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Joseph “Joe” S. Thompson, age 92, of Madison, died Saturday, June 2, 2018, at the Madison Care and Rehab Center. Memorial services will be 1:00 PM, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at the Ellsworth Funeral Home in Madison. Visitation will be one hour prior to services on Wednesday. Inurnment will be held at a later date in the Graceland Cemetery in Madison.
Joseph Thompson was born August 22, 1925, in Canova, to Alfred and Nellie (Hartle) Thompson. He was raised in the Howard area and attended school through the 8th grade and eventually received his honorary high school diploma. Joe served in the US Navy during World War II. Following his military service he worked for Murphey’s Amusement in Howard. On December 29, 1945, he married Betty Klopf, and they lived their married life together in Madison. Joe worked for Peterson’s Texaco and then Knappen Chevrolet as a mechanic. He later worked for Jensen Motors and Kostboth Motors where he served as service manager for many years. Joe also worked as a jailer for Lake County and was a member of the volunteer police department in Madison He enjoyed all of the young people that worked for him throughout his career. They were like part of the family and many of them stayed in touch as they grew up and moved on.
Joe loved his family more than anything else in life. He was passionate about hunting, fishing, and the races at Lake County Speedway, but family always came first. His kids learned a lot about hunting and fishing from him and he always let them know how proud he was of them and how much he loved them. His two grandkids and five great-grandkids were the love of his life. There was no one like great-grandpa. Joe loved to cruise around Madison in his convertible with atleast one of the little ones and his cocker spaniel.
He is survived by two sons, Joe (Judy) Thompson of Madison, Jim (Darlene) Thompson of Madison; two daughters, Angie Thompson of Madison, Debbie (Clarence “J.R.”) Kieffer of Sioux Falls; two grandchildren, Eric (Carrie) Thompson of San Diego, CA, Becky (Bob) Gartner of Ramona; five great-grandchildren, Hunter, Bailey, Jaden, Katerina, and Jamie; one sister, Mary Ann Burns of Dell Rapids; two sisters-in-law, Ada Hueners and Betty Klopf; and two brothers-in-law, Bill Klopf and Mike Klopf.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of over 50 years Betty; one brother, Edward Thompson; and two sisters, Virginia Dempsey and Arlene McDonall.