Date of Death: December 26, 2022
A graveside service will be held at Riverside Cemetery in the spring, with military taps and honor guard.
Robert L. Thompson, 99, of Fisher Lake, MI passed away on December 26, 2022 at Heritage Community of Kalamazoo.
Bob was born on August 5, 1923 to Mabelle A. and Lloyd E. Thompson at home in Park Township, Three Rivers, MI.
Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife, Patricia (Pat), 93, after almost 75 years of marriage, on Jan. 19, 2019, and his sister, Jackie Roush, 94, on December 29, 2020.
Bob is survived by his three children, Connie Bradley, who has two children, Scott (Tracey) and Dawn (Rick) Rohr; Randi, married to Rich East, who have three children, Jennifer (Scott) Outman, Jason (Laura), and Jarrad; Mark, married to Lisa, who have three children, Ryan (Erin), Travis (Lisa), and Markelle Kuiper. Bob also is survived by eighteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Bob attended school in Three Rivers, enjoying math and history. He was very active in sports: basketball, baseball, football, track, and swimming. He also enjoyed fishing. He received several honors in school, being voted “The Most Popular Boy” as a senior, and part of the 1941 conference champs for basketball and football.
After graduation in 1941, he attended Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI, until he was called up for active duty in February 1943, after enlisting in the Army Air Corps. He spent a year of training in Deming, NM. Upon completion, he called his high school sweetheart, Patricia Niendorf, to come down to Deming to marry him on February 26, 1944.
Bob was on his 13th mission as a bombardier on a B-17 named “Princess Pat,” October 20, 1944, when he and his crew were shot down over Hungary. He survived 6 1/2 months as a POW in Germany. In June 1945, Bob was reunited with his wife and a new baby girl.
Bob finished college at Western Michigan University and began a teaching career in Mendon, MI for three years, then thirty-four years of teaching eighth grade math and history and coaching basketball, baseball, and football in Three Rivers.
Bob had quite a sense of humor, always friendly to those he met. He loved his wife, family, friends, and country. Bob was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers, the Elks Club of Three Rivers, American Legion Post #170, flew with the 15th Airforce B-17 bombers, he as the bombardier, the 483rd Bombardment (group H) Association – 815th Squadron, AARP, and MARSP.
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