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Kenneth John Thompson

July 17, 1920 September 16, 2016
Kenneth John Thompson
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Obituary for Kenneth John Thompson

Kenneth John Thompson was born on July 17, 1920 in St. Paul, MN, the son of Almond and Ellen (Edberg) Thompson. He was a 1939 graduate of St. Paul Johnson High School and a 1947 graduate of Hamline University. He served in the United States Navy (LTJG) aboard the USS Missoula at Iwo Jima and Okinawa during World War II. On June 30, 1944 he was united in marriage to Helen Mae Backe in Stillwater, MN. Ken and Helen moved to Worthington, MN in 1947 where he began his teaching and coaching career that would span more than three decades. He spent his first year teaching physical education and coaching at Worthington Jr. College. In 1948 he began his tenure at WHS, serving as head basketball coach (12 years), baseball coach (3 years), golf coach (28 years), athletic director (29 years) and spent his lifetime being devoted to all Trojan athletics. Ken was a MSHSL referee for both basketball and football and taught driver’s education for the school district. He taught science for 34 years at Worthington Jr. High. Ken continued his baseball career on the side, playing for various MN teams in the Northern League and in Worthington for the Cubs. Ken was a member of the MSHSL Coaches Association, MSHSL Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, WHS Trojan Hall of Fame and the Hamline University Athletic Hall of Fame, where he was a member of their 1942 National Championship Team in basketball and lettered in baseball. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for 68 years. After his retirement in 1982, Ken worked at Prairie View Golf Course. He and Helen continued to be loyal supporters of all local sports teams, rarely missing an event. Ken enjoyed music and was a member of the Worthington Male Chorus in the 1950s and sang in the choir most recently at the Ecumen Meadows, where he was a resident. Ken died on Friday, September 16, 2016 at the South Shore Care Center in Worthington, MN.
Ken is survived by daughter Claudia Martens of Bullhead City, AZ and friend Leon Rupert of Topeka, KS; daughter Anne and son-in-law Lowell Kutzbach of Valrico, FL; along with seven nieces, two nephews and two sisters-in-law. He was preceded in death by his wife Helen, their infant son Tris, parents Almond and Ellen, one brother Floyd, two sisters, Evelyn and Geraldine, and son-in-law, Dennis Martens.
Visitation will be at the Benson Funeral Home on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00PM. Private family services will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the Benson Funeral Home Chapel in Worthington, MN with Rev. Galen Smith officiating. Casket bearers will be Don Kuiper, Russ Rickers, Chad Cummings, Joel Krekelberg, Jim Schissel, Dennis Hale, and Gary Koster. Honorary bearer will be Rich Adel. Burial with military honors will be in the Worthington Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Memorials are preferred to the Trojan Sports Booster Club in Worthington.

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5:00 PM 9/21/2016 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 9/21/2016 7:00:00 PM
Benson Funeral Home

1225 Ryans Road
Worthington, MN 56187

Benson Funeral Home
1225 Ryans Road Worthington 56187 MN
United States

Cemetery Details


Memorial Gardens Final Resting Place

29600 County Highway 35
Worthington, MN 56187

29600 County Highway 35 Worthington 56187 MN
United States

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