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Donald E. Thompson, age 93, of Geneva, passed away Monday, November 6, 2023.
Don was born September 21, 1930 in Decatur, Illinois, the son of William Homer and Margaret (Casey) Thompson.
He married Doris Schwendeman of Chicago on Nov 8, 1958. Don and Doris were preparing to celebrate 65 years of marriage this week.
He is survived by his wife Doris; and older sister Margie; and six children, Patricia Schreiber of Wheaton, James (Patricia) of Campton Hills, Diane (Andrew) Marek of Geneva, Judith (Tom) Emery of Texas, Daniel (Amy) of Mundelein and Andrew (Julianne) of Connecticut; and 24 grandchildren Bryan (Emma) Olver, Nathan Olver, Kayla (Corey) Reagan, Anna (Ben Gasper) Schreiber, Melinda Schreiber, Jacob (Mia) Thompson, William Thompson, Joseph (Melinda) Marek, Daniel (Shelbie) Marek, Peter (Skylar) Marek, Paul (Kendall) Marek, Jack Marek, Matthew (Jennifer) Emery, Sarah (Mark) Duvall, Kathryn Emery, Nicole (Joseph) Castagnola, Lauren (Harry) Meyer, Caroline (Cole) Schluter, Andrew Thompson, Daniel, Michael, Ella, Ryan Thompson; and 25 great-grandchildren and counting; and many other dear relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother William Thompson; and granddaughter Margaret Thompson Hoepfner.
Don graduated from St. Theresa High School in Decatur in 1948, where he excelled in all manner of athletic endeavors, but had to forgo college football offers due to a life-changing 3rd base collision and shoulder injury. Don recovered and redirected to nearby University of Illinois in Champaign- Urbana, graduating in 1953 with a Civil Engineering degree. Don then served in the Korean War in Virginia and Japan, where he was an instructor of geodetic surveying in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Returning to Illinois in 1955, Don landed a job in Springfield at Crawford, Murphy & Tilly (CMT), a consulting engineering firm where he worked for his entire professional career. As a highly respected engineer and outstanding leader and coach, Don was instrumental in growing CMT from 20 employees in Springfield to over 200 in three regional offices when he retired as Chairman and CEO after 40 years of service. In his roles as Project Engineer, Project Manager, Chief Engineer, Vice-President and President, his leadership led to the long-held and still-prized CMT community culture that prioritizes mentoring, careers, and family-first values. He also served on many professional councils and committees, and was recognized upon his retirement in 1995 by Springfield’s mayor with a Key to the City, and by the University of Illinois in 2003 as a Distinguished Alumnus of the Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Don met Doris while assigned as a Resident Engineer supervising the construction of the I-90 Tollway from I-294 to I-290.
After getting married in Chicago, they lived and raised their six children in Springfield. All six children followed in Don’s footsteps attending the University of Illinois, many marrying fellow Illini.
Upon retirement, they moved to Geneva to be closer to family and a summer residence in Pentwater, MI. Their lives and welcoming homes in Springfield, Geneva and Pentwater have been the center of the large and growing Thompson clan over the years. The Pentwater cottage, architected and designed by Don, is the family summertime paradise for his 6 children, 24 grandchildren, and 25 (and counting) great-grandchildren. Don, Donny, Donaldson, DET, Dad, Pop, Gpa, Grandpa T, Mr. Thompson- his intelligence, wit, wisdom, thoughtfulness, ethics, calm demeanor, genuine kindness, and open-mindedness have been a life-long beacon, inspiring all who knew and loved him as a true example of how to live a good and honorable life.
Visitation will be Friday, Nov 10 th at 10:30 am until time of the Funeral Mass at 11:30 am, at St. Peter Catholic Church, 1891 Kaneville Rd, Geneva.
Don’s ashes will be interred in the forested dunes of Pentwater Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial gifts to the Greenfields of Geneva Team Member Appreciation Fund. Address checks to: Lifespace Foundation-GF/TMAF, 0N801 Friendship Way, Geneva IL 60134
For more information call 630-232-8233 or see www.malonefh.com.