Donn L. Thompson

Donn L. Thompson
(Retired Fire Chief)

Donn L. Thompson, 85, was born in Seattle, July 11, 1928 and grew up in the Green Lake/Ravenna neighborhood. He was the youngest of three sons of Beatrice and OW Thompson. He died Saturday July 27, 2013 at 3:29 a.m., at Providence/ Colby Campus Hospital, from a massive blood vessel rupture in the brain that occurred Friday evening while with family and friends at the Pilchuck River.
He graduated from Roosevelt High Class of 1948; Go Roughriders! One of his teenage jobs was parking cars at the Olympic Parking Garage; His first real job, after high school, was a Teamsters Union truck driver for Coast Truck Lines.
While reluctantly attending weekly dances at the Avalon Ballroom (after being conned by his mom) in June 1949 he saw two young ladies; Every week he would dance with a particular girl, Lapriel Earley, from Cleveland High. Three months later, he married her on September 30, 1949 at University Lutheran Church.
In 1954 they moved to Everett, Silver Lake area, with their two sons, Mark and Richard (Rick) and in 1958 he started working for Overall Laundry as Route 42 delivery driver in Everett and South Snohomish County, and retired in 1983.
While living in the Silver Lake area, he became a volunteer fire fighter for Snohomish County Fire District 11, where he retired after 27 years of service; 15 years serving as Fire Chief. While serving as Fire Chief he was instrumental in the continuation of the Fire Explorer Scout Post 19; started the first aid car service in the district, purchased the first diesel powered fire engine; started the first fire department sponsored CPR training to the community; built a third fire station in the Silver Firs neighborhood; was the first volunteer chief to serve as President of the Snohomish County Fire Chiefs Association; he was also the first volunteer fire chief to be elected to the Board of Directors of the International Association of Fire Chiefs; served as a little league coach, was a volunteer and driver for Boy Scout Troop 19 at Olivia Park Elementary; he was life member of the Everett Elks Lodge 479; and a member of the Everett Eagles and a SKP.
After retirement in 1983 he and Lapriel liquidated everything; bought a big travel trailer and joined the road with other full time rv'rs traveling the United States, including Alaska and the Yukon Territory in Canada. In 2000 they moved into their modular home on the Pilchuck River!
He loved to dance, and hunt, deer and elk, even did archery hunts for deer in Eastern Washington. Loved to fish and most of all loved to talk to people, telling stories and a good joke or two now and then! In his opinion, laughter and hugs were the cure for most everything! He always told everyone he met "I'm a Hugger" and so that became his nickname and CB Handle "Huggie Bear".
He moved to Ashley Point Senior Living Community in Lake Stevens in December 2012 and was recently elected as the President of the Resident Council and presided over his first meeting just two weeks ago!
Donn was preceded in death by his mother, Beatrice Thompson, Walters, Mead; father, Orris Thompson; oldest brother,Howard; brother, Wesley; and his wife of 64 years, Lapriel.
He is survived by his sons, Mark (Bonnie, Dominic and Great Grandson
Daniel) and Rick (Roxanne, Richard III) and many nieces and nephews and fellow former volunteer fire fighters and coworkers from Overall Laundry and many, many RVing friends around the country.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday August 10th at the Lake Stevens Senior Center, 2302 Soper Hill Rd (East of Highway 9) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your stories, memories and hugs!
Please sign the guest book.

Published in The Herald (Everett) from July 31 to Aug. 4, 2013