Michael (Mike) Thompson
1942 - 2021
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THOMPSON
CMSGT MICHAEL "MIKE" KEATH THOMPSON (USAF RETIRED)
July 13, 1942 February 6, 2021
Chief Master Sergeant Michael (Mike) Thompson (USAF retired) passed away on Saturday, February 6, 2021, due to complications from dementia. Mike was born on July 13, 1942, to Frank and Elizabeth (June) Thompson in Los Angeles CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, an
older sister, Sharon Montgomery, and a younger brother, Steve Thompson. He is survived by his
loving wife of 57 years, Dian, who he met in Venice CA in 1958 and married in 1963; son Lonnie Thompson, musician, in the US Army at the SHAPE command in Belgium, his spouse, Xiaojing Li, grandson Michael Li Thompson; sisters Darlene Bryte (Ron, deceased) of Folsom, CA, and Starla (Alan) Sterling of North Carolina, and many nieces and nephews.
Mike graduated from Venice High School, Los Angeles CA in 1960. He enlisted in the US Air Force in 1961 and began his 26-year military career in Accounting and Finance positions. After finishing his Basic and Technical training, he served at Oxnard AFB CA; after his marriage to Dian (Nelson) his next assignment was at Prestwick AB, Scotland; followed by K.I. Sawyer AFB MI. While assigned there he attended the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Leadership School and received the Honor Graduate award. Following that prestigious honor, the Thompson family decided to make the US Air Force a career. During the Vietnam conflict, Mike served for a year in Ubon, Thailand. Upon returning to the States, his next assignment was at HQ TAC, Langley AFB VA. It was there in 1969 the Thompsons added a precious son (Lonnie Glenn) to their family; their lonesome cat was thrilled with his new companion.
After Virginia, Mike was assigned to the Air Force Data Systems Design Center, Gunter AFS, in Montgomery AL . Onward west, Mike was assigned to the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center (AFAFC) in Denver CO in December 1976. In 1977 he was promoted to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant and a short time later he was placed on an upcoming promotion list for Chief Master Sergeant. Mike added that last stripe while assigned to Zweibruecken Air Base, Germany, serving first as the Disbursing Agent and in October 1982 as one of the first enlisted Accounting and Finance Officers in the Air Force. After four years, Chief Thompson returned to AFAFC as the Senior Enlisted Advisor (SEA) where he served under three generals until his retirement from the Air Force in January of 1987. After retirement from the Air Force, Mike returned to AFAFC (now the Defense Finance and Accounting Service [DFAS]) as a civilian and held positions as a systems accountant, the executive assistant to the commander, and in various management positions.
Early in Mike's career he took up the sport of "running" and continued for many years until he had to replace two worn out hips; he kept moving by walking, instead, either in his neighborhood or with volksmarching (walking) clubs. Mike was a volunteer for a number of causes and organizations both in his military and civilian communities wherever he lived. Following a second retirement from federal civil service, Mike enjoyed an active life full of fun and travel around the country and to far away places and, of course, enjoying an unexpected surprise late in life by being called "Grandpa" by Michael Li Thompson.
Mike graduated from Troy State University Montgomery AL "Magna Cum Laude" with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration/Accounting. After his military retirement he graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Computer Information Resources Management and Management at Webster University while residing in Aurora CO.
Dian is greatly appreciative for the tender loving care given to her Chief during the last two months of his life by Bristol Hospice of Colorado Springs.
Mike will be buried at the Pikes Peak National Cemetery in Colorado Springs at a later date when his son and family return to the United States.



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Published in The Gazette from Feb. 21 to Feb. 25, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
February 26, 2021
Dian, Am so sorry to hear of Mike's passing. He always had time to listen and give good advice and solutions. Wishing you and Lonnie all the best.

Bill Heern, Friend
Bill Heern
Friend
February 25, 2021
Words cannot express my heartbreak over the loss of Mike. Mike was the epitome of a "Chief" and such a great leader and mentor for the enlisted throughout the Air Force finance network.. He was such an inspiration to so many, and particularly to me. I remember the great times we had going to the Denver Opera and laughing and telling stories into the wee hours of the morning. His friendship and yours meant so much to John and me. and we speak about y'all often. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Bebe Walls
Friend
February 24, 2021
He was a great boss and very fair with all.
Joe Steele
Friend
February 23, 2021
RIP Chief. We met in 1986 in Europe, and we ran into each other many times when I came to work in Bldg 444. Mike was one of those guys that, just like himself, always seemed to have the situation under control. A hell of a professional.
Darryl Brooks
Acquaintance
February 23, 2021
Dian and Lonnie, you do not endure your loss alone. The "Chief" was a tremendous influence on me and so many other Air Force enlisted and officer members. He always had a smile on his face and words of encouragement. Dependable, caring, and exemplary best describe my mentor. We will all miss him, the United States Air Force and all who knew him are better because of patriots like Chief Mike Thompson.
John Walls
Student
February 23, 2021
Marcia and I were sad to hear about Mike's passing. Mike was a Chiefs Chief, a great leader and mentor. Our condolences and prayers go for you & Mike. We enjoyed the many occasions with you & Mike over the last 40 years. It only seems like yesterday that you both were here on our patio for lunch before your last Caribbean cruise. We will always have many memories of him.
Bill Allan
Coworker
February 23, 2021
Dian, I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Mike in our volunteer positions with the Credit Union. He was always very supportive, had a great sense of humor, and mostly was very kind and a real gentleman. Our sincere condolences. Please take care of yourself Dian. Deborah & Mike
Deborah Los
Acquaintance
February 23, 2021
MIke was always one of the best of the people that I got the opportunity to get to know while working at the Air Force Accounting and Finance Center in Denver and he will always be remembered and hold a place in my heart.
Mary Frevert
Friend
February 23, 2021
Chief you will be missed by all those who served with you. You were a great mentor, a true friend. RIP.
michael ryan
Friend
February 22, 2021
Dian, I'm so sorry to hear about Mike. Hope you are doing well. Teressa
Teressa Shoreland
Friend
February 22, 2021
I am so sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Cleo Linstrom
Cleo Linstrom
Coworker
February 22, 2021
Mike was a great guy and a great mentor and taken way too soon.
Harry L Truslow
Friend
February 21, 2021
Dian, We are very sorry to hear of Mike’s illness and passing. Make was such a wonderful person to work with and I always considered him a friend. We always intended to contact you both to get together. It makes us realize these things should not be delayed. You and your family are in our prayers. Pat & Rick Sontheimer
Pat sontheimer
Coworker
February 21, 2021
Mike was a wonderful, supportive co-worker and friend. He was kind, thoughtful and always provided wise counsel and assistance when asked. He was experienced, bright, competent and selfless. Our office was blessed the day Mike walked in the door, as was my life. He was a godsend in so many ways and will truly be missed. Dian, our sincere condolences on the loss of this great man.
Mike & Barb Eaton
Friend
February 21, 2021
Dian, I'm so sorry to hear about Mike's illness and passing. He was a great leader, in the true sense of the word. He was a pleasure to work for, and I became a jogger (plodding along) because of his example of fitness and fun. May God Bless you with many smiles as share memories as you walk through this difficult time. God Bless...
Janet
Coworker
February 21, 2021
Dian, Lonnie and family,

"CMSgt Mickee" will surely be missed! Our heartfelt condolences and prayers are with you during this difficult time of loss and remembrance of his life well lived and loved. He indeed filled the "dash" between 1942 - 2021 with a full life.

Mike was a true patriot, leader, friend and exemplified what we mean when we say, "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!" for both the 26 years in the Air Force, the service as a DOD civilian and as a loving husband, father and grandfather to his family. He was also a great co-worker and friend the past 30+ years. We shared many good times with Mike and Dian with the "Chiefs Group" through the years. Ahh...the many happy memories...that is what we will remember!

Run...Mike...Run!
Dick Stephenson
Friend
February 21, 2021
We shared many special times with Mike. He and Dian were and remain extended family. Many blessings and prayers to his family during this difficult time

Jim and Lea Chapan
J and L Chapan
Friend
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