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Erma I. Thompson, 96 of Appleton, died peacefully on Friday, May 11, 2018 at the Bridges of Appleton with her family at her side. She was born in Greenville, WI on October 19, 1921, daughter of the late Lester and Louise (Kirchner) Glaser. Erma married her soul mate, Guy Thompson, on June 26, 1954.
Guy & Erma loved to travel. They vacationed in all fifty states and took too many cruises and foreign trips to count. Guy was a long-time member of the Appleton Rotary club where he served for many years as the Rotary Exchange Coordinator. Guy and Erma treated these foreign exchange students like a second family to them and many of their European trips were to visit their “second” family. As a result of her compassion for these kids, Erma was awarded the prestigious Paul Harris award, which is the highest award given to a Rotarian or a member of the community that has made an outstanding contribution to the community.
Erma was an avid bowler, completing in the “Kitchen Cheaters” league at Hahn’s bowling alley for many years. She also loved and spent many summer weekends at their cottage on John Lake while her son and her grandchildren were growing up. She loved the peace and quiet there and often Erma and Guy could be seen paddling around the lake at sunset. She enjoyed bird watching and had a gorgeous collection of porcelain bird figurines by Andrea. Watching the birds on her feeders at the Bridges, along with reading Birds & Bloom magazine (thanks Kelly!) brought hours of pleasure to her in her later life.
Erma was a great mother and fantastic grandmother to her three grandchildren. Erma and Guy took the grandchildren on many exotic vacations and you could often see her wearing the Black and Gold of her son’s and granddaughter’s alma mater or the Blue and Gold of her two grandsons’. Erma was never able to continue her education beyond 8th grade, but she made sure to instill that desire in the hearts of her son and grandchildren. Erma and Guy were a welcome sight on their many weekend college visitation trips. The evening always ended with them driving a car load of students to the local restaurant.
Erma is survived by her son, Steve (Debbie), Menasha; three grandchildren, Craig (Rachel), Kalamazoo, MI., Mike (fiancée Ali), Chicago, IL., and Sheri (fiancé Joe), Chicago, IL; a great-grandson, Nathan; and a great-granddaughter, Catherine, and a sisters-in-law, Delores Thompson, Appleton. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Erma was preceded in death by her loving husband of 61 years and by three brothers; Orville, Stanley, and Gerald.
Funeral service for Erma will be at 3:00 PM on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 724 E South River St., Appleton, with Rev. Dr. Stephen Savides officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday, May 19, from 1:00 until 2:45 PM. Entombment will be at Highland Memorial Park, Star of Hope Mausoleum on Monday, May 21 at 9:00AM.
Erma’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Lee Vogel as well as her nieces, Connie Mueller and Cindy Dorn, special friend Cheryl Nisler, Bozena (Bo) Kata and the CNAs and nursing staff at Bridges; and the staff from ThedaCare Hospice, for all of their care and compassion. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established at the 1st Congregational Church, at the American Red Cross and with Erma’s love of birds and flowers a flowering tree will be planted in the Menasha School District in her honor[CT1] .
Mom, Grandma – you will be deeply missed, especially your warm, caring nature. We love you and will never forget you.