Leonard Thompson was born May 31, 1935, in Bluegrass Minnesota, to Ernest and Hildur (Bergman) Thompson. He attended country school at Dist#14 and then after moving to the farm in 1945, attended District #38 in North Germany Township. From grades 9 through 12 he attended Sebeka high school, graduating with the class of 1953.
Leonard worked during the summer of 1952 as a “helper” for Johnson Service Co. He started working full time for Johnson Service Co. on June 7, 1954 and worked for the same company until retirement on May 17, 1995. During those years the name of the company was changed to Johnson Controls Inc.
On August 31, 1957 Leonard and Phyllis Priebe were united in marriage. They lived first in Moorhead MN and then moved to Mankato where they lived until moving to Cloquet in 1965 to work for the Duluth branch of Johnson Controls. They lived in Cloquet until 1980 when they moved back “home” to the farm in North Germany Township, where they farmed while Leonard continued to work for Duluth branch of J.C.I. Leonard and Phyllis both enjoyed working with their small herd of Polled Hereford cattle a herd that was started by Ernest Thompson in 1954.
Leonard began to have back problems in the 1980’s and by 1995 had to retire from Johnson Controls. In the 41 years of working for J.C.I. he was never laid off, although there were times work was slow and they would have the men work a 32-hour week for a month or so.
After retirement from J.C.I., Leonard and Phyllis continued to farm but gradually cut back. After the cattle were gone and they no longer were farming they sold the farm in 2005 and moved to South West MO near the little town of Clever MO about 45 miles north of Branson. After enjoying it there for 11 years they moved back to Wadena in 2016.
Leonard and Phyllis felt blessed by God to have three children, Robert Gustav, Debra Louise, and Mark William.
Leonard was a Christian by faith in Gods amazing Grace and Mercy. Gods Grace as shown on the Cross of Calvary.
Leonard had a lifelong love for music. Music of all types, Classic Country, Classic Big Band, Dixieland, Marching Bands, Gospel and Christian Hymns. He also had a love for animals. All animals. But especially dogs and cats.
Leonard was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church of Bluegrass. He was member of The United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters local 539 of Minneapolis. He was a life member of the Wadena County Historical Society, The National Riffle Association of America, The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Meeker County Historical Society and the American Hereford Association. He was also a member of the Knob Hill Sportsman’s Club of Wadena, Leaf River Cruisers car club and ASPCA.
He was preceded in death by son Robert Gustav; Daughter Debra Louise (Thompson) Kucera; granddaughters, Jennifer Johnson, Elizabeth Johnson; great granddaughter, Peyton Johnson; and grandson-in-law Neil Mayo.
He is survived by wife: Phyllis Thompson of Wadena; Son: Mark and his wife Cris Thompson of Menahga; 11 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; sisters: Carol Baker of Wilnar and Betty (Stan) Stevenson of Park Rapids; son-in-law: Bill Kucera of Cloquet.
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