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Michelle Thompson


1961 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Michelle Thompson Obituary
19 Aug. 1961 ~ 13 July 2017
A late diagnosis gave cancer the upper hand from the beginning, but it didn't get a docile victim, no sir! It was a battle royale. She said God would call her home when it was time for her to go, and until then she was going to fight to stick around as long as possible. And as with everything else she did, she did it in her own independent, unconventional, take charge way. Well, God finally said it was time; she had demonstrated her fortitude long enough. Michelle Thompson, our sister, aunt and friend tapped out on Thursday, 13 July 2017, after 6 plus years of providing a case study of how to handle adversity with unabashed, positive optimism (more than 5 years longer than her doctors predicted).
Michelle was born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky on 19 August 1961 and inherited her father's stubborn streak and energy tempered by her mother's good nature. She spent a few years in Midvale before the family moved to Sandy where she ruled the school. Whether the debate team at Hillcrest sharpened her ability at salesmanship and argument or just provided an early outlet for her skills, it's hard to know, but it later paid off repeatedly throughout her life.
She was an exceptional student at Utah State University, but she didn't let that interfere with extracurricular activities. She honed her planning and directing skills with several years on the Student Activities Board followed by a term as the University Student Council Activities Vice President. Friends teased her about being "The General" for good reason.
After graduation, her salesmanship talents led her through several career stops. She sold cars, drugs (pharmaceutical not recreational), and home loans, earning accolades at each stop on the journey. The mortgage business held her interest but selling for someone else wasn't sufficient, so she became a successful independent (that word again) broker and wrote mortgages on her own.
Being successful at work was important in that it provided the means to have fun. Travel started as a kid with the cross-country family trips in the infamous camper. From there it just expanded - lots more travel, either independently (of course) or with friends and family. And as you might guess, she planned much of it. There was the summer in Europe after graduation; several excursions to Hawaii, the Bahamas and the Caribbean; fishing with her dad in Alaska; trudging through Zion Narrows; touring with the family in Montana; searching for the perfect ceramic peppers in Tijuana or rugs in Turkey.
Much of the fun revolved around water. Swimming for recreation and fitness continued as did snow skiing. Scuba diving was added to augment the travel agendas. Ultimately there was boating and water skiing, whether in the cold water of Bear Lake with the family or the warm water of Lake Powell with friends.
Networking was second nature to "Mitch". She formed loads of friendships, personal and professional, and kept up with friends from grade school on. The parties and outings she planned and hosted drew people together and fostered new friendships.
As a lifelong, faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she served in numerous positions in the Relief Society, Sunday School and Young Women. Her love of and faith in the Savior gave her peace to accept her adversities and assurance of the life here after. She fought to live but never feared the call to return to her heavenly home.
The reunion with her parents had to be filled with love and pride of a life well lived. Michelle moved home to help care for her mom, Ida Mortensen Thompson, during her battle with debilitating arthritis. Later she directed the care and rehab for her dad, Kent "Doc" Thompson, following a stroke. Her service continued until they each passed.
She was the benevolent master of a string of big protective canines, Juno, Chien and Cappa. We expect they will also be there, excited to shepherd her into Paradise. Pearl will likely not be far behind.
She leaves behind three brothers and their families that she loved through the ups and downs: Wes (Michelle), Erick (Rachelle) and Chad (DawnEtta) and 14 nephews and nieces that were particularly special to her; aunts, Janice Maylett and Rebecca Frischknecht, who were more like big sisters; uncles, Don Thompson and Vance Mortensen and a passel of cousins including her best bud, Kathy Thompson; as well as friends too numerous to count.
The family would like to thank the large number of people who were the foot soldiers in Michelle's last big battle: the Relief Society sisters of the South Jordan 3rd Ward for the meals and packing help provided; Nila Anzuras, who facilitated her break-out from the assisted living center and made it possible for her to spend her last days at home; Dr. Scott Adelman, a trusted medical advisor; Dr. James Carlisle, who broke new ground with her on treatment of bone tumors; Kris Justesen and Annie Budathoki, acupuncturists who helped her battle pain without drugs so her head could stay clear; and the numerous friends who provided generous help when needed.
Services to celebrate her life will be under the direction of the Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary Saturday, 22 July 2017 at 11:00am in the South Jordan 3rd Ward Chapel at 2200 West 9750 South in South Jordan, Utah.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on July 20, 2017
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