Ernest S. Thompson, 86, Spearfish, South Dakota, died Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at his home.
Ernest was born July 11, 1927, to Clarence and Bernice (Sheldon) Thompson in Upton, Wyoming. He was raised in the Upton area, where he attended country school near the family ranch. He then attended and graduated from Upton High School. Immediately after graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he served four years.
He then returned to the family ranch, where he ranched with his brother Neil. In 1948, he married Beverly Watt and they had six children; Jeanine, Marlene, Cora Lee, Duane, Kevin and Brenda. During this time he was on the Agriculture Board for the State of Wyoming, active in 4-H, Farm Bureau, and partnered with the Maverick Five to raise Exotic Cattle.
After he left the ranch, he married Katherine Hoyer. During this time three step-children were a part of his life, Gloria, Dave and Kathy. Katherine later passed away. He bought and improved the Bear Lodge Motel in Sundance. He truly enjoyed the people he met, while managing the motel. He then sold the Bear Lodge and became a salesman at Sundance Equipment. Ernest married Gertrude Connally in Sundance on January 1, 1995. Upon leaving the John Deere dealership, he enjoyed retirement in Redwater and later moved to Spearfish.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing, photography, traveling, yard work, family, friends and visiting.
He is survived by his wife, Gertrude, children; Jeanine Hayden, Marlene Preston, Cora Lee Reynolds, Duane Thompson, Kevin Thompson and Brenda De La Cruz, three step-children; Bruce Connally, Glenn Connally and Patricia Robinson. He also has 4 siblings surviving him; Katherine Holwell, Truman Thompson, Clarice Pridgeon and Stanley Thompson, along with 14 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 1 step-great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Leone, brother Neil, and his first wife, Beverly.
Memorial Services for Ernest were Sunday, September 15 at the Spearfish United Methodist Church, with Pastor Scott McKirdy officiating.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels of Spearfish. Online condolences may be left at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com