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Jerry Thompson

May 13, 1940 - February 13, 2021

Jerry  ThompsonGerald Willam Paul Jerry Thompson passed away peacefully February 13, 2021, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jerry was born May 13, 1940, in Salem, Oregon, to Velma and Orlo Thompson of Silverton. Growing up in Silverton, Jerry participated in many community activities, was a newspaper carrier for many years, and played trumpet in the band at Silverton High School. He is remembered fondly by his many classmates from the Class of ‘58 who continue to meet regularly at Roth’s in Silverton.
Jerry had a varied career beginning in retail at Montgomery Ward and Meier and Frank in Salem. He then moved into public service, spending 30 years with the Salem Police Department and 38 years in the Oregon Air National Guard, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Throughout his life, Jerry was dedicated to serving his community so very many agencies, civic groups and organizations have benefited from his efforts. He served as National Vice President, District President, club president, treasurer and four-time Club Builder of the National Exchange Club. He was founding member and president of the local Exchange Sponsored Child Abuse Prevention Effort ESCAPE and helped develop and sell hundreds of tee-shirts and sweatshirts, mugs, cards, Christmas ornaments and tote bags to raise funds for the ESCAPE program and other community efforts.
Jerry served loyally as a board member of Leave a Legacy of the Mid-Willamette Valley, was treasurer and twice president of the Sunrise Rotary Club, and was twice coordinator of the Patriot Day Field of Flags honoring the 9/11 fallen and heroes display at Salem’s Riverfront Park.
He served three terms on the Salem Area Mass Transit District Cherriots board of directors and was founding member of the Salem Police Foundation board of directors.
Jerry Thompson will be missed very much.
Throughout his life Jerry enjoyed traveling and was able to visit many sites in the United States as well as cruising to the Caribbean, Alaska, Canada and Europe.
Jerry is survived by his his first wife Carol Deforest, their son Mike and granddaughters Lisa and Audrey; by his brother Marvin, nephew Danny and grandnephew William; by his second wife Susan, her son Walter Norblad (Jennene) and grandchildren, Chloe and Albin and by her daughter Virginia Norblad (Kyle Brager) and grandchildren Myra, Derek and Koralyn; and by Susan’s sister Melinda and her husband Larry Korshet.
A memorial service will be held in late May or early June. Donations may be made to the ESCAPE Child Abuse Prevention Effort at PO Box 13163, Salem OR 97309.
Final arrangements are under the care of Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

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Guest Book Entries

I am so saddened to hear of Jerry's passing.  He was a fixture in my childhood as my mom served with him in community organizations.  We enjoyed many meet-ups at Wendy's where he and my mom would talk about their various endeavors while my sister and I enjoyed frosties and burgers - Jerry's treat!   Jerry's smile and laugh are etched in my memory and I will always remember him as a genuinely kind and humble gentleman with a giving spirit.  "There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains.” — Helen Winnemore  

Jerry was my right hand man assigned to assist me with laying the foundation for the Neighborhood Watch Program in 1980.
He was honest and forthright and willingly gave of his time and talents in order to make Salem a better place to live.  As our friendship grew, so did the friendship with my husband and daughters.  He knew how to make me laugh and our favorite meal was a good cheeseburger!

With his diagnosis his spirit showed through rising to the occasion and working with his faithful caregiver Sue to meet obstacles in their path without hesitation.

It is with a heavy heart that I write this as I will miss his physical presence on earth but he will always be with me in spirit.  Our 41 year journey as fast friends defined trust through the years and I respected him greatly.  

If memories are a way of holding onto the things you care about and never want to forget then Jerry will dwell in my memories forever.

Terijo Shields

Nothing has been said about Jerry’s light blue 1955 Chev and the many trips I made to Hobart Rd with him for a little street competition. His car was very fast. He was also a very good trumpet player in Silverton High School band. Have worked and played with Jerry for many years. He will be missed
 Vern Meighen

Jerry was a friend of the first order.  I worked with him on the street and right next to him for several years in P&T..  In any circumstance you could depend on him.  His sense of humor was unflagging.  I recall sitting in P&T on morning when one of our captains stuck his head in the door and explained he was doing as survey to establish the probability of various guard members being called up to serve in the First Gulf War.  Dennis Burnett volunteered that his MOS was "Combat Messkit Repair".  Jerry affirmed "oh yes sir that is a thing" and the captain left the office saying to himself well I guess that would be important.  And then we closed the door and laughed so hard I thought we would all explode.  That is my favorite memory of Jerry.  Laughing and enjoying life and his friends.    

Jerry was the lynchpin of the Northwest District of the National Exchange Club.  Ed and I attended many regional and national conventions with Jerry and Sue and treasure the memories of those get togethers.  Jerry lived the Unity for Service motto of Exchange AND many other organizations.

Dear Sue,
Extending sincere sympathy in your loss of Jerry.  Working with both of you throughout the years with various community service events meant a lot to me.  I have very fond memories.  God bless you always, Kathy  

Am am so sad to hear about Jerry's passing. I will miss having him and Octavia greet me when I arrive at art group. Particularly, I will miss his coffee and him coming in to see our different projects and what we had done that evening.

I miss you my friend. Rest In Peace