Cover photo for Jerry Thompson's Obituary
Jerry Thompson Profile Photo
1949 Jerry 2023

Jerry Thompson

March 8, 1949 — December 28, 2023

Phoenix, Arizona

Jerry Thompson, 74, of Phoenix, Arizona passed away peacefully on December 28, 2023 at his home in Phoenix in the presence of his beloved wife and family.

Funeral services for Mr. Thompson will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, January 5, 2024 at Buehler Larson Funeral Home.  Interment with military honors will follow in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.

Jerry Dale Thompson was born in Stanley, North Dakota to Vernon and Mildred Thompson on March 8, 1949.  He was born the 7th of 10 children and while close to all his siblings, Jerry shared an especially close bond throughout his life with his twin sister Joan. He spent his childhood on the family farm south of White Earth where he enjoyed riding horses through the coulees. He was baptized and confirmed in the First Lutheran Church of White Earth. He went to the Momb schoolhouse for four years before attending the White Earth schools and Tioga High School.


Jerry enlisted in the US Army in 1968 and volunteered for service in the infantry. He served in a rifle
company in the 11th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division in South Vietnam. The leaders of his unit
recognized his prowess as a small unit leader and promoted him officially to the rank of Sergeant only a
few months after his 20th birthday, a rare circumstance even during prolonged war. During this time,
some of the most harrowing months of the Vietnam War, his unit placed on him combat leadership roles
far beyond his rank. Jerry proudly led dozens of his comrades in arms and earned the Combat
Infantryman’s Badge and the Bronze Star during his combat service.


He left the Army in June of 1970 from Fort Ord, California. Jerry—who was always drawn to the open
road—spent time in North Dakota, Utah, Texas, California, and Nevada where he studied at the
University of Nevada, Reno. He eventually settled down in Dickinson, North Dakota to raise his children.

In 2001, Jerry met the love of his life, Penelope Jean Holton, in Reno Nevada, and despite having sworn that he would never remarry, married her in 2005. He took great joy and pride in his stepchildren and the couple later moved to Phoenix to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Jerry had numerous titles and several successful careers throughout his life, including working as an oil
contractor and as a business owner. His most fulfilling roles, however, were those of father and
grandfather. He often described one of the happiest times of his life as being when his children were
young, and he loved spending time with his many grandchildren.


Jerry loved the Arizona Diamondbacks, ASU football, road trips, potato dumplings and lefse, and
westerns such as; Gunsmoke, Tombstone, and Lonesome Dove. He enjoyed music, card games, nice
cars, skiing in Aspen with the Disabled American Veterans, and the occasional Bacardi and Coke.

Those who had the honor of knowing Jerry admired his strength, perseverance, and courage in the face of
adversity. Jerry used to say, “When things get too tough for everybody else, it is just right for me.” He
will be most remembered, however, for his sense of humor. His friends and family will miss being on the
receiving end of his sometimes elaborate pranks, and he taught them all to be wary of checking the
front bumper for him, for fear that a car horn would suddenly go off.


He is survived by his wife; Penelope, three children Anthony Thompson (Michelle), Corrine Boddy
(James), and Beth Quackenbush (Kurt and their children Jake, Kate, and Stella); four stepchildren; Ami
Garrigus, Oliver Morris (Kateri), Susanna Werner (Branson), and Nettie Ledbury (Brian); Grandchildren;
Brooklyn, Chloe, Madison, Emma, Ty, Hudson, Joseph, Sierra, RJ, Andrew, Samuel, Leonard, Beau,
Aniyah, Elle, and Bonnie. Sisters; Verlee Kjosen (Donald), Joan Long (Jerry), Brother; Steven Thompson;
Brother-in-laws; Raymond Iverson, Joe Ness, and Jack Cremer, Sister-in-Law Beverly Thompson, and
numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.


He is preceded in death by his parents; Vernon and Mildred Thompson, Sisters; Betty Thompson, Sandra
Cremer, Deanne Iverson, Edith Elvick, and Debbie Ness; and Brother; Larry Thompson.

Jerry will be greatly missed.


In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry Thompson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, January 5, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Buehler-Larson Funeral and Cremation Service

1701 Sunset Drive, Mandan, ND 58554

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