David Ralph Thompson
Age: 58 • South Burlington
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we share the news of David Ralph Thompson, 58, who passed away unexpectedly on November 1st, 2017. He was born on September 14th, 1959 in Boston Massachusetts, the son of Peter Hunter Thompson Jr, and Alice May Kreps. He was a graduate of Dexter School, St. Mark's School, Bates College, and Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
David began his career at Kraft General Foods in Massachusetts, where he met his future wife, Bernadette Margaret O'Brien (Thompson). At the time, he was a lowly Mid-level Marketing Manager, who sat caddy-corner to a sweet red-headed Manager of Customer Service-- who happened to be two years his senior.
After several futile attempts to win her affection, she finally said yes. They were married on March 28th, 1987, and together they had three children, Caroline Sinnott Thompson, Andrew Hunter Thompson, and William Ellsworth Thompson.
David had an entrepreneurial spirit and worked relentlessly to build a company from the ground up, with nothing but a laptop and a dream. He spent his life in the frozen foods business, working for Birds Eye and Entenmann's, developing go-to-market strategy. In 1999, David quit his corporate job and founded his first company, Chestnut Direct, which eventually became Home Bistro, a frozen foods catalog delivering 'chef prepared meals, right to your door'. In the early 00's, he opened a Processing Plant in Plattsburgh, NY, with Scott Stillman, his longtime business partner and friend. In 2003, the family moved from the New York City area up to South Burlington, VT, where the children attended South Burlington High School.
He was passionate about sports, having played hockey, football and lacrosse growing up. David became involved with the South Burlington Youth Lacrosse program and was instrumental in helping grow the program into what it is today. He was a coach for the South Burlington Dolphins Youth Football team, where his son Will also played. Many in the area will remember him simply as "Coach Dave".
It was very important to David that his children were supported in pursuing their passions and follow their dreams. He encouraged his daughter, Caroline, to move to New York City and pursue her career, where she still lives today (though now chasing a somewhat different dream). He admired his son Andrew, the smart one, for his understanding of how things work and ability to think outside the box, joking that they'd be lost without him. And he hoped his son Will would one day play in the NFL, if only so he could spend his life cheering from the sidelines.
In addition to his wife and children, David is survived by his sisters Katherine Otte, of Houston TX, Nancy Jubitz, of Portland, OR, Robert Thompson, of Snohomish, WA, and Peter Hunter Thompson III, of Tampa FL.
Services will be held on Tuesday, November 7th at First United Methodist Church in Burlington. 21 Buell St, Burlington VT, 05401. The family will be receiving at the church from 3:00-4:00pm, service to follow. Expressions of sympathy may be made in David's memory to the Northeast Addiction Treatment Center, 36 Miller Stile Road, Quincy, MA 02169. The Ready Funeral and Cremation Service, 261 Shelburne Road, Burlington is assisting the Thompson Family with arrangements. To share online condolences please visit www.readyfuneral.com
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Published by The Burlington Free Press on Nov. 5, 2017.