Sterling E. Thompson, 92

Published 9:51 am Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sterling E. Thompson, 92, of Austin, Minnesota, died Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, at Sacred Heart Care Center in Austin.



Sterling Ellsworth Thompson was born May 28, 1922, in Lake Mills, Iowa, the son of Albert and Agnes (Peterson) Thompson. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from Waldorf College, a bachelor’s degree from Luther College and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. He began his long teaching career in rural schools in Iowa, taught in the education department at Waldorf College, and spent one year teaching in the military school in Augsburg, Germany. He enjoyed a 30-year tenure in the Austin Public Schools, where he served primarily as a teacher and for three years as principal. It was in Austin that he met Vila June Kiel, a fellow teacher and the love of his life! They were married on June 28, 1958, and shared a rich 45 years together enjoying their vocation as educators. They also enjoyed their volunteer commitments to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Luther College, Waldorf College, Retired Teachers Association, Sons of Norway, and the Audubon Society; and their love of travel, canoeing, cross country skiing, and the arts. Together they received the Distinguished Service Award from Luther College. Sterling received the Distinguished Service Award from Waldorf College. A lifelong learner, “Ster” will be remembered for the many things he taught us, whether in the classroom setting or in the laboratory called life.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Vi; his sister Lois; brothers-in-law Al and Howard; sisters-in-law Marilyn and Elsie; and his niece Cheryl and nephew Kurt.

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His memory will live on with sister Crystal; brothers-in-law Ed and Linny; nieces and nephews Bill, Marianne, Kevin, Scott and Sue; and other family and friends who loved him dearly.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church with the Rev. Glenn L. Monson officiating. Interment will be at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church for one hour before the service on Saturday morning. Clasen-Jordan Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the Sterling and VI Thompson Scholarship Fund at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, or to Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Austin.