Ronald Thompson


Colton, SD

December 20, 2020

Ronald Allen Thompson, age 88, passed away on Sunday, December 20, 2020, at Ava’s House Hospice Care in Sioux Falls, SD, after a brief battle with cancer.  

Ron was born on November 24, 1932 at Sioux Valley Hospital to Roy O. and Johanna (Bunde) Thompson.  Ron grew up farming with his dad on 2 farms near Lyons and attended the Lyons School.  He entered the Army in March 1956 and was stationed in Germany.  He was Honorably Discharged in March 1958.     

Ron returned from the service to marry his sweetheart, Verla Tokheim on June 1, 1958, at First Lutheran Church in Colton.  They made their home halfway between both of their parents on a farm that had been homesteaded by Tokheim relatives.  

Ron was always one to try and adapt new farming techniques and equipment.  No piece of equipment was right until he modified or corrected it somehow.  It was this attention to detail that was passed down to his children, and is evident in all of their career paths.

Visiting was Ron’s pastime of choice.  What better excuse to go visiting in the middle of summer than loading up his trademark 1974 International pickup with sweetcorn to drive around giving it away to friends and family.  In the wintertime, Ron would go for the mail and return hours later after having coffee and discussing farming with whoever was home when he stopped by.   After harvest was complete, Ron and Verla would spend their evenings making their famous lefse to give away and to sell at First Lutheran’s famous Swedish Meatball Supper.  Ron’s strong hands mixed those meatballs for decades.

Ron’s sense of humor was enjoyed by all – especially his family.  One of his favorite jokes was to holler “Hey” as you took off on your bike or in your car.  You’d stop in confusion, and he’d grin and say “Your wheel is going around!”.   He maintained his sense of humor up to the end to the extent we had to explain to the nurses that he liked to kid around.  Their response every time was, “Yes, we already figured that out!”

Ron gave back to his community through decades of service on the First Lutheran Church Council, the Burk Township Board, the Minnehaha Co-op Oil board, and the Colton Elevator Board.  

Grateful having shared his life are his wife of 62 years, Verla, Sioux Falls, SD; sons Jeff (Karen Medema) Thompson, Colton, SD; Keith (Mara) Thompson, Minneapolis, MN; and daughter Leslie (Mark) Johnson, Crooks, SD. Ron was a proud grandfather to Matthew (Maggie) Thompson, Carl (Brooke) Johnson, Chris (Maddie) Thompson, and Emma (Zach) Dorgan, and great-grandfather to Rhett and Riggs Johnson, and baby Dorgan.  He is also survived by sisters Jewyll Peterson, and Sharol (Cliff) Bjerke; brother-in-law Alton (Delores) Tokheim, and numerous nieces and nephews.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Jaye Thompson; brother-in-law Richard Peterson; brother-in-law Sheldon Thue, sister-in-laws and spouses Marilyn (Gene) Graber, Mildred (Norman) Jorgenson, and brother-in-law Ronnie (Ruth) Tokheim.

Due to the current health crisis, there will not be a public visitation.  Private funeral service was held on December 30th at 1:00pm at First Lutheran Church, Colton, SD. Interment was in Hills of Rest Memorial Park in Sioux Falls.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be sent to First Lutheran Church, Colton, SD, Lutheran Social Services in Sioux Falls, or Feeding South Dakota.

Video tribute at