December 30, 2017
Vernon Owen Thompson, 86, of Lincoln, passed away on his favorite day, the Sabbath, Dec. 30, 2017, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis. Born in Albert Lea, Minn., to Herman and Elsie Thompson, he was the seventh of nine children, and the sole living child. Raised a Lutheran, he later converted to Seventh-Day Adventism, graduating from Maplewood Academy. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Union College, Master of Business Administration from Greeley College, and doctorate from Columbia.
Vern enjoyed many professions including taxi driver, baker, teacher, dean of men, healthcare consultant/preceptor, foster parent, author and elder. In July, 1952, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, intending to become a medic due to religious convictions. He was mistakenly assigned to a tank company but, as fortune would have it, his company commander discovered that he could bake cinnamon rolls, and thus Vern was kept safely stateside throughout his entire term of service. Vern's passions included a deep love and appreciation of the bonds of family, laughter and joking, teaching and learning, mentoring and guiding youth, music, chocolate milk, crossword puzzles, Wheel of Fortune, and sharing the Gospel of Christ in a manner that was genuinely sincere, persuasive and nonjudgmental.
Vern is survived by his beloved wife and best friend of 33 years, Jill; son Michael (Julie); daughters Janelle (Joseph) Simpson and Michelle (Mark) Pedigo; step-daughters Patricia (Scott) Walters and Kristina Scott; 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, his eight siblings, and his beloved first wife, Sally.
A celebration of life potluck will be held after the church service on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Piedmont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church, 4801 A St., Lincoln, NE 68510. Vern courageously, and proudly, donated his body to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, secure in the knowledge that his Lord, on return to this earth, will find him. Memorials in Vern's name may be marked “scholarship fund” and directed to the Columbine Christian School, 2314 Blake Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, (970) 945-7630 or www.glenwoodsdachurch.com, of which he was a founding member and cared for deeply.