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Herbert Arthur "Herb" Thompson


September 2, 2020

At the age of 96, Herbert Arthur “Herb” Thompson, gave up the earthly struggle on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, to journey peacefully onto his next life.

Herb was born 13 April 1924, at the home on Thompson Ridge, Towne of Portland, WI, to Arthur and Dorothy (Finch) Thompson. Growing up in the farming community, he chose farming as his own profession, but also had a profound fascination for mechanical things, especially for old tractors and antique farm equipment. He was also an avid hunter and loyal NRA member.

He served his country during WWII, in the USMC from 1943-1945, duty being served in Okinawa and the Chinese provinces. Following military service, he worked as a machinist in West Bend for a period of time before returning to Portland in order to take up farming.

In January 1951, Herbert married Charlene R. Brown. They farmed and raised their family on Thompson Ridge, until 1976 when their son Bud, took over the farming operation. Herb and Charlene divorced shortly after. In June of 1986, Herb married again, to Helen Beardsley of Trempealeau. Together, they enjoyed traveling and both loved to dance. They belonged to several area dance clubs and had many friends who enjoyed the same interests. Herb also enjoyed going to many antique tractor shows and old-time thresherees, with his good friend, Jim Ziegler. During this time, Herb worked part-time as a janitor for Tremplo Tool and Die CO. which he continued until age 91, when health issues began to limit some of his activities.

Herb is survived by one daughter, Nancy A. Leis; daughter-in-law, Sandra; three grandchildren, and their respective partners; and several great grandchildren. Further survived by a sister-in-law, Dorothy Thompson; along with many nieces, nephews, and extended family; plus his “special family” Dave and Linda Meyer and their son Zack.

Herb was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Dorothy; sister, Alice Thomas and her husband Erwin “EJ” Thomas; a brother, Harley Thompson; a sister, Lorraine Rosenow-Vargo and her husband, Eldor Rosenow and second husband, Ernie Vargo; also preceding are his son, Herbert Jr. “Bud” Thompson; Herb’s wife, Helen; and his first wife, Charlene.

Private Family Graveside services with full military honors will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery in Sparta, WI, at a later date.

Herb was a kind and gentle soul, loved and respected by those who knew him. In these uncertain and difficult times of separation and social distancing, please remember Herb and celebrate his life in your own special way. Memorials may be directed to the Freedom Honor Flight in Herb’s name.

The Torkelson Page-Smith Funeral Home of Sparta, WI, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at


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