Amherst Magazine

John E. Thompson '51

John E. Thompson '51 died February 25, 2010
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Submitted by Charles A. Tritschler on Friday, 4/16/2010, at 12:48 PM

John Edward Thompson, '51 DMD (1927-2010) MEMORIAL

imageTHOMPSON, John Of Wenham, 82, husband of Eleanor H. (Ernst) Thompson, with whom he shared 55 years of marriage, died peacefully with his family at his side at the Rosewood Nursing Home in Peabody on Thursday, February 25, 2010. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 25 years ago, Thompson continued to pursue his passions with remarkable tenacity and optimism. A Wenham resident for nearly 60 years, he practiced dentistry in an office attached to his house. Born in Schenectady, New York, Thompson was the son of the late Walter Marvin and Frances Houseworth Thompson and brother of the late David Houseworth Thompson. He was a graduate of Amherst College and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1957. Following his time in the Navy, Thompson opened a family dental practice in Wenham. He was the first dentist in town and took great pride in his craft. Thompson often felt that the best part of dentistry was interacting with his patients and their families. Thompson adored language and words and was known for his puns and sharp sense of humor. He appreciated music, good food and wine, and loved to travel with his wife. In his spare time he cycled, gardened, sailed, designed and cast jewelry, made exquisite woodcarvings, and achieved small miraculous feats of engineering. Photography, carpentry, and thousands of inventive projects and mini-adventures kept him thinking and producing at all times. Thompson's favorite place was the family camp on Bear Island on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. There, he was in his element-undertaking projects, solving maintenance and upkeep problems, hosting friends, rowing, sailing, watching birds, cutting and splitting firewood, and creating original tools like the "Wonder Dock Prop" and the "Magna Carta Wheelbarrow." He especially enjoyed rowing on the lake early in the morning. Thompson's love of New Hampshire began in his late teens when he was a camp counselor at Northwoods Camp in Moultonborough. In addition to his many tangible accomplishments, Thompson will be remembered by family and friends for his gentle disposition and infallible wisdom. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son William a noted Boston Artist and daughter-in-law Natalie Pangaro of Jamaica Plain, his daughter Holly and son-in-law Robert Pomeroy of Yokohama, Japan, his daughter Pamela and son-in-law Peter Jeffries of Milton, and his daughter Emily and son-in-law Christopher Lathrop of North Andover. He is also survived by his six grandchildren: Dexter and Isabel Thompson-Pomeroy, Ailsa Jeffries, Rachel Slobodzinski, and Julian and Zoë Lathrop. A celebration of Thompson's life will be held Friday, March 26 from 4-7pm at the Wenham Museum, 132 Main Street, Wenham. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, 156 Dane road, Center Harbor, NH 03226, dedicated to the protection of lands and habitat in the central Lakes Region of New Hampshire; or to the Wenham Museum 132 Main Street, Wenham, MA 01984, an organization to which Thompson dedicated countless hours during his lifetime

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