Indianapolis - Roger Lee Thompson, 83, passed away Sunday, September 22, 2019. He was born December 1, 1935 in Wall, South Dakota to the late George and Pearl Thompson. Roger’s brothers, Vernal and Dennis welcomed him into the world and in 1937 Loretta “Lori” joined the happy family.
In 1941 the family moved to California for six months. Roger remembered the long journey well, especially the trip through the mountains. With food packed for the long drive, including meat and bacon, the Lord protected the family from hungry bears and other wild animals. The kids slept in a tent while the parents made due in the family’s old truck.
At the beginning of WWll, the family moved to Lenox, Iowa. Roger graduated from Lenox High School in 1955. He loved all sports and in high school lettered in football, basketball, track and field and baseball. While still in high school, Roger took flying lessons from a family friend, Doc Bubb. His love of flying continued throughout his life. The family were members of the Lenox Christian Church. Roger remembered the delicious food served at church potlucks (pitch-ins).
In the fall of 1955, Roger attended Northwest Missouri State College. After attending NMSC for two years, he was drafted. Roger was an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army, where he served in the burn unit while stationed at Fort Sam Houston.
In 1960, he met his wife Lilly Lykkegaard. They were married August 20, 1961. The following year their daughter, Vicki, was born August 26, 1961 in Waterloo, Iowa. Another daughter, LeAnne, arrived May 12, 1968, on Mother’s Day in Davenport, Iowa. Holly was born January 5, 1970 in Chicago.
Roger was employed by the Massengill Pharmaceutical Company and later in 1964 with CIBA Pharmaceutical Company. In 1977, Roger changed careers and became the VP of commercial sales for Taylor Insulation Company. In 1990, he returned to the medical field to start up Flexion Technology with partner, Pat Moffitt.
When Roger wasn’t working or spending time on the golf course, he was a devoted member of the Davenport Chordbusters. A 100 strong men’s acapella group that not only performed in Davenport but competed in national competitions as well.
The family were members of St. John’s UMC in Davenport and then transferred their membership to Riverside UMC in Moline, IL. Roger served on the Finance and Staff Parish committees and as President of Methodist Men. He and Lilly joined Habitat through Riverside UCM to help build homes in Upper Michigan which was a very rewarding experience.
At 62, Roger retired as a result of Parkinson’s disease that had become a health problem. The family made the final move to Greenwood, IN to be near their daughter and her family when help would be needed. They found their second loving home at Mt Auburn UMC and became members in 2012.
Left to cherish his memory is his beloved wife of 58 years, Lilly Thompson; daughters: Vicki Riley and her husband, Keith of Greenwood, LeAnne Heimann and her husband, Gordon of Clermont, FL and Holly Carlson of Dallas, GA; grandchildren: Megan Riley, Kevin Riley, Nicole Brown, Kyle Carlson, Cody Carlson, Hope Carlson, Nicole Morris, Mitchell Morris and Wendi Thompson; 6 great-grandchildren; and many other loving family members and dear friends.
Roger was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. He will be greatly missed by his family, cherished old friends, and church friends. He will forever live in their hearts.
Roger’s family will receive friends Saturday, October 5, 2019, from 10 – 11 am at Mt. Auburn Methodist Church, 3100 West Stones Crossing, Greenwood, IN 46143. A celebration of his life will follow at 11 am at the church and lunch will follow at noon.
The family requests that memorial donations be made in Roger’s honor to The Parkinson's Foundation or Mt. Auburn United Methodist Church.
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