still think of his classroom when I am at work in the lab. I am so very saddened to hear of his passing.

  • Milo Oppegard Posted July 9, 2021 8:56 pm

    Doug was my teaching colleague, our lab rooms were next to each other with a door so we could often visit with a quick cup of tea between classes, Bob Barsness would often join the conversation. In retirement the three of us would regularly get together for coffee. Doug loved teaching and was especially proud of his many chemistry students and their accomplishments. I will miss him greatly as a friend.

  • Carole Mottaz Posted July 9, 2021 9:03 pm

    Doug was a gentle soul who had an equal passion for his subject matter and his students. I wasn’t fortunate enough to teach alongside him but certainly enjoyed the conversations we had. He will be sorely missed.

  • Dan Hyland Posted July 9, 2021 9:40 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear of Mr. Thompson’s passing. He was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. He had an extraordinary rapport with his students, and he always had a terrible joke to make us all groan. It’s because of his class and his guidance that I went into chemistry as a career. Aside from my parents, I can think of few people other than Mr. T who have had a greater impact on my life.

  • Charlie Kolpin Posted July 10, 2021 12:40 pm

    Mr.T taught a simply excellent Intro to Chemistry at the high school level as is shown by the number of his students who have chosen careers in or closely related to Chemistry …. including my daughters. He will/has not been replaced in kind since his retirement. He has my deepest respect and thanks …. from another chemist of his generation.

  • Katie Murphy-Olsen Posted July 10, 2021 3:48 pm

    Mr. Thompson was such a great, kind person! He really was the GOAT! I know he and my dad were good friends and his passing is heart breaking. I am so sorry to hear of it.

  • Bill murphy Posted July 10, 2021 5:48 pm

    Doug was such an outstanding individual. Doug was a friend to everyone.How lucky I was to be his classmate.

  • Laurie horn Posted July 11, 2021 5:54 pm

    My teacher and coach….., Mr. T prepared us for the next chapter in our lives after high school. Deepest sympathies to his family.

  • Roxanne Kolashinski Posted July 11, 2021 6:19 pm

    Deepest sympathy for Mary and family. Love and comfort each other with memories. Prayers for peace.

  • Gary L Peterson Posted July 11, 2021 7:35 pm

    Doug was such a friendly person. Always enjoyed talking with him at Mary’s class reunions. Will miss him dearly. Sympathy to Mary and the family but cherish the memories Doug has left with you. Gary & Roxy Peterson

  • Natalie Bonnes Posted July 11, 2021 7:45 pm

    So very sorry to hear about Doug. Mary was my supervisor at Pierce County Department of Human Services. We will never forget our motorcycle ride down Hwy 35. Doug was a nice, sweet and respectful person. I am thinking of you all, Mary and the girls.So so very sorry.

  • Lori Klumb Posted July 11, 2021 9:01 pm

    So sorry to hear of Doug’s passing. He was such a kind gentle soul. Sending hugs to Mary and the rest of the family.

  • Sylvia (Thomley) Belford Posted July 11, 2021 9:13 pm

    Mr T had a huge impression on so many students, myself included. My greatest sympathy to his family and acquaintances. I attribute my pharmacy career to him, and his personal advice to me on why to consider a small colleges before transferring to the large UW still rings in my ears. I think fondly of so many great RFHS teachers, yet he rises to the top and is always the one I share stories about. May he Rest In Peace!

  • Warren Wolfe Posted July 11, 2021 9:51 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of Doug’s passing. I was in band with him at RF High School. Doug was a kind, thoughtful guy, even then. It’s so heart-warming — and not at all surprising — to read the tributes from his former students. Rest in peace, Doug. And wail on that trombone!

  • Eric Tostrud Posted July 12, 2021 6:44 am

    One of the many great RFHS teachers. Although I didn’t have him for many classes(I wasn’t one of those smart chemistry kids), I remember him as a very friendly and funny guy. Condolences to his friends and family.

  • Corri Anderson Posted July 12, 2021 8:33 am

    I was not lucky enough to have Mr. T for a chem class, but he did help me with chem homework in a study hall I had with him. So many RFHS students have gravitated towards science related fields (myself included), and it says so much of this incredible team of educators Mr. T was a part of. My prayers of peace and comfort to his family and friends. One last one for you, Mr. T. “Making bad chemistry jokes because all the good ones Argon” 😉

  • David Wagner Posted July 12, 2021 12:53 pm

    Mr. Thompson was a kind man. I remember learning about farming in a chemistry class along with some volleyball strategy. He had some bad jokes but you laughed, he laughed as well. It is hard to believe Mr Thompson and Mr Frank are nolonger with us.

  • Carl Wymer Posted July 12, 2021 3:47 pm

    I am so sorry that Doug has passed on. My most sincere condolences to the family. He and I had a great friendship with one another while in high school and unfortunately did not cross paths too often after that. i shall remember the great times he, my cousin and I had back then, I will miss him.

  • Donna Robole Posted July 12, 2021 7:13 pm

    Mary – We are so sorry to hear of Doug’s passing and we are sad with you as you move through this difficult time.

  • Candace Bettendorf Posted July 16, 2021 9:16 am

    Our condolences to Mary and the family. Doug was a kind and caring man.

  • Duane Peterson Posted July 17, 2021 9:34 am

    Doug was a great person a very logical, and very friendly, and open to all, I feel fortunate to have known him God bless.

  • Randy Klink Posted July 19, 2021 12:12 pm

    Doug was always a very good person and a really good friend. He was devoted to his family. We were classmates in both high school and college, workmates, colleagues, and, best of all, friends. I will miss him very much.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *