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Dr. Louis M. Thompson (1914-2009)


Posted By: Ames Tribune
Date: 7/26/2009 at 09:14:27

THE AMES TRIBUNE, Ames, Story County, Iowa, Friday, July 24, 2009.

Dr. Louis M. Thompson, 95, of Ames died of natural causes on Friday July 24, 2009, at Green Hills Retirement Center in Ames. A private service will be Tuesday, July 28, with internment at the Iowa State University Cemetery. A memorial service will be at a date to be announced.

Dr. Thompson was born on May 15, 1914, in Throckmorton, Texas, the son of Aubrey Lafayette and Lola Frazier Thompson. He married Margaret Stromberg on July 10, 1937, and they raised five children together. She passed away in 1972. On July 7, 1990, he married Ruth Haitt Phipps.

He graduated from Texas A&M in 1935 and received a master’s degree in 1947 and a doctorate degree. in agronomy from Iowa State University in 1950. He served as head of farm operations and served as the associate dean of the College of Agriculture from 1962 until he retired in 1983.

He was a distinguished professor of agronomy and was recognized for his guidance to many student advisees over his career. His interest in meteorology and climatology earned him international acclaim for his many publications in scientific and professional journals. In retirement, he focused his research on cyclical weather patterns, El Niño, and potential effects on crop yields in the U.S. Midwest. Thompson served as an officer in the U.S. Army during WW II, including one year as an instructor at the Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Ga. He retired as a colonel in the Army Reserves.

His honors were many, but his most treasured was the Henry A. Wallace Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture, presented by Iowa State University in 1982.

He was past-president of Ames Rotary and a member of the Campanile Guild of the Order of the Knoll. He was recognized in Who’s Who in America and the World.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Hiatt Thompson; his children, Louis (Laura) Thompson, Orange,Va; Margaret Ann (Newt) Trail, Kemp, Texas; Carolyn (Roy) Abbott, Brainerd, Minn; Jerome (Gretchen) Thompson, Des Moines; stepdaughters, Becky (Rick) Lorenzen, Dubuque; Nancy Bayerle, Alexandria, Va.; stepson, Grant (Patsy) Phipps, Chandler, Ariz.; 13 grandchildren, six stepgrandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Margaret Stromberg Thompson; one daughter, Glenda Thompson Knight; one brother, Leon Aubrey Thompson; and one sister, Mildred Thompson Cowley.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Iowa State University Foundation to the Louis Thompson Endowment for Agronomy, Louis Thompson Endowment for Academic Excellence or the Louis M. Thompson Study Abroad Scholarship.

Adams Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

THE AMES TRIBUNE, Ames, Story County, Iowa, Sunday, October 18, 2009.

A memorial service for Dr. Louis Thompson Sr. will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Curtiss Hall Auditorium on the Iowa State University campus.


Story Obituaries maintained by Mark Christian.
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