Donald C. Thompson
Don Thompson, “Donnie” to his friends, died at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Feb. 13, 2004. The lifelong resident of Williamsburg always said that there were not enough characters in the world; given that, he endeavored to be one of them.
He was born on May 1, 1938 to Hugh and Emma Thompson. He grew up in their Williamsburg boarding house during the Dr. Locke years. His childhood was spent travelling the streets of Williamsburg and being spoiled by the neighbors. This led to his mother asking the neighbors to stop feeding him. It was a time that molded his life, for wherever he went, he always made friends and ate well. He could talk to anyone about anything, and often did.
He attended Williamsburg Public School and Morrisburg High School and had many fine memories of his hijinx with the boys. After Grade 12, he spent a year working on a surveying crew on the Trans Canada Pipeline near Gravenhurst. He returned to finish Grade 13 and went on to Carleton University where he played on the defensive line of the Carleton Ravens football team. His university career was short-lived, so he left the area to work on the South Saskatchewan River Project as a surveyor’s assistant. He kept his job until the temperature reached 40 below. Following that, he came home to sell insurance for his father.
In 1961 he started dating Jean Garlough and soon become a regular around the Garlough family dinner table. They were married on June 29, 1963 and started their life together in the old farmhouse on Pages Corner Road, east of Williamsburg, where they took up raising hunting dogs and beef cattle. Their first daughter, Laura, was born in 1965, and the twins, Susan and Cindy followed in 1972.
During this time, Don’s career switched a multitude of times, working as a diver, gunsmith, managing car sales and driving a truck. Eventually he developed skills as a machinist, welder and mechanic. In 1977 he found his calling, instructing diesel mechanics and welding at Kemptville Agricultural College. He loved teaching; after all, “it allowed him to tell the same jokes year after year.” He retired in 1996 and he finished his career doing part time work with the Commissionnairs.
Don had a multitude of interests outside of work. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and lifelong member of the Vernon Deer Lodge. He continued to hunt with his many good friends up until last fall. He also loved to travel. It gave him the opportunity to visit museums and pursue his hobbies of photography, genealogy, good food and drink, and just meeting interesting people.
He was actively involved in many organizations. He was the past president of the Williamsburg Legion branch #538. He was past master of the Williamsburg Masonic Lodge #480, a member of Henderson Masonic Lodge, first Principal Covenant St. John Chapter RAM #113 in Cornwall, Preceptor Cornwall Preceptory, member Karnac Temple-Shriners, Cornwall SDG Shrine Club. He was also a member of the McTavish Clan.
He was a rugged individualist but he also was a Renaissance man. He loved life and was interested in everything. He enjoyed meeting people, hearing their stories and telling them new ones. He was always there to help anyone who needed it. To his family and many of his friends, he was the finest man they ever knew. He will be greatly missed.
He was loved by his wife Jean Thompson (nee Garlough), daughters Laura Thompson (Steve Martin) of London, Susan Thompson (Glen Girard) of Ottawa and Cindy Thompson (Justin Wightman) of Brampton. He was predeceased by his father Hugh Thompson and mother Emma Thompson (nee Reilly).