Richard “Rick” K. Thompto
April 23, 1959 - June 8, 2019
Richard “Rick” K. Thompto, 60, of Des Moines, passed away Saturday afternoon, June 8, 2019, after a long battle with a brain tumor. His wife, Tressa, and close family friend, Katie Gregor, were with him when he passed at the Des Moines Veterans Hospital Community Living Center.
Visitation will be 5:00 - 7:00 pm on Wednesday June 12, 2019 at Conner Colonial Chapel 1008 1st Ave South, Northwood, IA.
Funeral services will be held 10:30am Thursday June 13, 2019 at the First Lutheran Church, 309 9th Street North, Northwood, IA with Pastor Judy Converse officiating. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the funeral.
A Memorial Graveside service will be held in Stateline Cemetery, Rural Northwood, Iowa.
In Lieu of customary remembrances, memorials may be directed to the family to honor the memory of Richard and will be directed to causes addressing water contamination on US military bases.
Rick was born April 23, 1959 in Albert Lea, MN to Norma (Knutson) and Harry “Bob” Thompto. Rick had a happy childhood growing up on the Thompto family farm in Worth County, IA. He was confirmed in the Lutheran Church.
Rick graduated Northwood-Kensett High School in 1977 and enlisted in the US Air Force that same year. He was stationed at Wurtsmith Air Force Base near Oscoda, MI. During his service he was awarded numerous recognitions for his skills. In 1979 Rick met the love of his life, Tressa Lowell, and they were married on May 31, 1980. After four and half years of service, Rick was honorably discharged and he and his wife moved to Minneapolis, MN where their three children, Ryan, Eric and Sara, were born.
In 1990 Rick and his family moved to Northwood, IA. In 1991 Rick was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Even through the most challenging times he always seemed to find a way to lighten the mood, whether cracking jokes or speaking in his “Donald Duck” voice to make his kids laugh.
After receiving radiation therapy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the tumor went into remission and Rick decided to pursue an education in electrical engineering at the North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, IA. This would later lead to a position at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, IA. In this position, he excelled and was promoted quickly. He was also able to start enjoying his hobbies again such as hunting, bowling, darts, and taking annual fishing trips with his friends and brothers. At home you could find Rick listening to his extensive classic rock music collection, cheering on his favorite professional sports teams, the Twins and the Vikings, or completing daily crossword and sudoku puzzles in the newspaper.
Unfortunately Rick's brain tumor started growing again in 1998, leading to a battle for his health that would span over an additional 20 years. During this time Rick remained a warm and loving husband and father. He lived his life with compassion and integrity. He and his wife became involved in advocacy, raising awareness of water contamination on US military bases; the same contamination that caused Rick's tumor.
Rick is survived by his wife, Tressa, his son, Ryan, his daughter, Sara (Chelsea), and his brothers, Steven and Russell (Joyce).
Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Bob and Norma, his son, Eric, his uncles and aunts Cornell and Ila Knutson, James and Lucille Medlang, and Russell Knutson in infancy.
Conner Colonial Chapel. 1008 1st Ave South, Northwood, IA. (641) 324-1543.