sons: Dean and Kent. Curtis died 27 May 1980 and Mildred died 27 May 1995.

Most of his years Martin worked for Gust E. Haugen Garage as a mechanic. In Decorah he and Mayme raised their children until his death from cancer 12 Apr 1934 at age 49. This date was the same date as his parent’s 60th wedding anniversary.

Left alone to support her children, Mayme worked as a pastry cook at the Green Parrot for a number of years. Later she and her son, Curtis, bought and ran the Cozy Tea Room where a good Sunday dinner with pie for desser-cost $1.00. After she retired she liked to make her famous chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and white sugar cookies for her grandchildren. She died 15 Jan 1969.

Thompson, Mathias and Elizabeth (Vegen)

(Jerry Thompson)

Ole Anderssen was born in 1781. He was a farmer near Lake Eina in West Toten, Norway. Ole married Berbe Olsdtr. Stromstad (b. 1782). Ole and Berbe had a son Thomas Olsen Stromstad (b. 30 Dec 1814). Thomas married Helene Johannesdtr (b. 14 Mar 1818). They came to Decorah 21 May 1874. Thomas and Helene had 4 sons: Ole (b. 26 Sep 1842) married Anne Marie Greforud; Johan (b. 5 Apr 1848 - d. 2 Jul 1859); Mathias (b. 11 Aug 1853 -d. 17 Jan 1935) married Elizabeth Vegen (b. 1 May 1850 - d. 30 Nov 1947) and John T (b. 6 Jul 1859).

Mathias and Elizabeth sailed from Stromstad, Norway in May 1885 for the United States of America. Sailing time was one month, with the ship being a double decker with sails, the bottom deck being covered with sawdust. Mathias was to join 3 brothers that were already in this country. Mathias and Elizabeth (also known as Matt and Lisa) begot 12 children — seven who were born in Norway and five born in Decorah, IA. The children are: Tom (b. 28 Jan 1875); Severing (b. 24 Mar 1876); Lewis Cb. 15 Feb 1878); Emilia (b. 14 Feb 1880); John (b. 10 Feb 1882); Ole (b. 24 Jun 1883); Martin (b. 12 Feb 1885) all born in Norway; Helmer (b. 20 Nov 1886); Bennie (died in infancy); Benhart (b. 22 Dec 1891); Lillie (b. 17 Jul 1893) and Thorvald (b. 24 Mar 1895) these born in Decorah.

The families of Mathias and Elizabeth all settled in or around Decorah.

(Compiled by Jerry Thompson, taken from the 1989 Family Tree Book compiled by Alice Reum and Robin Sacquitne.)

Thompson, Ray and Arlene (Larson)

(Ray and Arlene Thompson)

Ray Merton Thompson was born 7 Jan 1920 to Martin and Mayme (Stoskopf) Thompson in Decorah, IA the third of 4 children.

Growing up Ray remembers the pride he felt getting his first pair of long trousers having had to wear knickers all the time. When Ray’s father was confined to bed because of his illness from cancer, Ray came home with his trousers torn from jumping over a fence and he was afraid of the consequences, but his father told him to get a needle and thread and he darned it so it barely showed. He told Ray he had to take care of his things when he was away from home and had learned to sew and darn.

Bio Photo

Ray and Arlene Thompson

After his father died, Ray spent many of his summers helping out on his aunt's and uncle’s farms and with his grandparents, Diebold and Julia (Barth) Stoskopf. While helping his grandfather he learned much about Diebold when he moved to Pleasant Twp. — grubbing and clearing the land to build their house and shooting prairie chickens from their doorway. He also told about his father, also named Diebold Stoskopf, who was born in Alsace, Germany and had come to Canada where he met and married Cathryn Kern. Later they moved to Pleasant Twp. In 1873 or 1874 he built the Arlington House in the city of Decorah. This building became the Lutheran Publishing House and is now the Vesterheim Norwegian Museum.

After high school Ray went to school in Wichita, KS where he learned Blue Printing and Assembly. When he finished he was sent to Buffalo, NY where he worked at the Bell Aircraft Experimental Plant. He helped build the first Jet Airplane. Ray was drafted into the Army Air Force in Sep 1942 and received his basic training at Wichita Falls, Tx. He was stationed at Mather Field, CA; Deming, NM and Douglas, AZ before being shipped overseas to Guam. After he was discharged from the service, Ray helped his mother at the Cozy Tea Room. He joined the Police Force for a time until he and his brother, Roger, began to operate Thompson’s body Shop. Ray, Curtis and Roger purchased and operated the Ford Garage until 1961. Ray became a member of the Police Force a second time. He went to work for the Post Office and continued there as Superintendent of Postal Operations until his retirement in 1982.

Ray married Arlene Larson 22 Apr 1945 while he was still in the service. She was the youngest of 13 children born to Martin and Anna (Sorenson) Larson. She taught school for 4 years in a country school in Pleasant Twp. prior to their marriage. In 1963 she went to Luther Col


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