James D. Thompson

Jan 17, 2014 Staff

James D. Thompson, formerly of Riverton, died Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, with his wife and family by his side. He was 86 years old.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 2336 St. John's Ave., Billings, Mont. Interment will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens, and a light meal will be served afterward.

James D. Thompson was born June 3, 1927, in Riverton, the son of Joseph L. and Anna Thompson.

He worked on the family ranch while he was growing up.

On Sept. 5, 1948, he married Ramona (Schamber) at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Kinnear.

He went to work for Morrison Grain in the 1950s, where he sold government pre-fab homes and moved the family to California, Maine, Ohio, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York.

In the 1960s, he and his family moved to Billings, Mont., to be closer to relatives. While he was the owner of Americana Homes, he built churches in Roundup, Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Harlowton, Laurel, North Dakota and South Dakota. In 1970, he began Thompson Construction and built homes and several additions to Mount Olive Lutheran Church. In 1972, he and his sons began Thompson Pools, and they installed pools in Montana, Wyoming and his "favorite" pool project in Hawaii. He retired from Thompson Pools at age 80.

Mr. Thompson was a baptized and confirmed Christian. He became a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Billings, Mont., in 1960, and his family said he was very involved in his congregation. He served on the MT District Board of Directors and, for 35 years, on the Board of the Lutheran Church Extension Fund.

His family said that in addition to loving his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, he admired and adored his family and extended family.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ramona; children LaRae Talafuse (Geoff), Donald (Janis), Susan Going (Ron), Darrel (Karen) of Billings, Mont., and Cynthia Hein of Northglenn, Colo.; daughter-in-law Mavis; 16 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; sisters May Stewart (Stan) of Evansville, Jane Napier of Riverton and Anita Hashberger (Claude) of Riverside, Calif.; and sister-in-law Dorothy Thompson of Shoshoni.

He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Michael; son-in-law Bruce Hein; sisters Anna Weber and Shirley Carpenter; brothers Joe and Jack; and parents.

Memorials can be made to Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran School (gym upgrade) or The Lutheran Hour.

Online condolences may be left at

Print Story
Read The Ranger...