Marilyn J. Thompson (Lunning)
Marilyn went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on August 24th, 2021, peacefully, with family gathered.
Marilyn was born to Clarence and Anna Carolina Lunning on June 8th, 1929 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa joining siblings Ev, Al, Rusty and Virginia. The 3 sons became pilots in World War II and the 2 sisters and parents moved to Emmetsburg in 1942. As Americans with Norwegian backgrounds they attended Bethany Lutheran Church where Reverend Martin C. Thompson was the pastor. Marilyn met her future husband, John H. Thompson, in Luther League and choir. She asked him for their first date to a Sadie Hawkins party when she was a high school freshman and he a sophomore. They were married a few years later and enjoyed 74 years of married life together. John taught English in the Midwest while she worked hard raising 4 children including identical twin boys, a needy husband and herself. They vacationed and studied in Colorado in 1956 and 1957 and Marilyn promoted the idea for a move to Boulder in 1958. Years of time with friends was enjoyed with card groups, church friends, Questers antique club, Good Sam camping travels and the Sons of Norway organization. Many many pints of blood were donated over the years. Travel with the family was always a summer affair including trips to the world’s fair in Seattle and New York. After years as the principal at Base Line Junior High School retirement came for John in 1983. Then Marilyn and John enjoyed 30 years of international travel, including cruising, with 6 trips to China and Hong Kong where son Doug lived. It was her idea to live in China for portions of 3 years and study and teach. Travel for genealogy research included 5 trips to Norway and the discovery that she and John were distant cousins with their families living near one another at Loyning Lake near Odda, Norway. A friendship has been formed with family in Norway and here that will continue on with the younger generation. Of course they didn’t miss high school reunions after 25 years, 40, 50, and 60 years back in Emmetsburg.
But the highlight was Marilyn’s life as a loving and dedicated wife, mother and grandmother planning birthday and holiday celebrations with special care including steak whakatane, chocolate whipped cream frosted angel food cake, lutefisk and lefsa at Christmas and so much more. She smiled beautifully and gave great hugs. She loved her Lord, her family, cherished friends and traveling. She enjoyed reading, intricate Norwegian sewing techniques, and a glass of red wine. Her life included many beloved dogs, including the last one, a beautiful Irish Setter named Rosie.
Marilyn is survived by her husband, John; son John David (Cheryl), California; son James Douglas (Lisa), Boulder; daughter Ann Hanson (Steven) Westminster; and son Paul (Martha), Thornton; six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren; and extended family and friends around the world.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Atonement Lutheran Church, 685 Inca Parkway, Boulder, CO 80303 or to Elevation Hospice of Colorado, 7850 Vance Drive Suite # 230, Arvada, Colorado 80003.
The family is planning a memorial service to be held at Atonement Lutheran Church in Boulder when the renovation project at the church is completed in the near future.