The Rev. W. Douglas Thompson

The Rev. Walter Douglas Thompson died peacefully at home following an illness on Jan. 27, 2018. All are invited to attend a Celebration of Life, 2 p.m. Feb. 2, at Christ Church Eureka, 625 15th St. (15th & H streets), Eureka at 2 p.m. Lovingly known as Father Doug, or Flooger Dooigie by his younger parishioners, he ministered to many and was loved by all who knew him.

Thompson was a graduate of Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley and was ordained into the Episcopal priesthood on Jan. 25, 1965. Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree at Southern Oregon College in 1961 and it is where he met the love of his life, Hannell (Nellie) Rippee. Doug and Nellie celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary just days before his death.

Thompson served at many parishes in his 50-plus years as an Episcopal priest. He was a curate at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Portland, Oregon, 1964-1966; vicar at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Gardiner, Oregon, and St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Florence, Oregon, 1966-1970; curate at Calvary Episcopal Church, Santa Cruz, 1970-1972; rector at the Episcopal Church of St. Anne, Stockton, 1972-1976; rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Klamath Falls, Oregon, 1976-1982; and rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Eureka, 1982-2000. On Jan. 26, 2003, Doug was bestowed the honor of Rector Emeritus by the members of Christ Church.

Doug was the only son of Walter Louis Thompson and Alta Fay MacDonald, brother of Maudie Jane Thompson Williams, loving husband of Hannell (Nellie) Rippee Thompson, Wonder Dad to daughters Sarah Diane Thompson (deceased) and twins Julianna Marie Thompson-Corliss and Suzanna Lynne Thompson Spencer and amazing Grandpa to James Francis Brady. He was also a fun-loving uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.

Thompson loved to travel and spent much time pitching and repacking the family's canvas tent and driving for hours on end from camp site to campsite. Summertime always found him planning and taking an educational, scenery-filled road trip with Nellie and the girls. He was an absolute master at trivia and when someone needed a difficult question answered the statement "Ask Doug Thompson" was shouted aloud!

Thompson spent countless hours volunteering and showing support in each community he was part of, from coaching soccer when his fifth-grade daughters suddenly had no coach for their team (season record 1-22, or so it seemed) to ringing the Salvation Army bells at Christmas, driving groups of kids to summer camp, and using his booming bass/baritone/tenor voice (depending on his health) on caroling trips to those who needed beautiful music during the holidays. He was a lifelong blood donor, often being called in the middle of the night to be a live donor for a newborn in need. His favorite hobby was the time spent overseeing (and sometimes napping amongst) the historical archives in the Humboldt Room at the county library.

Thompson served on boards for Eureka Senior Resource Center, Lions Club (Klamath Falls, Oregon), Rotary Club and Rotary Scholarship Board (Eureka) and Diocesan Council for the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, to name a few.

Doug was a source of common sense, unconditional love, a mentor, a nonjudgmental ear and the giver of the biggest bear hugs around. He will be missed greatly by everyone fortunate enough to have loved him and his memory will be a perpetual beacon of light and hope.


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