The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

James Dean Thompson


CADILLAC, Mich. - James Dean Thompson, 80, native of Cadillac, passed away at home with family by his side on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

Jim, or "Jimmy" as he was know as a boy, was born on Dec. 22, 1936, at the family home in Cadillac, to Carl and Reva (Loomis) Thompson. Jim was a 1955 graduate of Cadillac High School and then furthered his education by attending college at Michigan Technological University and graduating in 1960. On June 16, 1960, he entered into marriage with the love of his life, the former Sharon K. Westman, at Zion Lutheran Church.

Jim made his living working first with the Michigan State Highway Department, building Interstate 96 from the Indiana border to Lansing, and then with the U.S. Forest Service as a civil engineer. Jim's position with the forest service spanned many years and awarded him the opportunity to make their home in Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Following retirement, Jim and Sharon returned home to Cadillac where Jim was able to express some of his many talents as he remodeled a home that had been in the family for years. He could often be found in his shop at home, creating one of his many cherished woodworking projects or tinkering away on a classic car. Jim had a passion for history which contributed to his love for old cars and his beloved Model T and Model A. He also spent many years creating, adding to, and constructing his HO model train layouts. Jim also enjoyed to travel and spent 24 wonderful winters as part of the community in Apache Junction, Ariz. He will be deeply missed and remembered for his impact with the forest service, his many talents, and for the supportive husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather he was.

James is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sharon Thompson of Cadillac; his children, Melissa (Charlie Schroder) Thompson of Cadillac, Robert "Bob" Thompson of Signal Hill, Calif., and Debbie (Tony) Ringsmuth of Wakefield, Mich .; three grandchildren, Alyssa (Ryan) Miller, and Jordan and Jacob Ringsmuth; his great-granddaughter, Clara Miller; one sister, LaVonne (H.R.) Vosbourgh of Fenton; two stepgrandchildren, Emmet and Ella Schroder; sisters-in-law, Linda Westman of Kentwood, and Vicky Johnson of Indian River; as well as many other loving family members, neighbors, former co-workers and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his father- and mother-in-law, Gordon (Marian) Westman.

His family would like to extend a special thank you to Jim's caregivers, Jan Ensor, Virginia Whitt, Dawn Todosciuk, Lynn Montague, Jan Brunink and Hospice of Michigan who helped make his final days comfortable.

Per Jim's wishes cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held at Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home on Saturday, Aug. 5, beginning at 1 p.m., with visitation held one hour prior. Officiating will be Rev. John Doud. Jim's urn will be placed alongside his family at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Cadillac. Memorial contributions may be directed to Hospice of Michigan, the Alzheimer's Association, or the First Congregational Church-UCC of Cadillac.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family online at

The family is being served by the Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home.


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