Dennis R. Thompson — Spring Valley

Dennis R. Thompson, 64, of rural Spring Valley, died Friday afternoon, Oct. 30, 2015, at his residence.

Dennis was born March 28, 1951, in LaCrosse, Wis., to Floyd and Doris (Richards) Thompson. The family moved to Douglas when he was in elementary school. He was a 1969 graduate of John Marshall High School. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1970 to 1976, serving two tours in Vietnam on the USS Turner Joy, which fired the last naval round in the Vietnam War; the USS Sommers; and then the USS New Orleans, where he was a crane operator and lifted the Apollo spacecraft, which had participated in the first international cooperative manned space flight, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, out of the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii, on July 24, 1975. He returned to rural Spring Valley following his discharge. He married Karen Ridgeway Aug. 26, 1978, in the Racine United Methodist Church. He worked at the Olmsted County Waste-to-Energy in Rochester as a stationary engineer until 2001, when he retired due to medical issues.

He was a member of the Spring Valley VFW and the Spring Valley Coon Hunters. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and spoiling his granddaughters.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; children, Andy (Samantha) Thompson of Cologne, Minn., Stacy Thompson of Stewartville and Eric (Shannan) Thompson of Kasson; five granddaughters, Lucille, Alivia, Scarlet, Violet and Saige; one brother, Terry (Cindy) Thompson of Pequot Lakes, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, at the Racine United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Glen Holland officiating. Burial of his ashes with military graveside rites will be in the Hamilton Cemetery in rural Racine. Friends may call at the Thauwald Funeral Home in Spring Valley from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, and at the church on Friday an hour before the service.