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John Thomson

John Dallas Thomson of San Lorenzo, CA, 64, died peacefully on March 3, 2014 at home, surrounded by his wife, family members, and many friends. Born in Waterbury, CT on August 18, 1949 to (the late) Philip and Catherine (Kitty) Thomson, Mr. Thomson graduated from Tabor Academy in Marion, MA. He also attended the Taft School in Watertown, CT. Active in the Boy Scouts in middle and high school, he became a Life scout.

A 1975 graduate of Colorado College, he was awarded a B.A. degree in Sociology. He also attended Connecticut College. In 1989, he earned a Master's degree in Psychology/ Rehabilitation Counseling from Syracuse University; after receiving his degree he counseled inmates. He earned a Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology in 1997.

Mr. Thomson earned the rank of SP5 in the United States Army where he served in Vietnam. He and his wife of 11years, Ho Thi Kim Quy, were married and lived in Oakland and San Lorenzo, CA. He met Quy when he returned to Vietnam to visit the orphanage where he and his Mom, Kitty Thomson, sponsored two girls. Mr. Thomson worked at Westside Community Services in San Francisco as a Clinical Psychologist, counseling homeless people and veterans. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. The suspected cause of his untimely death was his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.

He spent his entire professional career working with individuals in need. Early on he provided counseling and rehabilitation to returning Vietnam veterans and later worked with troubled adolescents and adults. After leaving military service, he learned to meditate and became a teacher of Transcendental Meditation. He enjoyed driving old trucks and old cars and paddling his kayak on a river at dawn.

Mr. Thomson leaves his wife and two sisters, Lucy L. Thomson (Arthur Peabody) of Alexandria, VA and Mary E. Thomson (Robert Starbird) of Marblehead, MA, and brother Alexander W. Thomson (Elizabeth) of Harwich Port, and nieces Elizabeth and Victoria Peabody, and nephews Keenan and Liam Thomson, and John (Jack) Starbird. He also leaves his father-in-law, Ho Dinh Chi, and five siblings-in-law. In addition, he leaves dozens of loving, committed friends in the two communities where he spent the majority of his adult years, the Washington, D. C. and San Francisco Bay areas.

Private celebrations of Mr. Thomson's life will take place in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society would be most appreciated.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 15, 2014
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