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Newton Leland Thompson, 74, of Halfway, died June 20, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
There will be a private family gathering in his honor later.
Newt was born on Oct. 25, 1928, at Halfway to Nona Belle Miller and Lee Thompson. He graduated from high school at Halfway in 1946.
During the Korean War he was a navigator of a B-26 Bomber. He was a member of the 1956 Olympic ski team as first alternate.
During his schooling at Stanford he flew in the air guard and was captain of the ski team. He graduated from Stanford in 1958, from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1962 and went on to the University of Utah to complete a three-year residency in orthopedics. He practiced as an orthopedic surgeon at Reno, Nev., from 1969 to 2002.
Newt loved his children and loved teaching, being a doctor, skiing and riding motorcycles. All of these he did with a steady devotion that was characteristic of his life.
He especially loved to fly airplanes, a love that began when he was a young boy mowing a field of hay with a team of horses. Looking overhead he saw a formation of fighter planes flying on their way to World War II and was in awe of the incredible machines. He continued to fly over the course of his life, carting around friends and family with exhilaration, until his death on June 20.
Newt’s sense of humor was always sharp and sprung from his ability to find laughter in human foibles and a deep insight into situations. The loyalty of his family and friends was a final testament to the honesty of his life.
Newt had a lot of accomplishments, but his heart was always in Halfway and he never forgot his roots. After he realized he was dying he stated, “I want to go back to Oregon, I am a Halfway boy.”
Survivors include his children, Brooks Thompson, Craig Thompson, Inga Thompson, Heidi Ellsworth, Lee Thompson, and Taryn Thompson; his 18 grandchildren and one great-grandchild; and his brother, Norman Thompson.
He was preceded in death by his sisters, Hildreth Thompson and Olive Pinaire; and a brother Dolliver.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 7847, through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, June 27, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor