Cover photo for Donald Eddy Thompson's Obituary
Donald Eddy Thompson Profile Photo
1932 Donald 2024

Donald Eddy Thompson

June 19, 1932 — June 7, 2024

Donald Eddy Thompson passed away Friday, June 7, 2024 at his Gilbert, AZ home after a short illness.  Don was born on a raisin ranch near Porterville, CA June 19, 1932.  His mother, Edith passed away in 1935; Don and his dad later moved into Porterville with Don’s paternal grandmother, Genevieve Kate [Alexander] Thompson.  In 1942 Don & his dad moved to Benicia, CA, where his father worked during WWII.  Don graduated from Redondo Beach High School in 1950 and Arizona State University in 1960 with a degree in mechanical design. He was an engineer at McDonald Douglass, RAAD International, Bechtel Power Corporation and the Palo Verde Nuclear power plant. He was the youngest of 4 children born to Harold Eddy & Edith Beatrice [Balding] Thompson.


Don served in the US Navy (1952-1954) during the Korean conflict where he earned the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Medal, and National Defense Medal. In 1954, Don met Chandlerite Joan Eleanor Wright. They married December 29, 1955 in Chandler, AZ at the Chandler Church of the Nazarene. Don & Joan lived in Chandler to be near Joan’s parents, Bob & Lola Shepherd. They relocated to southern CA after the birth of their 1st daughter, Nanette (born 1957); they spent the bulk of their married lives in CA, adding daughters Cheryl (b. 1960) & Diane (b. 1961) to the family. Don & Joan spent a great deal of time in AZ with the Shepherds and in CA with Don’s family. In 1988 they returned to AZ until Don retired in 1998. Joan passed away in 1998 after 43 years of marriage, following which Don returned to CA for 13 years; he made his 3rd relocation to central AZ in 2011. 


Don enjoyed camping, hiking and fishing in the California Sierra mountains.  And, from the time Don was a teen renting Cessna’s for $25.00 hour until as recent as 2017, he enjoyed flying immensely.  He built many airplane (and ship) models over the years and enjoyed flying his model planes at the Visalia Flying Club while living in California.


Don was predeceased by his: wife, Joan (1938-1998); parents; his 3 sisters – Genevieve (1910-1958), June (1917-2003), & Edna (1923-1960); daughter Nanette (1957-2009) and, his beloved son-in-law Donnie Roberts (1957-2017). Don is survived by his daughters, Cheryl and Diane; his grandchildren, Shane, Nick, Alyssa and Jill; great grandchildren Aidan, Avery, Aubrey, Kadence, Elijah and Asher; his son-in-law Bruce Robinson; nieces Doris [Vaughn] Wright, Geri [Brazil] Hendrickson and Betty [Swoap] Cleaveland, nephew Lee Vaughn and many other extended family members.

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