January 3, 1946 – June 23, 2015
Wes Thompson, 69, passed peacefully on June 23, after his family, friends and community gathered (in person and virtually) in love and support.
He was born in Grafton, North Dakota on January 3, 1946 and his family moved to Blaine, WA when he was 2. He grew up surrounded by his loving extended Icelandic family that included Sunday dinners with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and a porch filled with beloved cousins. In those early years, Wes had the freedom to explore the woods and learned to hunt and fish. As he grew older, he worked at the local service station, bucked hay and drove the miniature train at Birch Bay so that he could spend as much time and money as possible on cars. (We would insert a few stories here, but that might incriminate him and a few other Blaine boys.) Wes knew exactly what it means to be a Borderite, playing football, basketball and track. He graduated from Blaine High School in 1964.
Wes enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and entered the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego in March of 1966. He proudly served his country in Vietnam from October 1967 to October 1968, H&S Company ¾, 3rd Marine Division weapons platoon.
Upon returning home he found carpentry, which would give him a love of wood, tools and projects. He worked for several local contractors as well as being his own boss with his Thompson Construction business. Over the years he built and remodeled many homes and commercial buildings in Birch Bay, Point Roberts, the Islands and Blaine. It was during these years that Wes and Linda (Shope) raised their four children in the Blaine community. Wes would often be spotted driving ‘Old Blue’ and supporting Borderites from the track and bleachers.
In 1992, Wes decided that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a steady paycheck and a retirement fund so he began working for Blaine Schools in grounds and maintenance. Although it wasn’t quite the same as being self-employed, he had a tractor shed filled with tools and camaraderie with many, retiring in January 2011.
In 2009, he found the perfect piece of property, AKA the compound. It was there that he could cut wood, build a few sheds, “light the range up,” watch the salmon run, have a place for his grandchildren to play and spend time with his kids.
Everyone that knew Wes, knew he loved his kids, his grandchildren and great-grand child. He found joy in time with family and friends, the outdoors, hunting, target-shooting, wood-working and any new project. All of which, he enjoyed with a cup of coffee in his hand.
Wes was a Life Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Street Pike Post #9474 Custer, WA. For 2013-14, Wes received the award of Outstanding Post Commander. Wes was also a Member of the Whatcom Allied Veterans Council. He supported his fellow veterans in many ways, some more formally by proudly representing the VFW at events, and less formally by striking up conversations with veterans. His favorite holiday was 4th of July and he was honored anytime he marched in a parade, especially Blaine’s.
Wes is survived by his children, Becky (Eric Baker) Thompson of Tacoma, Christie (Casey) Rector and Paul (Timery) Thompson of Blaine and Beth Stoll of Chandler, AZ; grandchildren Katie, Zachary, Taylor, Zane, Kolton, Ryan, Isabell, Marena, Jessie; great-grandchild Maxx; sister Georgia (Gene) Palas, brother David (Janie) Thompson, many cousins, nieces, nephews, and a community that loved him. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Johanna “Joey” Thompson.
A memorial service will be held at the Performing Arts Center at Blaine Middle School on Friday, July 3, at 1 p.m. Military honors will also be rendered on Friday, July 3, at 10 a.m. at Semiahmoo Park and is open to those that would like to join the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Veterans of Foreign Wars Street Pike Post #9474 Custer, WA, P.O. Box 405 Blaine, WA 98231, to help with the building of a Vietnam Memorial in the City of Blaine (H Street).